How to create a team that works
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In all areas of life, we encounter people who we simply do not get along with. When that happens in a work environment, it’s even harder. It isn’t as easy as walking away and avoiding them. You still have to communicate with them, see them around, and work together for the sake of success. This article offers three top tips to help those in management positions to create a team that actually works.
Strong, fair leadership
There must always be one single person in charge of a team. Shared leadership is a very complex challenge and certainly not one that I would advocate. When putting a team together, you must carefully consider the most appropriate person to take on the leadership role. This could be someone already working within the company or may be a new person. It is vital that you go through the official channels when appointing to ensure that everyone feels the process was fair. Tension between existing employees because of one person’s promotion can cause huge problems.
Ultimately, the ‘chosen one’ must be strong enough to lead in line with the business’ ethos. It is also imperative to be approachable and friendly, but without being too matey and overstepping the mark.
Build relationships with your employees
If you don’t know your employees and they don’t know each other, this makes it very difficult to make things work. It isn’t necessary to know the admin assistant’s favourite flowers or the website designer’s tipple of choice. However, knowing and understanding someone’s preferences with regard to communication is really useful. If the leader is able to approach a team member in a certain way, in line with their own preferences, this sets a great example for others. Personally, I prefer clear deadlines well in advance and I appreciate a written copy of these things. Emails are a godsend. If leaders are able to go along with this, it makes my life easier and my experiences at work much better. There’s no reason to make someone’s life deliberately more challenging, so endeavour to discover people’s working ways as soon as possible.
Bring people together
Creating a strong team does not have to involve a team building day in the middle of a field with just a piece of rope, a single match and a paper aeroplane. In fact, there are much more positive and easier ways of bringing people together.
For some businesses, a uniform might be appropriate. From embroidered shirts to casual branded hoodies, there are plenty of options to consider. Discussing options with the team is another way of helping them to compromise, but also to make joint decisions and make valuable contributions as one.
I recently visited an office where each new employee was given £50 to spend on a piece of art or photo that meant something special to them. Each piece was displayed on a communal wall. The buzz around this really was unique and the members of staff I spoke with were able to explain whose art was whose and why it had been chosen.
Creating a strong team is far from easy, but it will be worth the time and effort. Good luck!
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