7 Tips to Keep Your Team Together And Winning
Productivity in teams is tied to their cohesion and understanding of the goals in view. One
thing we have come to learn is that a major part of this process relies on the team lead.
However, building a strong team does not happen overnight. Briefly, let's consider some
important ways to improve your team's cohesion and success rate.
Be The Head
Literally, as the head of your team, you have to "be the head". The cockpit in an aircraft
is where the purpose of the aircraft is directed. A team would have a hard time coming
together if there is no functional head. Hence, the right energy has to flow from you to
the rest of your team members. You must have the right mindset at all times and be capable
of sharing this with your team. Take time to work on how you perceive situations, your
compartment regardless of the severity of conditions, and your perception of possibilities
and solutions. Being the head also involves your knowing and understanding the peculiarities
of every member of your team. You must be able to help them resonate with the vision that you
have and be willing to make compromises to ensure that those things are achieved.
Factor in diversity
While putting together a team, it is expected that you look out for specific qualities that
you believe will be instrumental in the achievement of your goals. However, when you start
to work together, you will begin to notice weaknesses that might put the ability of your
team to deliver in question. When this happens, it is usually wise to focus on the strengths
of your members. This way, you can channel the strength of one to cover for the weakness of
another member. It is human to want to flare up and call members out for their weakness but
the problem with this is that it dampens the spirit of your team which could lead to reduced
efficiency even in their strengths. An ideal team should have a healthy mix of people with
distinct features and skill sets that can complement each other. Gender and race equality
provide a suitable environment for women, blacks, Asians, and other minority members of the
Carry out bonding exercises
Forming solid relationships outside work-related matters can do a lot in helping your team's
cohesion. The closer you get, the more everybody feels at home, and the more everybody can
bring forth their best into ensuring that goals are achieved. Get-togethers, picnics, birthday
celebrations, and others can provide very useful opportunities for bonding beyond work. These
might look like a waste of time but you would come to see that the more tightly knit your team
is, the more every member will be willing to watch each other's backs. Team building exercises
may also include games that allow team members to learn about each other and build useful work
and personal skills.
"Spell it out!"
You should never leave your team to figure out a large percentage of what is considered their
duty by themselves. This is because should they not know and understand their obligations,
they are liable to make mistakes and omissions that could lay the good plan and work of some
other team members to waste. You should spell out the obligations of every member of your team.
Tell it to them and if possible (recommended), hand them a typed copy for reference should they
forget some details at any point. When the duties of team members are not spelt out, you give
room for a lot of errors that will lead to blaming matches and a lot of sentences featuring "I
thought...". While intimating each member on their tasks, do not hesitate to help them keep their
eyes on the prize and your expectations at each point during the process.
Purposeful and timely reviews
Progress is not identified unless it is observed and/or monitored. Regular reviews must be
conducted to see how close your team is to achieving set goals. These reviews should be conducted
at the team level and also at individual levels. Here, loopholes and lapses will be identified
and everybody will be able to appreciate their contributions and what more they can do to help.
These reviews will expose the strengths and weaknesses of the team. Therefore, emotional
intelligence is required on your part to communicate these things honestly and in such a way that
nobody feels insulted. You can draft the times for the reviews into the plan. They may be done
weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly, or whenever works for your team. Also, a comprehensive review
is impossible without spelt out parameters. The parameters should be clearly defined and how they
will be measured.
Place premium on the welfare
The past year was a very eventful one with shed light on the important subject of mental health.
Being just one part of a person's total health and welfare, we can use this as a pointer to the
rest. If one or two members of your team are not in the right state mentally, it can affect their
output negatively thereby, ultimately reducing the quality of work put in by the team. The health
and welfare of your team should be very important to you. Regular breaks, easily access to
permission for visits to the hospital, days off to clutter the mind, etc. Some team leads miss it
here by believing that no second should be allowed for rest or fun and this does give the best
outcome. Team members will appreciate a system that gives them room to express themselves and rest
helps to keep a healthy energy level for such expression.
Normalize creativity and innovation
A team of diverse people usually provides the best results when everybody's uniqueness is
accommodated. As a team lead, you might be tempted to stick to the script that you have designed.
However, you must understand that you have a team of diverse people who might not be at their best
under some conditions that you consider favorable to you. Therefore, you must give room for
creativity and innovation. Many times, it is not an attempt to trump your authority, the team
member may just know a faster way to get the work done. When you listen to the views of your
teammates without prejudice, you help them build trust in your ability to lead and provide a
suitable environment for work.
It takes more work to keep a team together and winning than it does to put one together. It is
in your best interest to keep your entire team at their best level holistically, as well as keep
them focused on the goals to be achieved. As long as you have these down, your team can be sure