Great teamwork is scarce but it’s not unachievable. You already know how important teamwork is for productivity. We won’t waste any time emphasizing its importance. So, let’s directly jump into our main topic.
Today, we will share three strategies with you to build exceptional teamwork at your workplace.
Build trust among your team members
Every efficient and highly-functioning team has one thing in common — trust. Without trust, teamwork remains shallow and vulnerable. Unfortunately, trust is a word which has been used so often, especially on the internet that people don’t actually understand what trust is. When we talk about trusting other team members, it means the confidence each employee places in other employees that their intentions are not wrong. They know that there is no reason to stay careful or to be protective when surrounded by other team members.
So, what teams with high levels of trust look like? They are:
- Able to admit their mistakes and shortcomings
- don’t hesitate when asking for help
- Don’t arrive at negative conclusions without knowing the whole scenario
- Don’t hesitate in giving feedback
- Appreciate each other’s’ efforts
- Focus on productive things, not on politics
As a leader, it can be difficult for you to build high levels of trust. It takes time. It requires team members to share their vulnerabilities with each other and numerous instances of credibility. To accelerate the process, you can:
- Hold a casual meeting and ask your team members to share their personal history. This may include their school, siblings, place of birth, first job, worst job and more
- You can also ask them to identify one strength and weakness in each team member. This may have some risk involved but it can give you a lot of constructive and useful feedback about each other.
Encourage them to engage in constructive conflicts and debates
Every team requires a certain level of conflict to grow over time. And, today unfortunately, most people at the workplace avoid engaging in conflicts. Most workers hesitate when it comes to engaging in passionate debates because they don’t want to upset anyone. However, when a team has high levels of trust, they don’t hesitate because they know that other team members will not get hurt or punish them later.
When you are holding passionate debates and constructive conflicts, the aim should be to attain the best solution to a problem in the shortest period of time. When team members are not able to engage in passionate debates and conflicts, they don’t disagree about ideas openly. And, when this happens, back-channel politics takes place.
When teams engage in debates and conflicts:
- They meetings are not boring
- They present their ideas without any hesitation
- They are able to solve big problems in less time
- The politics at the workplace is reduced
If you want your team to engage in debates, you need to tell them that there is nothing wrong in having constructive conflicts or debates. Each member has to believe that they are healthy to have. You should take the role of someone who finds things to debate on. And, you should push your team members to have debates without backing off.
Get them committed
All team members must buy-in to a decision whether they agree or not. Taking wrong decisions is better than not taking any decision at all. So, every member of the team should move forward in the direction even if they think that the idea is wrong. Not every time your team members will reach a mutual agreement. We all have different views and perspectives. So, the goal should never be to reach a consensus. Rather, you should focus on making things clear and getting complete buy-in from everyone.
Teams which have committed employees:
- Can move in the same direction even when things are uncertain
- Align the employees on a vision
- Can learn from mistakes without blaming anyone
- Can make a radical decision anytime and are more open to taking risks
If you want your team members to be committed, you need to make things more clear and attain buy-in from each one of them. Announce deadlines publicly. At the end of every meeting, repeat the taken decisions.
You can also hire a firm like Ecap which specialises in talent assessment and executive search. They use comprehensive techniques to assess the mindset and skills of employees and then train them for better teamwork.