October 1, 2018
101

101:Building teams

Today, companies are all about collaboration. Working groups and corporate cohorts are as much a part of our modern lexicon in professional environments as words like meetings and cubicles were years ago. But how do leaders ensure collaborative teams are as effective and inspired as possible?

Clearly define roles/responsibilities. Glenn Llopis at Forbes warns defining roles in a working group may not be as easy as it seems; many times, an employee's ideal role isn't within their job description. "This is not unlike team sports, where some players are known as 'system players' – meaning that, although they may not be the most talented person on the team, they know how to work best within the system," he writes. It helps to have managers who know teams should operate as a force of combined strengths and differences, he says.

Encourage communication not only in terms of defining the team's goal, but also in terms of giving each team member a voice. More than just being polite, inclusivity fosters many positive outcomes, writes Cynthia Johnson at Entrepreneur.com. "Letting the whole team weigh in on feedback and asking for their opinion also helps them to stay engaged and brings them closer to projects," she writes. "They're attached to the outcome and want to know that their thoughts are considered in the process. Allowing this gives people a feeling of ownership over their work, leading to better performance."

Keep benefits of collaborations in mind, especially if a team working on a project goes through a rough patch, writes Lisa Magloff at SmallBusiness.Chron.com. Benefits include improved morale, more robust relationships and greater flexibility. "By bringing employees from different parts of a project together into one team, problems or bottlenecks can sometimes be ironed out more easily," with different perspectives, she writes.

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