How Do You Build Your Team?
Updated: February 2021
Most corporate team off sites (done onsite in the boardroom with food catered), are done with the intent of having a team building experience.
You know what I’m talking about? One of those meeting when the team gets together away from their usual desks. A caterer brings in two Diet Cokes and three cans of Sprite for a team of 7. The food is the same each time, usually some kind of sandwiches, and the last person to select gets stuck with the egg salad.
For team building you might add an exercise or two like “If you were an animal, what kind would you be and why”. With a few laughs and full tummies do you really expect your team to be more successful?
Unfortunately these team building activities seldom generate success behaviours. Management may think team building happens when they invest in a few meals together, but the reality is your team just hopes for an early exit home.
Seldom does the 'building' of a team really occur.
Benefits of Deliberate Team Building
To build a team, so everyone works effectively together, you need to develop a trusting environment that engages and promotes dialogue, mindshare, candour and collaboration; it takes more than a couple of ice breaker activities!
The best team building requires planning; forethought about what you're trying to achieve, and investment where the entire team develops renewed understanding and shared vision, with purpose.
Deliberate Team Building Forms Bonds through:
Building a team takes effort. Lets put a stop to meaningless onsite/offsites and instead start creating momentous building blocks for high performing, productive, ‘kickass’ teams!!
Success Factors for High Performing Teams
Some of the factors that help 'just a team' become high performing, productive and what I call KickAss Teams are:
Just imagine how good a purposefully BUILT team would be?!
They do exist, some are in very good shape, but if you’re a leader whose team may not be there right now I have great news, YOU can make it so!!
Here are some of the building blocks of success you can use to build your team with purpose.
7 Building Blocks to Strong, High Performing, Productive 'KickAss' Teams
1. Develop a team credo – Why does this team exist in this company under this department? What do we believe in? What are our shared values? Think about what would be missing if the team did not exist, this will help you and your team members understand why you’re so important. Reviewing this together annually will keep everyone in tune with your stakeholders.
2. Define your deliverables this year – What must this particular team deliver this year? By when? Write down team goals using the SMART principle (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Create these together, openly debate and discuss.
3. Know your people – What skills exist in your team? Where did your people come from? What are their goals? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What comes easy and what work makes them most uncomfortable, why? How do they see their work, the company, the department and the team?
4. Design workflow and review structure – Does the work flow easily in and through your team, or is it convoluted, confusing multiple touch points with time wasting as a result? Does each role holder have a reason for being? This should be reviewed whenever work changes.
5. Create clear role clarity – This is a biggie. If I asked each of your team what the other people did, can they answer? Does everyone know what is expected of him or her? Do they know what is within their own control? Do they know when they would come to you or to someone else for decisions? Are they accountable for an output or are they a cog in the wheel? Does everyone understand what part they play to accomplish the overall team deliverables?
6. Play to their strengths – Do they know themselves? Are your people set up to do their best work? Have you matched them to the right level of work? Does the team know about each other’s strengths and know how to leverage them?
7. Provide opportunity to communicate – Do you have regular team meetings to review progress? Do you give time to openly debate and discuss and resolve issues as a team? Do you make time to connect with each person and check in to see what challenges they are experiencing? Do you ask questions to understand? Do you allow them to make mistakes and coach them to learn?
You’ll notice that embedded in each of these building blocks is the key leadership traits of today’s leaders. (Try our free leadership assessment to assess how you measure up).
Creating a positive employee experience is one of the main roles you have as a leader, true team building serves as a foundation to positive employee engagement .
There are any number of fun and interesting team activities you can do as a leader to purposefully build your team using these building blocks – and there is help if you want it!!
When you need help in crafting a solution to set you and your team up for success, or to discuss how we can help you reach leadership and team effectiveness, please feel free to contact us.
You can also learn more about us or what our clients really think!
Summary: 7 Building Blocks to Building a Team
Elaine Adamson is a leadership consultant with Dots Leadership Solutions Inc. A natural dot connector. Passionate about coaching team effectiveness and leadership development she shares over 25+ years of real-life tips and tricks that really work!
Elaine believes you can discover and leverage strengths to forge a strong team dynamic despite business challenges or organizational change.
She posts some great articles on Linked In too!
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