Build a Better Team
By Shari Steinbach, MS, RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
A strong and successful company operates best when employees work with a team mentality, each filling a needed role and fulfilling long-term goals for the department and corporation. Here’s what you can do to make sure your team is as strong as it can possibly be.
- Have a clear purpose. This will help you organize different team members into a unified whole. To reach this level of success with your team, you must document your short- and long-term goals and then identify the skills needed to achieve those goals. These steps will allow you to select the right people for your team.
- Establish a selection process. Investing time and money in people who truly specialize in the role your company and team needs will have significant payoffs later. Hiring someone in a hurry simply to have a body in a position can harm your team if they aren’t the right fit. This winds up costing you more money in the long term.
- Value each individual. Treating each role as an essential part of your team is crucial. Each person needs to feel a sense of purpose which will benefit their performance. Highlighting specialized skills for each team member shows how valuable they are to the group.
- Communicate often. Keep a level of transparency with all team members when possible, even if the information doesn’t directly pertain to every person on your team. A weekly communication meeting can bring great ideas forward, foster collaboration and promote personal growth. Let each person have a say so they have some ownership to all projects.
- Set goals. Establish goals with your team as a foundation. Show how their work ties to the big picture for success and encourage each person to offer positive reinforcement. Defining milestones and timelines can provide team members the opportunity to band together for success.
- Celebrate together. Celebrating your successes can bring your team together and allows everyone to see the positive results from teamwork. Be generous with providing a shout out to individuals who have done something special and do it in front of your team. If there is a team failure, help members learn from the mistake and put their heads together and figure out the next steps or direction. Never throw anyone under the bus or play the blame game.
- Get to know each other. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but an occasional outing or participation in a fun offsite event can give team members a chance to appreciate one another outside of work. This time together also provides an opportunity to understand each individual’s motivations and style of work.