It’s Not All About Workplace Yoga & Pool Tables

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If COVID-19 teaches us anything it's that developing an effective workplace culture depends on so much more than putting on yoga sessions & setting up pool tables.

team development

In the pre-COVID days (remember those?) swish and trendy offices were awash with workplace leisure activities (dare we say, gimmicks?) such as pool tables, fussball tables and in-house yoga sessions. It all sounded and looked great. But, did these actually do anything to promote team cohesion and development? Did they really add value for people? Did that pool table differentiate an organisation as an employer of choice with professional development opportunities that would benefit its employees’ personal and professional lives? It’s unlikely … 

People work at their optimum when they are treated with respect, supported in what they do and feel that they are part of a team with clear strategy and values.

Working together to achieve a common goal

When team members share a strategy that unites and motivates each of them, they are more productive and successful as they work to achieve a common goal. A team is effective because every individual is working together and contributing collectively towards a shared, targeted outcome.

This cohesion develops over time. As team members get to know each other in greater depth, they start to understand what to expect from how they all work together and they learn to operate as a whole, rather than just as individuals within a team. Team effectiveness helps to foster a more engaging work environment where creativity is stimulated, workplace stress is reduced, and productivity is raised.

How to develop an effective team

Successful Leadership

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.

Lao Tzu

Effective teams need a leader who has built trust and loyalty within the team. Good leadership is about leading with emotional-awareness and self-regulation and adapting your management style to get the best from every member of your team. Providing support to help individuals to feel confident within their role helps with the overall motivation and success of the team.

Good leaders have the ability to keep the purpose and approach to any particular goal relevant and meaningful. They inspire confidence and encourage individuals to enhance their skills whilst managing team dynamics. Teams need leaders who are resilient, available and approachable, who listen and solve problems when required, and who acknowledge success. These types of leaders foster better employee engagement and development, both for individuals and as team members.

Own the tasks

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Trust your teams need to solve the challenges they face, and to develop their own ideas through perseverance and collaboration. Encourage a workplace environment that cultivates individuality within the frame of teamwork to empower teams to take on more responsibility. And, to be proactive in solving problems with minimal involvement from their leaders.

Certain autonomy allows team members to work together to take collective responsibility to complete their tasks and provides them with the freedom to bring their individual talents and skills to the forefront in their work. This helps to enhance motivation and increases their effectiveness as a team.

A team will have a shared sense of purpose when its members have clear roles and goals and when its individuals understand what is expected of them and how they are going to get there.

Build Strong Relationships

You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.

Jim Stovall

A team should be part of the solution, not part of the problem so relationships within a team need to be strong. Teams need to have the expertise to address the tasks they are given; problem-solving and decision-making abilities to solve problems and challenges; the ability to generate alternative solutions; and to be competent in their choices.

A diverse team is effective when everyone works to their strengths; and they respect and understand each other’s personality styles and motivations. It is important to develop a team that is emotionally intelligent, where individuals are aware of the feelings and thoughts of others, and how their own behaviours may affect them.

Regard for others helps to improve the synergy of a team and will increase engagement and retention of staff because each team member feels empowered by their role in the team. A well-developed team is one that is flexible to change because its members are skilled and are adaptable – they draw on their abilities and work together with the same drive and ambition.

Teams that survive, thrive and perform to a high level

For your business to survive, thrive and perform at a high level you need your teams to be effective. The success of any team is derived from the individual and joint accountability each member shares for the team’s goals, purpose and approach. Clarity on responsibility combined with good leadership, a positive and constructive workplace environment and an emotionally intelligent team are key components when developing an effective team.

Develop personal excellence in teams across your organisation

Emotional and social intelligence, resilience and motivation are core skills in today’s workplace. When an organisation focuses on its people it creates a culture where mature-behaving people are valued as the norm. Stronger job-fit ensure that the right people with the right are in roles that suit them, leading to happier and stable teams.

Including assessment for and ongoing development in these vital skills will help to ensure that your teams drive success across your organisation. 

Contact us for a free trial of flowprofiler® to find out how it will take your professional development strategy and recruitment process to the next level. 

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