What Are The Elements of Effective Teams?
Teams matter more than ever these days. Good—even great—teamwork is a valued commodity, but it doesn’t happen naturally and without hard work, especially in the “new normal” of decentralized, flatter organizations and an (often) virtual workforce. Today, teams may have the benefit of greater collaboration, but may also be pulled in multiple directions. Before you can build a high-performing team, it might help to think about “who” is on your team.
- Do you have a mix of virtual/remote members or in-person teams? Has this changed recently?
- What is the level of experience of team members?
- What is the percentage of new versus tenured team members?
Research proves that regardless of industry, tenure, or size, effective teams demonstrate certain common characteristics. For example, they deliver excellent results, demonstrate commitment, and have a high level of trust. To get started building those strengths on your team, here are some basic steps to work toward:
- Provide each team member the opportunity to grow personally and professionally.
Just like one size doesn’t fit all, each team member has a range of experience and expertise that should be identified and nurtured. Giving team members the opportunity to learn and grow acknowledges the changing nature of work and changes in technology or new discoveries. It also allows them to grow in their role and prepare for future roles. In a 2019 study of over 1,000 learners, the majority of respondents saw a clear line between the company’s investment in them and their ability to grow the organization.*
- Help them commit to a shared goal or vision.
- Respect what they bring to the team—even if you don’t agree with them 100% of the time.
- Promote and recognize that team members are interdependent of each other.
- Make sure they see themselves as being in it together.
Building trust on a team and committing to the above tips won’t happen automatically, but working toward them, step-by-step, will create a foundation to work from.
It might also help to commit to knowing what styles or preferences your individual team members bring to the workplace. A tool like Everything DiSC® or a team training program such as The Five Behaviors™ can both lay a foundation and give a clearer roadmap or path to strengthening teams and identifying the behaviors of cohesive teams.
*State of High-Stakes Learning, 2019 Survey Results, Intrepid