Work Team Effectiveness
For organizations that get it right, work team effectiveness can be a source of significant performance improvement. When leaders build a more effective work team, they harness the talent, enthusiasm, and commitment of their people and enable everyone to row in the same direction in a way that makes sense. Here’s how to build a more effective work team.
When a group of people collaboratively play to their strengths to achieve a common and meaningful goal, amazing things can happen.
What It Takes to Build a More Effective Work Team
There are essentially three keys to building a highly effective team at work:
- The Strategy: Clarity and Agreement
Our organizational alignment research found that strategic clarity accounts for 31% of the difference between high and low performing teams. How could you build an effective team without clear and agreed-upon team goals and accountabilities, roles, norms, success metrics, scope, and interdependencies?
In effective teams, each team member has a crystal clear understanding of the overall company objectives and a clear line of sight to how their role and responsibilities fit into the overall picture of what the team is asked to accomplish.
You will know you are on the right path when everyone on the team can articulate the strategy, believes that it makes sense, and knows their role to make it happen.
- The Culture: Health, Performance, and Alignment
Smart leaders know that overall team strategy and objectives are just the first step. Effective teams have high levels of:
— Team Health in terms of trust, engagement, climate, confidence, and capability
— Team Performance in terms of individual and team performance expectations, support, reinforcement, transparency, and accountability
— Team Alignment in terms of how work gets done making it easier, not harder, to move the team and company strategic priorities forward
You will know you are on the right path when your team culture assessment scores are above the benchmark, back-channeling and gossip disappears, and underperformers feel the appropriate level of pressure to lift their performance.
- The Talent: The Right People in the Right Seats
In the final analysis, a well-functioning team is made up of individuals. The better you assess your team’s strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and aspirations, the better you can develop, engage, and retain them.
Then you can create individual development plans to blend their individual strengths so that they function more effectively as a group than individually.
Once your team is set, take the time to measure and follow through on employee engagement commitments.
The Bottom Line
Teams are the lifeblood of most organizations. You can hire individual superstars, but if they don’t operate as a cohesive team, the overall organization will not perform at their peak. Are you willing to take a close look at how your teams are operating and do the work required to improve their effectiveness?
To learn more about how to build a more effective work team, download 5 Steps to Align Teams to Pull in the Same Direction