How to Build Effective Team

12.04.15 05:23 AM By Kapil Thukral

What comes to mind when you think about an effective team?

You might picture a team that works seamlessly as a whole.

Everyone brings unique talents and strengths to the table, no-one is playing politics or bickering, and there's just enough competitive spirit to bring out the best in everyone. Work gets done effectively, and everyone contributes to the team's goals.

It can be a challenge to reach this level of effectiveness if you're putting together a new team, or if you're developing an existing one. However, it's much easier if you have a plan in place.

This article highlights a common-sense, step-by-step process for building and maintaining an effective team.

Step 1: Analyze and Plan

Step 2: Get the Right People

Step 3: Train/Develop

Step 4: Motivate

Step 5: Reward/Compensate

Step 1: Analyze and Plan

Whether you've been tasked with setting up a new team, or you're taking over an existing one, begin by defining the goal of your team. What is its ultimate purpose? What are your expectations? How will your team contribute to your organization's goals and mission? Also Create a Separate Log File to record the update, changes and modification.

If you're setting up a new team, or making significant changes to an existing team, you'll also want to define specific roles and tasks at this stage. Try to ensure that no tasks or responsibilities overlap unnecessarily between roles, as this could cause problems later on.

Step 2: Get the Right People

Once you've defined your goals, and have identified the roles that you need fill,make a list of the type of people that you want on your team. What strengths should each person have? As well as technical ability, should they also bring supportive team behaviors, such as a positive attitude, emotional intelligence,or a collaborative spirit to the team?

When you bring new people on board, make sure that you recruit effectively and professionally. Carefully analyze the roles that you want to fill, and then craft a recruitment process that brings the best possible people in to fill these roles. It's important not to rush this stage – recruiting the wrong people will waste resources, and will cause frustration and resentment with other team members. Each person should clearly understand the goals of the group, and should know how these fit with your organization's overall objectives.

Use  Management by Objectives (MBO)to connect each member's contributions to the common goal of the team. Avoid being general here – each person should be aware of how his or her specific efforts will help the team achieve success.

Also, establish  Key Performance Indicators(KPIs).These metrics will link your team's activities to your organization's goal, so that you can better manage performance. Team members should know which KPIs will affect them directly, so that they know what standards they'll be working toward.

If you're setting up a new team, it's also important to go over the logistics of how the team will work, and to set some ground rules. How will information be shared? How often will you meet, and who will chair each meeting? Are there significant project deadlines? And keep updating all the information in to a separate Log File.

Step 3: Train/Develop

An essential step, because as you team starts working together they should trust on each others competencies and capabilities. Run a quick TNA- Training Needs Assessment to understand whether people in your team need any specific training or not. The essential team management training in Communication Skills, if this one skill worked on with focused approach will save you a lot of time and avoid a lot of conflicts.
Step 4: Motivate

Here comes the core leadership skills and a touch of management skills,  One of the most important roles that you have as a team manager is that of keeping individuals motivated and energized as they work toward their goals.

Spend some time learning about the psychology of motivation. You'll be much better at tailoring your efforts to the different needs of each individual if you understand what they truly want from you, and from their work.

For instance, many managers believe that their people will be motivated by the lure of a financial bonus if they hit a key goal. However, people are often motivated by factors that have nothing to do with their paycheck or bonus, and it's important to identify what these motivators are.

Your people will want to feel like they're making progress, and making an impact. So take time to celebrate successes along the way, whether these are big or small.

Step 5: Reward/Compensate

Once you know what truly motivates your people, you can use appropriate compensation to reward them as they hit key targets and goals.

When doing this, it's important that you praise the team as a whole, as well as people individually. You can also structure your rewards in this way, based on what you discovered about people's motivations from Step 4.

For instance, your team may appreciate a reward of a catered lunch for all their hard work. Additionally, people may appreciate meeting with you one-on-one to discuss their career prospects, or may like to meet just for a personal chat, so that you can say "job well done."

Quick Summary:

  • Building an effective team is something that all managers want to achieve. But it's important to plan ahead if you want to do this properly.
  • Start by creating a plan for your team. Identify goals and responsibilities early on,so that you can recruit effectively to fill each position.
  • Next, identify any training and development needs by doing a Training Needs Assessment. You can then structure training and ongoing development so that it makes the biggest possible impact.
  • As people get more comfortable in their roles, your team may go through several stages of development. The more you know about these predictable stages, the better position you'll be in to coach your people through them.
  • Also,make sure that you spend time keeping everyone motivated and engaged. And remember, building an effective team is on ongoing activity – revisit each step of this process on a regular basis
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