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From recruitment to ongoing management of your individual team members, there’s a lot to gain from having internal departments that excel at collaboration.
How your team members feel about each other can dramatically impact their ability to work together towards your company objectives. Collaboration amongst employees isn’t just good for morale, it is essential for productivity. A recent study conducted by Stanford University found that employees who were encouraged to be collaborative on a particular project or set of tasks, were found to be 64% more engaged, less tired and were able to continue with their work for far longer than those who chose to work by themselves. But of course, the ability to be collaborative is fully dependent on having team members that gel well together. Here, we discuss how to put together a winning team and manage them through to success.
Choosing Individuals For a Successful Team
Even if you have a very clear idea of what you’re looking for from a candidate, it’s important that your team members don’t have identical personalities. Aim for a mix of employees with talent, experience, enthusiasm and vision. However, one attribute that you should expect all your staff to have, is effective communication. Top candidates should be able to demonstrate the ability to solve their own problems as well as those of their team-mates.
Managing a Team of Individuals
Whilst collaboration is undoubtedly essential, the individual characters within your work teams should not go unnoticed. From a management point of view, it’s crucial to treat your employees as individuals. Make them aware of their worth to the company, both as an individual as well as part of the collective. Regular performance reviews will give your employees confidence, whilst providing a chance to listen to any concerns that may have arisen within the group. As a leader, you may find that you need to adjust your own communication style, when speaking to each individual. One person may respond entirely differently to emotional language than their colleague.
Encouraging a Collaborative Atmosphere
However, it’s not just the relationship between your workers and leadership that is of importance. Team members must figure out a way to get along whilst encouraging each other to achieve their collective goals. Team building activities are a fantastic way to foster such relationships. The idea behind this tried-and-testing approach to people management, is that your employees can leave the formal environment of the office, and spend the day bonding whilst learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Team Building That Works
An effective example of a team building activity that works, is to attend a soap box derby. At this event, your workers will split into two or more teams and learn how to design, build, test and finally race a moving soap box vehicle. The event lasts for several hours and the team to cross the finish line first will be crowned winners. But from a management point of view, what you learn about your employees during the design, building and testing phases are arguably more beneficial than the end result. Your staff will need to be creative, communicative, hone their presentation skills to sponsors and of course a bit of competitive spirit will go a long way too!
Putting a winning team together begins at the recruitment stage, but effective leaders will realise that getting the most out of their internal departments requires a longer-term strategy.