January 29, 2014

6 Tips for Creating Winning Teams

Tips for creating winning teams

Synergy was one of the hottest business terms when once upon a time, I was sitting with a heavy marketing book in my lap in an auditorium filled with eager business students.

Now, my dusty book sits in a dark basement bedroom, and “synergy” is described as one of the most overused—even “obnoxious”—buzz words you don’t ever want to hear again.

It stuck in my head, though, because the idea makes sense. We just call it “engaging employees.”

But the same idea prevails: When you put a group of people together—each contributing an individual effort toward a common goal—great things can happen.

Focus On The Big Picture

What’s your company’s vision? If you don’t know it, there’s a problem.

How can little you help your company achieve its goals? Of course, some jobs are easier to pinpoint than others—a salesperson can see by a list of direct sales how he helps the company.

But what about your IT people, your developers, the members of your marketing team? Everyone should know. If they don’t, tell them.

At BambooHR, we don’t call each other co-workers. We’re team members. After all, we’re all striving toward one big goal.

Each time new team members step onboard, the story behind why you all come to work every day should be present in the room. Tell them your company’s humble origins. Tell about the person(s) who started your company with a dream.

Tell them how their job will help make that dream come true. And it will become their dream too.

Celebrate each success, no matter how small. Encourage your employees to share their successes with each other, and the excitement will spread. Do baseball players sitting on the bench cheer when their team scores? Of course they do.

So should your team. Make it part of your company’s culture.

Here Are 6 Tips For Creating Winning Teams:

Departments and smaller project teams are set up to achieve smaller goals that will contribute to the company’s larger goal.

When putting together any team, keep in mind the following tips:

  1. Assemble team members with differing skill sets to cover all the team’s needs. Make sure each team member knows why they were chosen for this particular team. It’s also not a bad idea to appoint a team lead to keep things on track.
  2. Ensure each member of the team knows what the team’s goal is, as well as how it contributes to the ultimate success of the company. Do they know how their individual contribution will impact the team’s goal, as well as the company’s? Are they excited about being a part of it?
  3. Keep the lines of communication open. Team members need to be free to communicate openly throughout the team. Can they give-and-take ideas and feedback? Can they bounce ideas back and forth in a way that is positive and productive?
  4. Give your teams the freedom to use their creativity and unique ideas to make their vision a success? Of course it’s important to give the team clear expectations and specific goals—after all, you need to see results—while at the same time giving them freedom to create and own their accomplishments.
  5.  Nudge a struggling employee in the right direction. Team members are human, however, so problems may arise. Is there a weak link on the team? Instead of getting discouraged about the team member who isn’t working up to par, offer up a challenge to allow the person to do what they need to do. Encourage a team culture that promotes helping each other.
  6. Oh, and be sure to celebrate when your team achieves its goals and give credit where it is due.

Whether you’re thinking about your company’s whole team or a team within a team within a team—picture Russian nesting dolls here—they must all center around keeping your company’s overall vision front and center.

Everyone wants to make a difference, and they want to see their contribution matter. And achieving a goal just makes team members work harder for the next time.

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