Let’s play a word association game! Jumper-Athlete, Jupiter-Planet, Hero-Spiderman, Greek-God, Team-Spirit….. Stop! That’s our topic of the day. Now there is a reason why we cannot separate the term team spirit. It reflects a well-orchestrated functioning group of people, working efficiently towards a common goal. But at the same time, the term can become your worst nightmare especially if it is divided into two and don’t get along.
Leading a team whether it incorporates 10 or 100 in numbers is never easy. I mean bringing a bunch of different individuals (with different temperaments) under one hood is more like making Captain America and Iron man work together. This often leads to clashes, miscommunication and can definitely result in low work productivity. However, if things handled intact can completely turn the table. All you require doing is getting them on the same page and also making them work in unison to achieve a common goal. Well, it is no small feat!
Shared Goals Can Lead To Greater Group Cohesion
Before we delve into the subject deeper let’s understand the psychology of how a team is formed? Let’s bifurcate the process into 4 stages:
- Forming — The first and foremost stage, in simple words, it can be referred to as the birth of the group. However, there are numerous ways a team can be put together from a group of children all being at the same primary school. In the forming stage, there will be made a huge emphasis on working out the logistical aspects of the group such as positions and individuals tend in general to be on their best behavior to avoid initial conflicts and bad impressions.
- Storming — The storming phase can be also known as the honeymoon period where people get to know each other precisely. And the stage ends as soon as the boat starts to sail in some pretty rough seas. However, this stage is not that difficult as members have just started to find their individual voices and begin to contribute differing perspectives just to achieve success for the business. A good manager will allow creativity to be developed and a level of required critical analysis. The stage ends where conflicts between team members can easily escalate and potentially cause problems regarding the development of an effective team in the long term.
- Norming — The third stage where everyone is brought together with different ideas and perspectives at one platform. Right from storming staging, one can create shared values for the team in terms of a particular mission statement, objectives. In the end, the members will be able to develop a clear view of their roles and responsibilities within the team environment.
- Performing — When a team is performing, they require to be at their highest capabilities. By hook or crook productivity will be high and communication levels good to avoid potential pitfalls of conflict. For this stage to be reached it is believed that all of the members of the team should have passed through the previous stages of effective team development.
Empower Your Teams to Be More Productive
Speaking of productivity, further, I would like to mention how to empower your teams to be more productive. But before that, it is very important to know that we humans are always searching for meaning. So what you need to do is to assign meaning to their daily tasks, as mundane and routine as they may be. Acquiring a strong sense of meaning drives people to work together and to strive to help others. Here I would like to mention a few tactics that can facilitate you to improve team performance in no time.
- Stress about the big picture. This is the point where it is very important to align call-to-actions and day to day tasks. But at the same time, it is very important to refer to core values and the company’s vision. This definitely reflects on improving work performance to a great extent.
- Be playful. Have you ever thought of injecting an air of playfulness while maintaining the professionalism? Here, you require creating a winning mix of attitudes that can boost team morale.
- Foster innovation. It may quite interest you to know that innovation is the worst enemy of failure. Having a fun, playful environment is conducive to innovation.
- Enable learning. Employees want to feel that they can grow in their current positions; they want to learn new skills as well as sharpen existing ones. As a business one needs to be constantly pushing forward, evolving and adapting new realities. After all, stagnation is everybody’s common enemy.
- Delegate influence. Do you really think there is some wisdom in being the last stop for decisions? I don’t agree so! How about you becoming the fist stop where people surrounding you can join in, be heard and make real contributions of course regarding meaningful issues. Everybody can bring an interesting opinion to the table, and if they get to have an impact, it can mean the world to them.
- Be responsive. This is an integral part of delegating your capability to influence the organization. Gaining recognition from authority is a must.
Apart from these,
Give them some ownership
Being a leader, it becomes very crucial for one to understand the power of ownership and authority. Giving ownership to the team members means nothing but letting them take their own decisions and making them accountable for their work.
Now the moment when you take a team member accountable for his work, this induces a rare sense of responsibility in him regarding his work. In addition to this, they themselves start seeing their work differently in a way that their decisions can impact the performance of the entire team. Isn’t it cool!
Now ownership can be nailed down into different forms starting from leading a project to handling the responsibility of a task. This clearly shows that you have entrusted him and his capabilities to handle a specific job.
There is no denying in the fact that communication is one of the key factors which is used to enhance productivity. Without effective communication businesses easily tend to fail. As a leading source, it becomes your prime responsibility to ensure effective communication prevails in a team. Communication plays a big role in helping team members to understand their job responsibilities. And in case, there lies any communication-gap, it can lead to multiple confusions within a team.
Acknowledge and Give Relevant Incentives
Employees work best when they are given a reason; be it in terms of monetary or award sort of a thing. Whatever our position is, we all want our efforts to be appreciated and prefer to have a little more than a “virtual pat on the back” from our bosses. And that’s the reason why many employers choose to implement incentive programs to keep their employees motivated.
Also never forget to acknowledge them for their efforts. You know nothing can add to the productivity if an employee feels that his contribution isn’t being valued enough. Try having a public act of appreciation instead of a virtual congratulatory word inspires others in the team as well to do their best.
Measure Team Cohesion
Being a start performer, you should know that you must rely on your team to get better results. A Harvard study published in 2006 revealed that the overall performance of heart surgeons improved over time (patient mortality was the outcome measured) when they were able to consistently work with their usual team at the primary hospital they performed in. When surgeons would fill in for their doctors, this led to cohesion improvement.
Fortunately, it is possible to classify team cohesion based on the task at hand and social factors associated with being part of a team.
- Task cohesion — This is where individuals identify with some specific group goals and are able to push towards success in achievement. Such examples could be winning the Super Bowl or promotion to a higher division.
- Social cohesion — This occurs when the attractiveness of the group and social interaction are the most important aspects of involvement in the team. It is a safe bet to say a sense of togetherness is often what defines these teams.
The Bottom line
Managers have multiple roles and responsibilities to perform at the same time and one of the important tasks of management is to utilize all the company’s assets most efficiently and productively possible. So if you are managing a company, then it’s your main job to represent the company asset that you should run as productively as possible. However, this is not just it! There are probably many ways to make surroundings effective and meaningful. All you have to do is keep trying and in the end, you will be able to change your team performance for the better.
Originally published at https://facilethings.com.