I’m often asked by business leaders about how to get their employees working together and heading in the same direction. The answer lies in investing time and effort in building a strong team. Here are six keys to implement in order to do just that:

1. Focus on strong leadership.

The first key to a winning team is leadership. A strong leader demonstrates integrity and competence and is someone that people trust. Strong leaders inspire ownership in the teams they build. Work on developing trust with your employees, which starts by listening to them, and show that your decisions are based on what you believe is best for the team and that those decisions include input from all of those affected by that decision.

2. Set common goals.

Winning teams work together towards a shared goal. You need to answer the question, “Where are we going?” for your team. A winning team will have a clear goal and plan of action to achieve it. Great goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-orientated, and with a Time-frame. SMART goals are however not enough to get teams focused unless they’re common to the team. The necessary buy-in ensures improvements in performance and team spirit.

3. Explain the rules.

If these are unclear it leaves employees frustrated, confused, or apathetic. Does your team know your company’s core values? Have you invested time in defining core values and communicating the company culture to every team member? Rules are not there to control and smother but to clearly define the structure and means to win.

4. Develop an action plan.

Great ideas, an inspiring vision, and even happy employees don’t automatically produce results. Results come from taking action. Your action plan has three simple components – WHO does WHAT by WHEN. Organise your plan into logical steps, and delegate each step to the right team member.

5. Support risk-taking.

As long as you have defined the rules of the game, the team should be encouraged to innovate within those defined boundaries. Progress is achieved by trying new things, even if it means failing along the way. Fear of mistakes and failure must go. You need to learn to welcome multiple solutions to challenges and encourage lateral thinking.

6. Involve and include all the people on your team.

Winning teams are created when each person knows they are accepted by the team, and each member chooses to participate 100%. Some may need to change radically or leave. While that may sound tough, it’s in the best interests of the team and your business, and probably (if a team member can’t commit 100%) for the person leaving too.

Peoples’ expectations of their work-life have changed dramatically in recent years and with such a well-educated workforce their value to your organisation is greater than ever before.  To attract and retain top talent these six keys are critical.

If you require further information please contact us on 087 2863977.