A cohesive team is the lifeblood of a successful business, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or working with a smaller team. When it comes to new and scaled-down dynamics, the relationships between team members has the potential to either make or break the system.
Making your version of an A-Team simply means putting together a group of people that work well together, collaborate, and trust one another to fulfill their role in the business.
But creating a balanced, collaborative environment that is both sustainable and mutually supportive is no easy feat. People are complex, and they must have their emotional and professional needs met in order to perform at their best. Nonetheless, finding a way to crack this code is essential for finding business success.
Let’s take a look at eight tips and tricks for creating the ideal at-work A Team.
Establish Clear Expectations And Roles
For a team to truly thrive, every member needs a designated role and an assigned set of tasks. People tend to perform better when they have a clear understanding of what their role is and what they are expected to bring to the table.
This allows team members to focus 100% of their energy on fulfilling their roles rather than scampering around between different tasks trying to find their place in the pyramid.
Team leaders should make delegation a top priority, especially in the early days of team development. The sooner each person knows and understands their purpose, the easier it will be for them to undertake it and help to push the company forward to success.
Diversify and Inclusion
The best teams have a variety of different voices and opinions. Embracing diversity is important for many reasons, and one of them is the incredible potential for collaboration and innovation it creates. The more diverse your team is, the more productive and cohesive it can become.
Hiring people from different age groups, backgrounds, ethnicities, experiences, and opinions will create a more dynamic workforce that allows collaboration to thrive.
Set SMART Goals
Setting the right goals is another key component of the ideal A Team dynamic. In this instance, we are referring to SMART, the acronym-turned-productivity-philosophy that is taking the world by storm. SMART stands for:
- Specific – is the goal defined clearly and specifically enough?
- Measurable – how are you going to measure the success of your goal?
- Achievable – is your goal realistically achievable for your budget, skills, and resources?
- Relevant – is the goal relevant to your current position and business mission?
- Time-bound – can you accomplish this goal in good time?
When setting goals for your team, consider whether they tick all the SMART boxes. With clearly defined and appropriate goals, it will be easier for your team to hit its targets.
Communication Is Key
This list would never be complete without a mention of communication. Of course, we all know that communication is necessary for any team. But this is particularly true in the context of small team cohesion and productivity.
There need to be clear lines of communication running through all team relationships in order to reach peak collaboration levels. If communication is poor, stilted, or hampered by hierarchical authority or other stumbling blocks, it can lead to major issues and potential failures.
Promote Emotional Intelligence
In today’s world, many hard skills are needed to get a job. But soft skills should be considered just as important. And within the context of a group dynamic, they can be game-changing. Emotional intelligence is essentially well-packaged soft skills, such as:
- Creative problem-solving – being able to solve problems from a creative perspective
- Active listening – selflessly listening to others for the purpose of a common goal
- Time management – working quickly and efficiently under time pressures
- Teamwork – being a good team player and working well with others
You can promote these kinds of soft skills by leading by example and rewarding those who exhibit them. Celebrate emotional intelligence and discipline or educate those who lack it.
Motivate With Positivity
If you want your business to survive, you need a team that is driven by a desire for growth and self-improvement. One of the best ways to achieve that is to motivate employees with positivity. Rather than condemning poor performance, reward and celebrate good performance and show appreciation for employees’ contributions.
You can also inspire your team to work harder by highlighting the positive benefits of doing so, such as potential pay raises, more exciting projects, and bigger workspaces. Encourage people to do better because it’s what will make everyone’s jobs (and lives) easier.
Have Fun Together
Having fun with the people you work with is a powerful way to stimulate productivity, communication, and general teamwork.
While it’s not necessary or helpful to become overly involved in each other’s personal lives, setting up fun activities and outings to connect outside of work has many business-related benefits. The better you all know each other, the more natural teamwork can feel.
Things like the occasional dinner party, after-work drinks, or even creative brainstorming exercises can all help your team grow closer and learn to trust each other more.
Lead With Empathy And Respect
Teams thrive when everyone feels equally respected and appreciated. Showing empathy for the people around you is an important habit for everyone to adopt, and the office is no exception. Pave the way for your team by showing them what a kind and respectable leader looks like.
Ultimately, what you’re trying to achieve through leading with empathy and respect is a healthy workplace culture. When people thrive, business does too!
When you strip them down, most businesses come down to a group of people doing their best to reach a common goal. And without a healthy dynamic of communication, trust, empathy, and shared responsibility, reaching those goals will be impossible.
Finding ways to cultivate healthy team relationships and sustainable collaborative behavior is the key to making your small business more productive and much less stressful.
With these tips and tricks for promoting collaboration in the workplace, any business can hit its social stride and move forward with the highest potential for success.