How do you build a team from a group of people that would be strangers if they were not connected by work? Just because they work together they may not have any loyalty towards each other.
Building an effective high performing team involves creating a bond between this group of strangers and working towards a common objective. So how do we achieve this?
1. Set the direction of your compass
If you expect people to join you on your journey to effectiveness and ultimately excellence, then the direction must be absolutely clear.Even if the team strays off course, having a compass bearing will also help them to find their way again. Of course the ultimate direction may occasionally have to change as you wouldn’t want to drive people off a cliff that wasn’t there when you started. As long as people understand what is going on and why then it will be easier for them to strive to reach it.
2. Understand what makes them tick
The beauty of working with people is that they are all different. This is also the challenge for a manager and means that if you are going to be successful you will need to understand each and every person. Spending time with each team member and sharing experiences with the whole team together are great ways to understand them as people. When running team building events for a range of organisations the key element is getting to know people better. Whether this is putting them in a non-work situation or finding out their background and hobbies, the aim is to encourage people to ‘open up’ and share more about themselves. Asking them about past achievements will give a clue as to what motivates them and what they enjoy. Understanding individual personality traits through behavioural surveys is an excellent way to really appreciate each other and why they do things a certain way.
3. Demonstrate how they can get recognition
Most people whether they admit it or not enjoy recognition in one way or another. In psychology ‘stimulus and response’ experiments teach us that people often repeat what is recognised. By being specific in your praise and giving it in front of colleagues, not only will people see what you are looking for, they will know exactly which behaviour is required. People will generally want to get some of that attention from their manager.
4. Create a culture of support and collaboration
It is up to you what culture is created. If you demonstrate the value of supporting each other by openly showing your willingness to help team members, they are more likely to emulate you and provide help to each other. Even more importantly they will feel motivated to do the same for your customers.
5. Show them you are interested in their personal development
Managers who show genuine interest in helping team members improve their skills as well as their lot in life will generate helpful and loyal employees.Ask them what they want to achieve in terms of skills, knowledge and experience and then look for opportunities to make it happen.
There are many more ways to build your team and these are a few ideas to get you started. If you feel you need some help developing a group of strangers into an effective high performing team then contact us now to see how we can best support you. Good luck!
Senior Management Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)