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How to Build the Team That Leads Your Organization to Success

Each employee brings a specific skill set and talents that support your company’s goals. However, creating a cohesive team that communicates effectively and works together well can ramp up your journey to success. Creating a successful team takes careful planning and support.

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Importance of a strong team

Does teamwork really matter if you have talented professionals in key roles? While skills are important, collaboration can help your company go from status quo to industry leader. Working as a team helps everyone achieve more and creates a harmonious work environment that supports innovation and productivity. Some specific benefits of focusing on how to build teams include:

  • Peer learning. Successful teams teach one another new skills, which can strengthen everyone’s performance. Members also serve as go-to sources of information and mentorship when an individual needs help.
  • Improved morale. Members of a group that works well together tend to be happier at work. They could feel more valued and important. Positive relationships within the team can make work more enjoyable.
  • Higher productivity. Effective teams can get work done more efficiently, which leads to higher productivity. Increasing your productivity often leads to better profits and company growth.
  • Increased innovation. Supportive team members encourage one another to share their ideas. A positive environment can help individuals feel comfortable brainstorming and sharing new solutions. Bouncing ideas off of each other can also help improve the quality of solutions.
  • Improved quality. A team naturally creates a system of checks and balances. This can help reduce errors and improve the overall quality of work.
  • Motivation. Knowing that the team is counting on you can serve as a source of motivation. It can help employees push through so they don’t let the team down.

Define company success

Before you can build the team that leads you to success, you need to explore what goals you’re trying to reach. Every business owner has a different idea of what it means to succeed.

The idea is often defined financially. You might focus on being profitable, hitting certain profit margins or breaking past profit records. Company growth is another indicator of success. Explore your goals and objectives for the company to define what type of success you want. This helps you put together a team that can help you get there. 

What makes a strong team?

You know where you want your company to go, but it’s also necessary to have a clear vision of what a successful team looks like. Thriving teams come in different shapes and sizes. One successful team might appear to be loud and chaotic, while another seems more reserved and quiet. However, they often share similar characteristics, including:

  • Common direction. Having a unified goal helps unite the team and move everyone in the same direction. 
  • Strong communication. Team members need to communicate well to work together. This includes being able to express themselves clearly and feeling like the group is a safe place to share openly.
  • Sense of trust. While team members collaborate, they also work independently to complete their tasks. The group needs to trust that other members will get their work done well. They also feel like everyone is looking out for the team and that no one is only out for themselves.
  • Commitment. All team members need to be committed to their individual roles and the team’s overall success. 
  • Diversity. Assembling a team with a range of backgrounds offers the benefits of diversity, which include innovation, greater problem-solving and improved decision-making.   

How to build the team your company needs

Not sure how to build a team that works for your company? These steps can help.

1. Evaluate your current situation

Unless you’re just hiring your first employee, you likely already have a partial team in place. Assess how well that team works together and how they’re helping you achieve success as a company. Look for areas of improvement, whether that’s adding new team members, training your current team or adjusting how the group operates. 

2. Make a hiring plan

You might have a full team currently, but you’ll likely need to hire in the future. That could be due to turnover or the addition of new roles. Having a staffing plan makes upcoming hires more strategic. 

Using the evaluation of your current situation, identify additions that could strengthen the team. Think about specific skills, attributes and roles that might support greater teamwork and overall success. 

3. Create team goals

Teams work more effectively when they understand what is expected of them. The shared responsibility of reaching those goals can also help bring the individuals closer.

Goals for your team tie directly to your company’s mission and goals. You can look at both short-term and long-term plans to set the team in the right direction. Using the SMART goal method helps create well-defined goals that your team can achieve. 

4. Establish team leadership

Strong team leadership helps keep the group on track and holds individuals accountable for their workload. The leaders can also help establish and maintain the team norms, which help everyone work together well with minimal conflict. Identify potential leaders within the group, and cultivate their leadership skills. 

5. Define roles within the team

Other roles are just as important as leadership. When each person understands their role within the group, they can perform it well. You don’t have to worry about tasks slipping through the cracks. However, that doesn’t mean the team needs to be rigid. Flexibility and the option to step in and help one another can keep the team operating at peak efficiency. 

6. Utilize all skills

The key to an effective team is assembling people with skills that complement one another. That diversity balances out the talent on the team, allowing one member to step in where another one might be weaker. To maximize your team, make sure everyone’s skills are being utilized well. Even if a duty is outside an employee’s job scope, they might take it on if they have the unique knowledge or skills to handle it. 

7. Make adjustments as needed

Successful teams often change over time. Being adaptable helps the group continue to meet its goals, even as the company grows or shifts its focus. Assembling your ideal team might take trial and error. Test different roles, processes and goals to find a routine that works. Then, monitor progress and make more adjustments as needed.

Tips for making the team a success

Having the right players in place is only part of the equation. What you do after you build the team can determine how successful it is. Use these tips on how to build a team to get the best results:

  • Work on your company culture. Having a supportive, inclusive company culture in place gives your team an environment for success. Evaluate your current culture and work to improve it with an emphasis on collaboration and teamwork.
  • Invest in your teams. Even with all the right characteristics for success, your team still needs support to do their work well. Offer training, support and tools to help them excel in their duties. Check in with your teams regularly to see if they have what they need.
  • Offer team-building opportunities. Teams can benefit from ongoing team-building activities, even if they already work well together. Organize activities that appeal to your staff, such as weekly lunches, volunteering opportunities or after-hours outings.
  • Value your team members. Celebrating team successes is important, but you also want to show that you value individual contributions. Recognize each person as a talented professional who happens to be part of a successful team.
  • Get team feedback. You can often improve the dynamics of your team by getting their perspective. They might have suggestions that make the team work more effectively.

Figuring out how to build teams that support your success isn’t always easy, but it can help your company grow efficiently.

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