Development and Retention

Effective team building

The creation of top-performing teams may start by putting together a talented group but the efforts cannot end there if you want them to achieve their true potential. Even the best group of individuals will need to be united by shared goals and an inspiring vision to become the best that it can be.

Each member will need to have measurable, clear goals and know, understand and be committed to the part that they must play to facilitate a successful outcome. The following is some further advice on creating the best, most effective teams possible.

Clarify the purpose

Every member should know why the team exists and what the eventual outcome should be. They should understand their own role, how this will contribute to the overall working of the team, and what the group is expected to achieve.

This form of inspiring, clear vision will see each member rooted in a deep, common foundation that will help guide decisions and aid problem-solving when challenges arise.

Start with good individuals to create a great team

An excellent team will almost always be made up of individuals who are motivated and able to embrace a vision, whilst appreciating essentials such as the need for mutual support, respect and trust within a team.

Give them the best chance of success by choosing individuals whose abilities and skills will complement each other’s to ensure a broad spectrum of ideas and opinions. Don’t neglect thinking about the type of personalities you are adding into the mix.

Ideally, you should be aiming for a balanced group where ideas and opinions can be challenged without an adverse effect on the group dynamics.

Set clear goals

You have created a team based upon a shared vision and now it’s time to set shorter-term targets. Be clear as to what you require by prioritising tasks, allocating responsibilities, organising the practical materials, support and finance and by setting milestones and deadlines.

Define the Code of Conduct

Make your expectations clear by defining the team’s required standard of conduct. Set out the essential values you expect such as the need for frequent and honest communication, the respectful reception of contributions, the constructive handling of conflict, and by embracing the feedback and decisions made by the team.

Regular reviews

Keep abreast of the group’s performance and progress by scheduling regular one-to-one meetings and team briefings.

Consider how team members think they themselves are doing and how the group is performing as a whole. What achievements have already been delivered; what lessons have been learned; and what improvements can be made? This on-going review process will ensure that changes and improvements can be made throughout the journey, rather than just when you think the team has the finishing line in their sights.

Praise and reward

Ensure that the team and the individuals involved know how much their efforts are appreciated by routinely recognising, praising and rewarding the work they are doing. This may come in the form of a pat on the back during a one-to-one, a team lunch, or a congratulatory email circulated to senior management.

Consistent recognition and rewards will boost confidence, bolster motivation and build morale, ensuring that the team continues to aspire to success.

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