Teams are generally considered democratic entities in which members contribute equally towards achieving certain organizational objectives. However, in the absence of a clearly defined leader, there is always the risk of the team crumbling as it becomes less organized, motivated, accountable, and interested. In addition, the decision-making process is less streamlined when there is no effective leadership in the team. While people often use the terms leadership and management interchangeably, there is a significant difference between the two. The duties of a manager generally include planning, organizing, and controlling a certain department or group of employees. A manager can only be considered a leader if, in addition to the above responsibilities, they are able to practice and nurture effective communication within the team, and also guide, motivate, and inspire their team members.
Building and maintaining a strong and efficient team involves a lot more than having a team mentality. It also needs the contribution of a leader. Contrary to popular opinion, being a leader is not about taking control, rather, it is more about sharing power. Quality leadership focuses on building trust and motivating your team to work as expected whether you are present or not. It is all about nurturing trust through honesty and transparency.
- Roles and responsibilities
By clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of the team, you eliminate the occurrence of duplicate work, conflicts, last-minute rushes, and the shifting of blame. Use Tracktime24.com to manage your staff work schedules. When team members have clear responsibilities, that’s when the team starts performing effectively. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that each member clearly understands what is expected of them, whom they are supposed to collaborate with, and who contributes to each deliverable. But it is also essential to redistribute tasks and provide assistance to others in cases where a team member isn’t available or is unable to meet their duties on time.
It should come as no surprise that the effectiveness of a team becomes compromised when all team members have similar team roles or have similar styles of behavior. If the members of your team have the same weaknesses, the team as a whole will suffer from this weakness. On the other hand, if members of a team have the same strengths, they will most likely compete for the tasks and responsibilities that perfectly fit their styles rather than cooperate.
- Nurture a relationship with your team
One of your topmost priorities as a team leader should be to get to know your team. You need to understand their skillsets, strengths/weaknesses, and things that inspire them. As a leader, seeking out this information is highly important as it helps you to match individuals with the tasks that that are most suited for. This way, you will significantly boost productivity, motivation, as well as job satisfaction. When you show your employees that they are valued, they are much more likely to be happy on the job and this positive attitude will reverberate throughout the team.
- Foster strong relationships between your employees
It is difficult to determine what truly works until your team has started working together. However, the key to building a successful team lies in investing in intrapersonal relationships. Take time to study how they work together in a group and keep on listening and communicating. Keep in mind that conflicts and conflicting opinions are bound to arise, but this shouldn’t be a reason to fret as it is a common indication of employees being passionate about the work they are undertaking. Take on the mediating role and turn the situation into a positive by brainstorming solutions that empower your employees.
Team building events are vital for all companies – big or small. While they might seem to bear little significance to an employee’s role, they go a long way in building trust and relationships between employees. Be it a day out go-karting, or organizing some other kinds of recreational challenges, team-building events serve as stepping stones towards building a successful team. Mix up activities that involve brainstorming and problem-solving to encourage team spirit.
- Purpose and goals
A team is basically a group of people working towards a common goal and purpose. Without this, there is no team. Thus, you need to ensure that the goals and purpose of your team are clearly defined. The team members should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Lay out your plan of action by working backward from your ultimate goal and set deadlines for all steps and tasks involved to get there. Get your team involved in the process as much as possible. Each team member should get an equal opportunity to communicate their views and opinions. This is the best way to ensure commitment and clarity of purpose. Make it clear as to who will handle what stage. Get everyone needed for the different steps on board, give them clear expectations, and work in tandem towards achieving your goals.
Effective communication is crucial in all aspects of life – from personal to professional life. Poor communication significantly hinders the ability of a team to work together as a unit and complete tasks efficiently. Ever heard of the phrase, the whole is more than the sum of its parts? Well, this is what you get with effective team communication. Establishing good and clear communication between team members helps to mitigate conflicts, promote information sharing, streamline decision-making, and allows the team to complete projects in the most efficient manner. Keep in mind that effective communication requires active listening as much as it requires speaking.
As a team leader, it is your duty to communicate roles, responsibilities, and expectations to all team members in a clear manner. It is also your duty as a good leader to nurture effective communication within your team. You should keep in mind, though, that what one person considers effective communication is different from what another person perceives it to be as we process information differently. In addition, the spoken word uses cues such as tone and intonation which can be picked up on unlike in the written word.
Communication is crucial in building trust and relationships, which are all key in establishing a ‘safe working environment’ which helps to create a healthy group climate and ultimately a highly productive work process.
- Make decisions together
The decision-making process needs to be based on open dialogue within an open environment where every team member feels like they have an opportunity to share their ideas and solutions to problems. Individuals need to feel that they have the support and commitment of the team both when making decisions and executing them. Your entire team should be involved, especially when making those important and far-reaching decisions. This way, you not only help to make every member feel empowered, but they may also have a great solution in mind that might have not crossed your mind.