How to build a winning team

10 August 2016

After the excitement of this years Olympics fades, it’s easy to forget the lifetime of preparation and training that will culminate in Rio.

Carrying on a theme that’s included a number of surprise sporting victories, from Leicester in the English Premier League to Iceland at the EUROs – 2016 certainly seems to be the year of the underdogs.

So, how can we learn from these incredible team performances to benefit us off the field? As your business grows or changes direction, you’re likely to look around the office and see gaps or opportunities which the right team can take and run with on the road to success.

1. Identify the team goal

Before you start to pull your team together, you need to work out what you want them to achieve.  Without knowing what you’re working towards, how will you know how to build your team?

Consider;

  • What your business is working towards.
  • What specific outcomes you’d like to see.
  • The timeframe you’re aiming for.
  • How you would like to see this achieved.

When you’ve got these areas covered, you can start to share your vision with your team.

2. Build your team

When you’re considering the make-up of the team required to achieve your goal, you’ll need to consider what roles employees are currently undertaking. You’ll need to consider whether these roles need adapting, which would in all likelihood need consultation and preferably agreement (and some specialist advice if there was no agreement), or whether it’s simply a case of asking the team members to change their focus within their current role.

Always make sure that you communicate the team goal. When the members know what they’re working towards, they will begin to develop a natural framework in which to operate. This comes from solidifying your goal at the very beginning. It’s important to ensure the team are able to work together, and complement each other with individual skills.

3. Assign clear roles

It’s important each member understands their role. This will allow you to create boundaries, tasks and targets. It also allows individuals to take ownership and responsibility for their areas.

4. Assess progress

It’s important to measure progress and how your team is getting on, not only with their tasks but also with each other. You can do this in a number of ways such as: one-to-one meetings; regular progress charts and check-ins; and group catch-ups. When a team is performing well, you can reside in comfort, but if environmental factors or performance drops, your team need to be able to rally round each other, recognise the challenge and adapt their approach.

5. Accountability and acknowledgement

As you progress it’s important to recognise the different abilities of your team members. Take the time to recognise them and communicate back, perhaps in a one-to-one meeting.

6. Celebrate achievements and success

This is essential in keeping morale high and in strengthening the bonds of your team. It will help to increase motivation and continue momentum. Don’t underestimate the importance of team-building exercises like lunches or bowling or a trip to the races, but also just simple things like emailing the team with positive feedback or thanking individual team members after a personal achievement are great tools for engagement and motivation.

Creating a team can be challenging, but engage your team properly and you will create that winning formula.

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