Building an effective team is arguably one of the most difficult and important things for a company to do. Whether you’re a start-up or a large organization, it’s your teams that actually get the work done.
But it takes a lot of time (and lots of trial and error!) until you can really get it right. So wouldn’t it be nice if, after all that hard work, you build a team that actually lasts?
Regardless of who you are, where you are, or what you do, I’m certain that your answer to that questions is YES! And here are a few ways that will help you build a team that actually lasts.
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
– Henry Ford
1. It all starts with having the right Leader
We all know this, but it’s worth mentioning nonetheless.
No one, and I mean no one, will stay on a team that has a bad leader. Why would anyone want to, anyway? And it’s not about having a bad leader per se, it’s about not having the right one.
The right leader will do all sorts of great things that ensure that the team will last. They would provide the right motivation, engagement, challenges, guidance, vision, clarity… basically, all the elements that are required for a team’s success!
2. Build your Team by Ensuring trust
This point is so obvious that I don’t even feel like there’s a need to elaborate about it!
If you want to have an effective team that lasts, then its members must trust one another. Trust that everything will be done properly and diligently. Trust that everyone will give credit where credit is due. Trust that everyone will be accountable and responsible for their work. And finally, trust that all of your work is being done in an effort to achieve a common objective.
Being able to really trust all of your team members is a luxury – maybe even a gift! If you have that, be sure you treasure it, because trust is a pillar of longevity when it comes to teams.
Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.
– Patrick Lencioni
3. Having compatible personalities
“There are some personalities that are compatible, and some that simply aren’t.”
Have you ever heard someone say that? I have, and I’m sure it’s the same case for all of you. But guess what, that statement is absolutely FALSE!
Personality is an incredibly important element when it comes to building an effective and long-lasting team. But it’s a very delicate topic. You can’t have the team members be too similar for fear of having no diversity. But you can’t have them be too different either for fear of having to constantly deal with clashing personalities.
So what’s the solution? Balance, of course! But you can’t achieve balance without knowledge. Allow me to elaborate.
The first thing you need to do is not just understand the personalities of your team members, but understand what personality your team needs to have as a whole. And that usually depends on the type and scope of the projects they will be handling.
Do you want your team to be a proactive one, or one that is comfortable reacting to unexpected situations easily? Do you want a team that’s creative and innovative, or one that’s more conventional in its approach? Maybe you want something in between?
Identify the main personality traits that you need your team to have. Then you will be able to go to the next point:
Balancing strengths and weaknesses
After you’ve determined what “personality” your team should have as a whole, it’s time to balance out the strengths and weaknesses. After all, you know what they say about having too much of a good thing!
Conduct an analysis of your team’s personality, examine the traits and characteristics of all the members, and determine the perfect equilibrium that will allow you to have a productive, effective, stable, long-lasting team.
And of course, as with everything else in the world, if you aren’t completely comfortable conducting your own team analysis, then there are tools and professionals that can certainly help you out!
4. Emphasising Transparency and Clarity
The “Transparency” in this point ties closely with the point about trust. They go hand in hand. As for the “Clarity”, I’m sure you can all see the importance of having clearly defined roles and responsibilities, as well as clear strategies and objectives.
Long-lasting teams rely on the fact that they all know where they’re going, how they’re getting there, and who is responsible for what. And there are many things you can do to make sure this happens.
Here are some examples for you:
- An offsite strategic meeting to plan your long-term goals
- Adopting an agile culture to optimize your day-to-day activities
- A few team building exercises to improve trust and collaboration
Basically, to Build Long-lasting Teams…
Think about building a long-lasting team like a 3000-piece jigsaw puzzle. There are many, many pieces, it’s not easy to assemble, and it will never be complete unless all of the pieces fit just right!
But, while that may sound daunting, it is certainly not impossible. And once you get it right, you will be reaping the rewards for a long time to come! Keep these ways to building a team that lasts in your mind, follow your instincts, and don’t be afraid to seek out tools to help you.
What are your tricks to build an effective team that lasts? I’d love for you to share it with us!
P.S. I did some research before writing this article (as I usually do) and stumbled upon this article about the 10 most horrifying team building exercises. If you want a good laugh, then I highly recommend this read!