8 simple steps to build a great, committed team

by Wendy Soon on October 28, 2013

iStock_000017877197Small_bannerLee Iococca, one of the greatest American CEOs of all time, said that “The speed of the boss, is the speed of the team.” So how do you make your team work as fast and productively as you would like them? How do you make them as dedicated as you are to the whole company? Here are 8 simple steps you can follow to build a great, committed team:

 

  1. Know their expectations and needs. You need to know your people, know what they are looking for and what they need, before you can know how to get them to be committed to you and your company. Take the time to find out why they are working at your company / department, find out what they expect to gain from their time there, find out their short and long term career goals, find out what they hope to be able to achieve in the next year. Understanding your team’s motivations will help you find the best way to motivate them to work hard for you. Doing so will also show that you care about them on a personal level, and will in turn make them more willing to put in more effort for you.

  2. Set clear expectations from the start. How would you be able to do a great job if you don’t know what great is? Your team wouldn’t know how to achieve the best, if they have no clear idea of what the goal is. Communicate your goals for the team as early on as possible. Let them know from day one what they are expected to do and achieve. Making the goals clear would help them set directions and allow them to self-gauge how they are performing to your expectations. Last minute realizations of being far from expectations are never fun. So set your expectations early and make them known to your team members as soon as possible, to avoid any ugly revelations later on.

  3. Set bite-sized goals. Big goals look impressive, but they are intimidating to work towards. One look at it might lead to an immediate desire to give up because it looks completely impossible. Instead, in combination with big goals (to inspire), set bite-sized goals to help maintain your team’s morale as you work towards that large goal. For example, if you hope to launch and generate $100,000 sales within a year, do not just set that as a single goal. That looks like a joke with $0 current sales. Instead, make that the BIG GOAL. But for bite-sized goals, set something like: January: Launch and achieve first $1,000 sales. March: Obtain first bulk sales order of $10,000. August: $50,000 sales. December: $100,000 sales. Having smaller, achievable goals makes the job less intimidating, and will help keep up the morale of the team.

  4. Train appropriately. Teams cannot be great at their job if they don’t know how to do their job correctly. Do not assume that since they are on your team, they should have the right skill sets. Check that your team members are equipped with the appropriate skills. If not, make arrangements to train them up accordingly. Having this done earlier is much less costly than realizing your team members don’t know how to do their job correctly only when it is too late.

  5. Ensure effective communication. Effective communication between team members avoids frustration. It’s not just important for communication between you and them, but also amongst themselves. Make sure they know what you want, but also make sure they know who to go to for help within the team, know who to hand the job over to for the next step, know who is responsible for doing what. Don’t go to the other extreme of looking down every single detail though!

  6. Go social. Great teams also have a sense of belonging. When team members enjoy working with each other, they are usually more satisfied, and less likely to want to switch to a different job. Take this time to get to know them better too — which goes back to my first point of knowing them and their needs. It is a continuous process of fitting them with the team, and fitting the team with them. If this works well, your team will soon be like a pair of custom-made glove on your hands — comfortable and easy to work with. 🙂

  7. Foster a culture of collaboration. Make sure that people are compensated for collaborating, and not competing with their teammates! As John Maxwell says, “To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another”, make sure your team members have the right attitude towards one another.

  8. Reward regularly. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Make sure your team members know you recognize their efforts. This can be monetary, non-monetary – or even better, both! Give out both small and big awards like “Super Star” and “Best Innovation”. This can be at personal or team level. When your team feels proud about their contributions, it makes them more enthusiastic and more committed. “With an enthusiastic team, you can achieve almost anything” — Tejas Shah

Steve Covey mentioned in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”

Whether you are the president of a company or the janitor, the moment you step from independence in to interdependence in any capacity, you step into a leadership role. You are in a position of influencing other people. And the habit of effective interpersonal leadership is Think Win-Win.

Embrace this thought as you work through the above 8 steps to build your great team! 🙂

Raj October 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Great article on team building.

Wendy Soon October 28, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Thanks! 🙂

Cooper January 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Team building is the best option to motivate and accumulate individual’s capability and obtain the optimum output. The way you have plotted these matters is commendable. Keep sharing.

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