Happy 2012! It’s a New Year, and some say this can bring a fresh start for individuals, and leaders are obviously no exception. Whether you’re the type to make a New Year’s resolution or not, you should take a step back and plan your goals for this year.
This is also a perfect time to evaluate how well your team works together. Yes, your team – also known as the people who come in every day and do the heavy lifting for the company.
For many companies, teamwork is a core value in its culture as teams who effectively cooperate and collaborate can truly make a difference on the company’s bottom line. A successful team will share information and expertise, respect individual and cultural differences, hold each other accountable for their deliverables, and recognize and reward each other for a job well done.
Does that sound like the mood of your team? If the answer is the opposite of yes, your team may not be playing well together. If you feel your team has issues, remember that good teamwork begins with managers showing their commitment to the concept of teams. You might not be adequately encouraging cooperation, teamwork, and commitment to the work group.
The outcome of your own endeavors is often based upon how well your team works together and how well you provide team leadership. This skill is also an important part of communicating and building relations with peers and coworkers.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to managing your team:
Allow staff meetings to be team building sessions, with open brainstorming and problem solving.
Allow the team to take responsibility for its performance. If you take responsibility, the team delegates both initiative and risk-taking upward to you. You lose their creative input, initiative and problem solving and, ultimately, their greater involvement.
Match crucial assignments and team members so: (1) assignments challenge the team members, and (2) the likelihood of success is great.
Ask your team members for their input and their different approaches to reach a goal that may have been set by someone outside the team. Use a variety of ways to reach consensus: discussion/persuasion, majority rule, or predicted outcomes and consequences of recommended actions.
If you want to encourage teamwork, recognize the team for its successes. Make it clear that active involvement is a valued and necessary component for a functioning team. Publicly reward whatever team player activities are observed.
Develop working relationships with people in different functions or departments, and look for opportunities to participate in interdepartmental teams.
How do you build a positive team environment in your workplace?