“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
These are the words of none other than Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and chief developer of the assembly line technique of mass production. Ford, of all people throughout history, certainly knew the importance and value of teamwork within an organization. Have you ever seen an assembly line succeed without it??
But sometimes, it’s just not that simple. Even among the most talented and skilled employees, there may be a natural tendency to focus more on individual than team tasks. How can you get your teams thinking and working as collective units?
It takes more than a simple ask or weekly staff meeting reminder for the essence of teamwork to truly “click.”
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Build diverse teams.
When you form a team, focus on assembling as diverse a group as possible. With more perspectives comes greater innovation and more effective decision making.
- While a group of like-minded people with similar backgrounds may get along famously, think about the bigger picture: Will they challenge one another to tackle a project from all angles? Often, if each team member has unique opinions and beliefs, the result is more outstanding work that reflects greater creativity.
Set SMART team goals.
A successful team needs effective goals that they can strive toward together. When setting team goals, use the SMART approach: Make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Unless they have something clear and concrete to work towards, how can any group work well together?
Reward team efforts.
It’s important to reward both individual and team milestones and successes. The good feelings associated with being acknowledged for a job well done are inherent to human nature. Members of a team are more likely to help one another if they know they will be rewarded for their colleagues’ good performance. And when you dole out individual awards, make exemplary teamwork one of the criteria.
Keep communication lines open.
Clear and frequent communication helps ensure that all team members stay on the same page. It also builds trust, which is the foundation of all good teamwork.
- Foster a culture where ongoing two-way communication is the norm. This starts with you, as a leader, mastering communication skills including active listening, handling confrontation, and conflict resolution. Like mastering any valuable skill, it takes work and practice. But in time, it becomes second nature – and the ROI will be well worth the effort.
Lead by example.
As a leader, you need to regularly demonstrate the style and behaviors you expect from your team members. Involve them in the work that you do and, without micromanaging, get involved with theirs. Offer them support and encouragement and get to know how they work. If necessary, roll up your sleeves and jump in to help them achieve desired results.
Set an example for everyone else to follow.
For additional teamwork ideas and resources, turn to the PrideStaff Modesto team of staffing and talent management specialists. We can help you build and develop your winning teams and keep all your HR and business goals on track. Contact us today to learn more.