“Many hands make light work” is an old Chinese proverb. How come it isn’t always successful in teams at work? Organisations in business and government, especially larger organisations, are invariably comprised of teams of people assigned to focus on delivering particular services or achieving particular outcomes. Those achievements are often limited however because not all team environments are efficient, productive, coordinated and well directed.
Merely adding numbers to a team in an effort to address a given problem, project task or administrative process doesn’t necessarily mean that the solution will appear. In many cases I have seen, adding more bodies to the mix without really understanding what effect that will truly have, actually creates dysfunction and confusion.
Taking time to design not only the task for the team but how the team will work and behave, is a better way to secure the practical outcomes Management desires.
Important attributes for teams at work to achieve effective outcomes
Key attributes might include:
- Clarity of objectives by Management– If management aren’t clear on what the target is what hope does the Team have?
- Relationship between Management and Team Leaders– Support, encouragement and empathy for each other’s needs and challenges strengthens the whole team.
- Team Leaders who can establish strong rapport with and effect direction over their teams– relationships are important but getting things done is imperative.
- Team members prepared to accept responsibility for their own actions and be trusted to exercise initiative when required– A “waiting-for-orders” culture destroys team effectiveness and fails to develop new leaders.
- The whole team being clearly focused on achieving positive outcomes and deriving personal fulfillment from their role in doing so– Dissatisfied “square pegs” need to be helped to re-engage or be re-assigned to a role more suited to them.
- Giving the Team challenging things to do– Mundane routine dulls the initiative whereas new and challenging tasks sharpen team focus and creativity.
- Reinforcement by Management and Team Leaders of the values of collaboration, service, respect, diligence and generosity of spirit– Positive attitude and behaviour are cornerstones of effective teams .
- Frequent and Quality face to face communication– When the talking stops so does the connection.
- Regular celebration of success– Acknowledging achievement and dedication reinforces enthusiasm for continuous improvement.
The best form of T-E-A-M = TOTALLY ENERGISED AND MOTIVATED
Need help in developing positive attributes in your teams at work? – call in Reinforcements.