Create an Effective Work Team

Is your workplace team suffering from a lack of effective collaboration?  If so, it could be creating a barrier to help it from becoming a successful team as a whole.  But, you ask, creating and maintaining strong teams can sometimes be easier said than done.  Perhaps your safety committee is viewed as sucking up precious time during the workday to complete the daily workload.  Your counterparts may say there is just too much work to be done on a daily basis, such as deadlines to be met, reports to be completed and filed, and bosses to satisfy.  So, how can teams boost their performance?

Here’s a thought… recent research on group dynamics shows that teams actually perform at the highest level when their members agree on rules related to goals, roles, and norms throughout the workplace.  The highest-performing safety teams actually understand the approach of constructing rules carefully and deliberately.  Here are some questions to ask to achieve success:

“Where is the team going?”

“Who’s doing what?”

“How should team members work with each other?”

Building Better Teams

So, how do you create an effective team in your organization? Here are some ideas:

  1.  Commit to the goals, roles, and norms for guiding the team’s direction within the company.  For example, do you have a shared vision?  It is important to choose specific goals with clear and measureable target.  Also, take into account the members values.  Ask yourself, what will inspire them or what do they value?
  2. Check alignment between the agreements the team members made and what they are actually doing.  Team behaviors can become a habit, creating a difficulty in seeing when things get out of alignment within the team.  To help avoid this, enlist in outside help.  They can sometimes see gaps between what your team members are saying and doing on a regular basis.  You can also appoint a team member to be a so-called “devils advocate.”  They can ask the tough questions.
  3. Close the gap between what your team members are saying and doing.  This is important to bring the team back into agreement.  Determine small, yet specific, steps the team can take to get back on track.  Be realistic, but make sure you create time to fix the obstacles you might encounter along the way.