6 Characteristics of Effective Teams in the Workplace
Building a successful business starts with building a strong team. But how do you know you’ve got a good team? What is quality teamwork built on?
This post offers 6 characteristics of effective teams in the workplace you should strive to achieve in your business.
#1 – Shared Goals
Running a team without a well-defined common goal is like playing darts without a dartboard.
If your team doesn’t have a target to aim for, or if they are all aiming at different targets, your business will never grow as efficiently as it’s meant to. As the leader, it’s your job to set the business goals and make them clear to your team.
Goals can be big, at the mission statement level: Provide the easiest stock image download experience available online.
Or they can be smaller, focusing on the short term: Reduce customer complaints by 25% in September.
Whatever size your goals, and however many you set, make sure that your team reads them loud and clear.
#2 – Strong Leadership
Obviously, a team needs a leader. Even a business based on democratic principles is going to benefit from strong leadership to steer the helm.
What makes a leader strong? That could be the focus of an entire post in itself, but here are a few qualities of effective leaders:
Ownership. A good leader takes final responsibility for the team’s success or failure. This ability to own the team’s fate is one of the key factors that motivates good leaders to do their best to come out on top.
Gratitude. Just because the leader bears the ultimate responsibility, that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate their team. A good leader values every member of the team and lets them know it. A leader who hogs all the glory is likely to lose the loyalty of the team.
Decisiveness. Finally, a strong leader knows how to make a decision when it counts. There is a fine line between weighing the options and being wishy-washy. A good leader walks the balance and understands when it is time to say the final word.
#3 – Trust
Trust is one of the characteristics of effective teams in the workplace that holds the team together. Every member of a team, from the project lead to the customer service consultant, has a job to perform.
A leader who can’t trust her team is going to waste time micromanaging.
A team member who can’t trust his teammates is going to second guess their decisions.
A team that doesn’t trust their leader to make good decisions is going to be full of infighting.
When barriers to team trust start rearing their ugly head, it’s vital to address them as soon as possible. The longer they fester, the more the team is going to tear itself apart from within.
#4 – A Spirit of Communication
Any relationship expert will tell you that communication is key. And with good reason.
Whether you want to admit it or not, a team is one big professional relationship. Keeping it running smoothly requires effective communication from all members, in all directions.
There are some obvious communication protocols that you need to establish, such as who to notify when fulfillment is delayed or a customer isn’t happy with an order. But there is also another level to fostering a spirit of communication.
Every member of your team should feel comfortable letting their voice be heard. Whether they are offering a suggestion for how things could run more efficiently or informing the team leader of some bad news, nothing will destroy team morale faster than shooting the messenger.
#5 – Clear, Well-Defined Roles
If you’ve got a common set of goals established, every member of your team should have a clear picture of how they are helping the business move towards those goals.
Some team roles are relatively straightforward: This team member is responsible for communicating with potential customers. This team member is responsible for on-boarding new clients. This team member is responsible for resolving complaints. And so on.
Other roles may have a much larger scope. Appointing a single member of your team to strategize next quarter’s content marketing plan, for example.
A single teammate may have multiple roles, of course. But in order to run a well-oiled machine, you’ve got to make sure everyone knows what their responsibilities are.
#6 – Time For Fun
Making time for leisure might be the last thing on your mind when it comes to growing your business. But fun is one of the characteristics of effective teams in the workplace that you really can’t afford to miss out on.
Morale is real. As much as you might hope that your team can power through and give you 110% day in and day out, they need to have their batteries recharged. And a great way to do that is to make being a member of your team as fun as possible.
Fun comes in many shapes and sizes. Having a positive personality and a sense of humor are a good start that any team leader can work on.
If you run a traditional business, with most of your team in the same physical location, you can take it a step further by scheduling time for team building activities. Maybe once a quarter or twice a year you bring the team on a retreat to recharge and refocus.
If you’re running a remote business, there are still plenty of ways to make your virtual workplace more fun. Something as simple as having a team Slack channel dedicated to sharing funny memes and GIFs. When people laugh together, they form a bond, even if they are hundreds of miles apart.
Go Build The Team Your Business Needs!
A good business demands a strong team. As the leader, it’s your responsibility to not only build the team that’s qualified to get the job done, but to keep them working together happily and efficiently.
If you are looking for qualified professionals to fill a new role in your team, check out what the freelancers at Legiit have to offer.