Merriam-Webster defines the word ‘team’ as ‘a group of people who work together.’
Strangely, we see a lot of company setup who delegate tasks per team but display minimal to no sign of working together to achieve a particular goal. Of course, this observation isn’t right to all. We’ve seen successful companies like Google and Apple who showcase so much diversity in their workplace but still keep their whole operations geared to their respective goals.
Still, companies from all over the world echo the issue of having to deal with their employees’ individuality while keeping them in line with the venture’s common goal.
Below are some of the best practices from various companies when it comes to building smarter and better teams. In no particular order, we have:
Practice active listening.
A lot of people equate listening with hearing, but the sad thing is, there’s a huge gap between the two. Our brain processes sound, and we hear things such as the tapping of the keyboard and droplets of rain.
Listening, on the other hand, is a conscious activity where you practice filtering of sounds and information you wish to focus. To help build a smart team, active listening is a must. This means focusing on the message that is being delivered across and taking down important points you wish to clarify later on.
Encouraging everyone to do this makes them more aware of the current concerns a company or a project has. It’s also an important factor in spotting errors that need immediate correction along the way.
Give credit to where it’s due and not just because of seniority or intelligence.
Having a healthy competition at work is necessary to inspire better performance and enhanced ability to prioritize tasks. However, competition also breeds jealousy and ill feelings especially when managers and the higher ups only think of rewarding those who have stayed long in the company or those whom they perceive as intellectually capable.
While seniority and personal intelligence deserve their credit, active managers must also have a keen eye on individuals, even the new ones, who exhibit talent and skill in working with the team. Regardless of their tenure length, if they did something exemplary, giving them recognition or reward is only appropriate.
Encourage the team members to share their inputs.
This is why open communication is highly encouraged among businesses. Members of the team may have their opinion on certain matters, and if it would help make work more efficient then why not?
Aside from the unique ideas, you will get from the members; it is also a good way to make them feel appreciated and important. As managers, fostering an environment where colleagues could freely discuss their suggestions is a fundamental responsibility.
Consider work automation.
Technological innovation has undeniably made things a lot easier for different companies. Procedures that previously take weeks, even months to finish can now be done in a matter of few days because of various tools.
One good reference is the usage of mobile apps to organize task, store data, and delegate work to particular persons in a team. In the current setup, automation can come by upgrading certain tools in your office to something that is more time and cost-efficient compared to the one you’re using right now.
Aside from the increasing number of production, this also helps your team save more of their time and energy from manually doing the processes.
Set realistic and attainable goals for your staff.
It is pretty much unreasonable to expect excellent output without definite goals at hand. To help your team work smarter and keep them from overworking themselves, setting realistic objectives matter a lot.
One common problem among managers, and ultimately the members is the lack of focus on the tasks they are doing. If you are leading a team, it is highly important that you draw out a clear goal your company wants to achieve. By being aware, members will have an easier means of scheduling and strategizing their approach to delivering the expected outcome.
Be clear on expectations.
This comes hand in hand with goal-setting. Team members rely on their leaders to set expectations as guidelines for their tasks. What do you want to happen? Are there urgent tasks you want to prioritize above the rest?
Inform your team what you expect from them.
Show trust to your team.
They say that confidence is something you earn. As such, one has to show that he or she is worthy of it. As a manager, however, you are obligated to trust your team’s capacity even if you don’t know all of them at a personal level.
A good leader knows when to intervene, but at the same time wise enough to step back and let the other guys do their thing. Show some trust. Remember, employees can feel it when you are confident with their skills or when you doubt their capacity to get it done.
Help your team build emotional intelligence.
Many companies invest in workshops, training, and seminar to help their workers grow and possibly address some of their corporate concerns. Apart from boosting technical skills, however, it’s also vital for companies to encourage the emotional growth of their workers.
Being emotionally intelligent has been linked to better relationships with colleagues at work. This, when fostered, leads to increasing harmony within the workplace.
A good way to nurture this type of intelligence is to schedule company activities like team building or monthly lunch out with your team. Unlike workshops that can have tangible output at the end of every session, the impact of these activities may not be visible. However, the emotional boost it can give to workers is something that can significantly impact their overall performance.
Delegating tasks to your members is an important way to accomplish projects on time. However, you should keep in mind that this will only happen when you do things smartly and allow your members to perform at their optimum capacities.
Build a wholesome working environment and create teams that will lead your company to success!