Teams may fulfil their objective but fail to operate effectively or at their most efficient. The measure of a team’s effectiveness is not just whether it accomplishes its objectives, but also how it accomplishes them.
Dysfunctional teams may be capable of carrying out designated tasks, but less well than effective teams. In terms of facing the challenges of change, a dynamic team will be more adaptable, and more attuned to business development.
What Makes an Effective Team?
Do the members of the team communicate clearly with one another? Is there consensus among them?
It’s important that the group solves problems together, and that there is a shared sense of commitment to wider objectives and the entire process.
Teams require positive working relationships to function effectively and a clear sense of individual roles and responsibilities.
Where there is a lack of clarity about people’s roles, and where team members work alone and rarely share information, you’ve got a team that is not effective.
There must be mutual support, and not a blame culture. The team needs to commit to regular meetings, briefings and exchanges of information.
The climate and process need to be right.
The Cohesive Team
Cohesion creates the climate in which a team can thrive. Team members must be willing to forge relationships of mutual understanding and respect, and learn to trust one another.
This trust must be sufficient for individuals to feel comfortable expressing how they feel about different ideas from other members, and feeling free to share ideas of their own with the group.
The team must have individual accountability and be mutually supportive. Maintaining the right climate means achieving a balance between individual expression and group cohesion.
For a team to be open to change and adaptable to meet challenges it needs to be open to ideas and willing to take on diverse opinions.
How Do the Teams Work?
Within the climate it has created, the team must develop a process which will maximise its cohesiveness and enable it to achieve its objectives.
This process comes from an understanding of the team’s internal dynamics and how they can be focussed on achieving its goals. This means taking on roles and responsibilities, and individuals being accountable while understanding how they can collaborate with others to meet the group’s aims.
The team process should incorporate constructive feedback, with people being willing to give and receive it.
At the same time, the team must manage and organise its tasks, and maximise the effectiveness of its members depending on the role they perform.
In effect, individual skills need to feed into the group, so that as individuals grow, so the team evolves, perfecting its process in a supportive climate.
This supportive climate may exist off-site – team retreats, like the ones we have at Ayuda House, are an excellent way of building cohesion, away from the day-to-day pressures of the normal work environment.
Discover more about how your business could benefit from having more effective teams, by contacting Ayuda.