Organisational leaders often wonder whether team management is an art or a science. When it comes to assembling, motivating and keeping a great team happy so that they can flourish in your business, the truth is that it’s a bit of both.
It cannot be understated how important a great team is to a business’ success. The quality of the work you do will never exceed the quality of the team behind it. To many entrepreneurs’ and managers’ dismay, team building often seems as complicated as watchmaking—there are a lot of moving parts, and things have to be just right in order to create something magical.
Fortunately, academic researchers on team culture and group dynamics have shed some much needed light on creating and motivating the perfect team. We have condensed their research into the following list:
1. Team-Building Exercises
Many employees say that they can’t stand team-building activities. This is a shame, because, as discussed in this Harvard Business School publication, a connected team is a motivated team. Further supporting research finds that team building activities can help employees feel valued, and those that do are the most motivated to do great work.
There are simple team-building activities that have shown to be successful time and time again such as volunteering activity to helping other; physical activities to work together; field trips to improve your bonds; professional developments activities like a workshop or simply shared meals.
2. Great Teams Need Non-work Communication
A study shows that when it comes to predicting the success of a great team, the most important element is how well the team communicates during informal meetings.
Managers should recognize that non-work discussions are critical to creating a team that looks out for each other. Otherwise, co-workers may begin to view one another as just cogs in the machine.
You can prompt informal conversations within teams by implementing a team break at a specific hour.
3. The new Brainstorming
Brainstorming is important for teams. Indeed, research has shown that it gets employees more invested in the projects they are working on. When people feel like they’ve contributed, they tend to be more invested in making the project a success.
Online brainstorming is an efficient and innovative way to do this. This practice consists of brainstorming through a chat program, which circumvents many of the face-to-face problems. The implementation of some rules is all required like: don’t criticize; focus on quantity, combine and improve ideas produced by other.
4. Great Teams Benefit from Having an Analytical Thinker
According to an Carnegie Mellon University study, having an analytical thinker on the team is a must to balance out big-picture strategists. But what exactly is an analytical thinker? The study described this person as someone who pays close attention to “process focus,” which is the art of identifying and focusing on the sub-tasks needed to achieve the goal.
The key is to educate team members on appreciating the process of creation, which can help negate potential disputes. When the entire team understands the often difficult nature of the details, this analytical thinker can thrive without being at odds with those planning out strategy. The analytical thinker’s work is to avoid misunderstandings and disputes.
5. Teams Need “Social Sensitivity”
Recent research on this topic shows that the ability to read co-workers’ emotional states is pivotal in determining a team’s success. Detecting when co-workers may be frustrated, busy, confused or embarrassed has proven helpful to a team’s cohesion.
This is an important trait to establish in your company culture. Check out how the Buffer team promotes these values by encouraging employees to ‘default to transparency’ and to be a “no ego doer” when working with others.
6. The Best Teams Have Extroverts and Introverts
Many companies actively encourage their employees to open up and be more extroverted. But be careful of this mentality; even though introverts don’t tend to make as strong of a first impression as extroverts, they have proven to be key members of teams.
Research shows that although introverts “start off with the lowest status” as time progressed their status climbed whereas the extraverts’ status fell. These underrated quiet types offer a unique way to balance a team, so be sure that any ‘wallflowers’ on your team are given a chance; their reserved nature may just mean that they are shy, not that they have nothing to contribute.
Trainwest, one of WA’s leading RTO’s and training providers, can help you to build a stronger team and achieve greater business success. We have many years of experience delivering management qualifications such as the BSB40812 Certificate IV in Project Management. Call us today to start learning the best way to manage your team. You will see the results in your business growth in no time.