Team-building is one of the most important responsibilities a manager can have, yet its importance is often overlooked. Building a successful team can be challenging as no two members are the same and as a result conflict can often arise. However, if a manager has the right skills, teamwork can be both taught and developed.
Building trust is hugely important when trying to build an efficient team. One of the main things that holds employees back is uncertainty. Building trust helps team members to overcome this uncertainty and allows the team to work together effectively, no matter what they may face. If employees trust their manager, they are more likely to work effectively when the manager is not around and in turn the manager can be sure that if they are absent, the team will get the job done together. This can be particularly important in larger organisations where managers can’t be around at all times. Building trust enables open and honest communication as well as creating a supportive work environment where each employee feels valued.
Get to Know Your Team
It is incredibly important for managers to build a relationship with their team members. By doing so you will be able to identify each member’s personality type, motivation and skill set and as a result, understand their strengths and weaknesses. This will then allow you to match roles and responsibilities with each member’s strengths and competencies. This can increase your team members productivity and job satisfaction. Learning about your employees and taking the time to get to know them personally shows that you care about your employees and creates trust.
Define the Purpose of the Team and Members Roles
It is important that the team knows what exactly it was set up to do. As the manager you must ensure that the team understands your vision, and everyone is on the same page. Make sure the team understands where you want to take the business and how to get there. Professor Linda Hill has suggested that without a common purpose a group cannot become a team. Once the team understands the goals they can together develop a process that will result in the team achieving these goals.
Furthermore, it is also important that each member of the group knows the role they play within the team and that the role is vital and they are valued. Every member of a team should feel that the work they are doing is important and that it matters. As previously mentioned, recognising team roles allows managers to match job requirements with employee skills which results in balanced teams.
Communication is key in any relationship, this is no different when it comes to your team. It is important for the manager to try and be as open and transparent as possible with all team members. Even if a particular piece of information does not directly relate to a member’s role, they should still be informed as it makes it hard for these members to feel included if they do not know the same information as the rest of the team. Each member of team must also be able to speak their mind and not feel as if their ideas won’t be valued. Asking the team for their opinions is a great way to keep your team engaged and feel as though you care about what they have to offer. Lack of communication is one of the main causes of conflict within a team as there can be a lot of misunderstandings and members do not clearly understand their roles.
Giving feedback can be one of the best ways to prevent conflict from occurring. Most of the time people don’t speak up until a little issue which could have been easily resolved turns into a bigger issue that can no longer be ignored. If you encourage team members to speak up early on, the issue can be addressed immediately and can be prevented from turning into a bigger issue. Feedback however does not only have to be in relation to a problem. Positive feedback can give the team a huge moral boost and make the team feel valued.
Celebrate and Reward
Managers play an incredibly important role in developing confidence in their employees as well as in the team as a whole. If you never acknowledge hard work or a job well done, employees can begin to lose their drive and motivation. If, however, credit is given where appropriate, you can encourage your team to do well. This can be as simple as saying thank you during a group meeting or sending an email, to social gatherings such as dinner or a team day out. Taking time out to recognise and celebrate individual as well as team performance can be a hugely positive step in building moral and motivation.
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