14 Cs for effective Team Building

You have been appointed a manager, you to know secrets to effective team building, because you have to work as a team in order to succeed.

The first thing I want to point out is that, even if you are appointed a manager in one of the blue chip companies, you cannot work alone. You may have overachieved in your previous post or job but then, how did you do that. Maybe as an individual reporting to somebody else, but here now you are the one coordinating others and how they perform. That’s building the team.

Being part of a team is being larger than yourself. That way as an individual in your “little” ways you contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Though as an individual you work at a specific location, have defined duties and responsibilities and work in a particular department e.g., manufacturing, marketing, accounts e.t.c , you are all united with others in the organization to achieve the broader objectives of the organization.

As a manager you need to know complexities of effective team building, one that is focused on work and delivers the set goals.

You will organize so many team building seminars and events, but if you cannot be able to differentiate the two, you will end up as a failure.

Here am going to give you, just as a guide, the Cs associated with team building. Do not hesitate to contact me if you need more personalized coaching and want a team building seminar for your employees.

The 14 Cs for Team building.

It's good we appreciate the first need for team building is to improve customer satisfaction. By customer I mean both internal and external customers.

Effective team building, that creates effective, focused work teams, requires attention to each of the following;

1) Clear context / expectations.

Every member of the team must have a clearly defined role. Each team member must be able to identify positively the role he will play in the team. Ensure that every employee in your organization clearly understands how and where he/she fits in the organizational structure.

Let the team understand where its work fits in the total context of the organization’s goals, principles, vision and values?Use organizational charts and staff meetings to facilitate this understanding.

2) Competence.

The team that succeeds has people who have the skills to perform a particular task. Where no expertise skills are available on a particular event or task, avail to the team the necessarily help. Make it convenient, easy and cheap for the team to access skills they don’t process.

3) Commitment.

For a team to success, its team members must be committed to the cause being undertaken. They have to be committed to achieving the desired results and have to devote their time and resources to the achievement of the goals.

4) Communication.

An effective team building must have clear open channels of communications. The channels should be between team members and team managers and also among team members themselves. There should be a channel of airing grivarences and also free discussion forums on issues affecting the team.

5) Conflict resolution.

One sure likely outcome of people from diverse backgrounds working as a team is presence of conflicts. Have a mechanism in place of solving disputes and educate team members on dispute resolution skills.

6) Control.

You need to have effective controls over the team. As a team leader you have to ensure that the team feels that they own the team and the task ahead. When the team owns the task, they will be able to control their effective contributions, gauging each other. Self management rather than micro-management is the other key incentive to make teams have effective controls over their tasks.

7) Creative innovation.

Effective team building is done by encouraging creative thinking, unique solutions and new ideas. Create a forum or a channel through which team members are free to air their ideas and their thoughts. Put in place mechanisms that will encourage independent thinking and reward creative solutions.

8) Collaboration.

An effective team building has to develop cooperative strategies in order to accomplish the task. Cooperation means that the team members understand more of each others roles, unique abilities and weaknesses. As a team leader, harness the same to positive output. Where there is a unique solution or idea, it’s shared among the team members and none feels left out.

9) Coordination.

To achieve maximum team output, have a central coordination unit. Where coordination is from all sides, the team ends up disjointed and lowers the effectiveness and undermines the achievement of tasks.

10) Consequences:

Make members feel responsible and accountable for team achievements. Enable them to understand that each individual contribution is a vital piece in the whole picture. At the same time, encourage individual creativity to blossom by instituting a system of rewards and recognition. Let the team members not spend time finger pointing each and passing the blame but rather they have a culture of being collectively responsible as a team.

11) Consistency.

Where the team goals and tasks are not clearly defined and are shifting and changing every now and then, that’s a recipe for team failure. The strategies adopted must be well thought and must be applied consistently and any changes made must be consultative. Consistency needs to be to habits, people, and location.

12) Cultural change.

Your organization must realize that team based collaborative empowering and enabling organizational culture is different from the traditional hierarchical organizational structure. Necessary changes in organizational structures need be made to accommodate team approach rather than personalized approach.

13) Charter.

The team must develop its own work charter. It must develop its own mission, vision and strategies that will accomplish the stated mission. Must define its goals, anticipated outcomes, contributions, timelines, and overall coordination.

14) Celebrating achievements as a team:

Give your team-building efforts a fillip by celebrating successes as a group. Since every employee plays an important part in the success or failure of your business, it only makes sense to celebrate your achievements as a team. Depending on the size of the achievement, your celebration can be as simple as a goat eating party or as spectacular as a company trip to Zanzibar.

I must again state I do not have the monopoly of effective team building ideas, neither is the above exhaustive, but it’s just a guide. I would welcome your views, contributions so that we share with each other and help each other build effective teams.

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