Gettin’ good players is easy. Gettin’ ’em to play together is the hard part.”
– Casey Stengel, Baseball Manager
MANY MANAGERS THINK think that bringing a group of people together and saying: “We’re now a TEAM” miraculously transforms that group into a collaborative, cohesive working team. It’s not that simple. There needs to be agreement on mechanics of how the team will operate and how they will get the work done
Five Essentials for Effective Teamwork
Clear Goals, Plans and Priorities
- They provide structure and direction for each team member and a vision toward which the team can strive. They also create the context in which each individual person, as well as the team as a whole, can make day-to-day decisions. This is especially important in cross-functional and geographic dispersed teams. Everyone needs to be on the same page regarding their individual and team goals, plans and priorities.
- Roles and Responsibilities.
Every member needs to know their role or assignment on the team – what they’re responsible for doing. They also need to know how their work contributes to the overall work of the team. Of course, roles need to remain flexible. You don’t want people rigidly adhering to “my job” or exclaiming it’s “not my job!” when others need help. Clarity as to who does what when lessens the common occurrence of things falling through the cracks.
- Work Processes.
Few teams need or should have a notebook full of policies and procedures. But every team needs common agreement about how it does its basic work. A good example is the way decisions are made. Who’s involved in making what decisions? Who will have the final say? What are the agreed-upon steps for evaluating alternatives and making a choice? Another is internal communication. How often will the team meet online or face-to-face? What is the purpose of the meetings? How will members keep each other informed — through what reports and discussions and how often? This is essential for effective teamwork.
- Rules of Engagement.
These are the shared values, norms and expectations, sometimes called team norms culture, that shape the daily give-and-take of team members both live and online. They are the social glue that keeps interactions productive and prevents constructive disagreement from turning personal and dysfunctional. So what are your “rules of behavior” regarding lateness, dress, after hour activities, openness about disagreements, attendance at meetings and a whole host of other things that need to be explicit?
- Performance Metrics and Feedback.
What measures of progress, developed how, by whom, and how often, will be used to assess progress in meeting goals? How often will performance reviews of the team as a whole be performed? The advantage of clearly defining how progress will be measured is that members will be able to assess themselves. Your role as leader then becomes guiding the search for solutions rather than convincing members that a problem exists
My Motto Is:
If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; thats where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcias monthly Execubrief: Business Edge Smart Growth Strategies with a insights, inspiration and intelligence on how to build great businesses that matter those that do well and do good.
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