Building a Great Team
Teamwork and collaborations one of the toughest tricks to pull off in the business world. We are all so different, so unique in our talents, our education, and our expectations. There are, however, a few commonalities to leverage when building and maintaining a great team. Corporate wellness is the result of sound mind, sound body, employee engagement, and a whole lot of teamwork. Here are our suggestions:
Transparency and a Shared Vision: It’s important to clearly articulate the end goal of the project, and why this is important. It’s crucial to the success of the endeavour to be able to say, we are here at Point A and we want to get here to Point B. For example, right now we do not have the deliverables for this campaign. This campaign is important because it’s one of the company’s biggest clients. There is some concern that in the past, other teams didn’t quite hit the mark. Make sure they understand that they need to be fully invested. One of the ways to do this is to ask for feedback. For example, present examples of past campaigns and solicit feedback as to how this could’ve been done better. Missed a tight deadline? Better project or time management, or maybe a more realistic timetable? The more participation you get from your team, the more invested they are in the success of the current effort. In a great team, every voice counts. Hint: Reward your team at the end of a long work week, whether it’s specifically acknowledging everyone’s hard work in an email or a short meeting to congratulate everyone on their efforts. Be specific in your praise.
Flexibility and Creativity. Life happens; estimates are inaccurate, communication with, let’s say, outside vendors, has been less than stellar and/or accurate, and now there’s a problem. Be open and frank about the issues the team are now facing. Present the dilemma as an opportunity for creative problem solving. If possible, list possible remedies on a whiteboard, and make sure everyone is actively participating. If it’s a large group of people, create smaller groups for brainstorming. At the close of the session, create a list of concrete, specific assignments. Clarify, clarify, clarify. Reinforce the new solutions in a memo to everyone in the team. Demonstrate to them that you can roll with the punches, and be honest about your own frustration. If some of the issues revolve around one particular person, who doesn’t seem to holding their own, meet with them privately, and ask them to be as honest as possible as to what is holding them back. Ask them what they can do to improve their performance.
Know Your People. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Some people are better at long range projections and big picture. Others are better at coaxing slow-to-respond vendors or any other outside party. Still others are better at visualization, language or strategy. Identify and quantify those strengths, and build on them. But what is just as important is to understand weaknesses or insecurities. Some people are uncomfortable with speaking in a group but can create flow charts like nobody’s business. Some people can draft a memo or an email that sparkles with clarity, but don’t respond well to constructive criticism.