Tips For Creating Powerful Teams by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Creating the right combination of team members is both an art and a science. Top supervisors, managers, leaders, and executives are highly effective at creating teams that not only work well together but also consistently exceed productivity, sales, production, and efficiency goals and objectives.

Building a powerful team creates a synergistic effect. In other words, the team can accomplish more than just the sum of the skills and talents of the individuals. These teams work off each other’s skills and abilities, adding to the creativity, problem-solving, organization, and skill-based talents that each member brings to the group.

Putting together a power team is not likely to occur by accident or happenstance. Top leaders typically use a variety of different techniques to assess potential team members and choose a combination of individuals that can effectively work together.

Some of the most effective techniques for building these powerhouse teams include:

  • Identify team needs first – consider the specific skills and abilities the team will need for the project for the work required. Having a clear picture of what the team needs to be successful allows you to choose potential candidates that have these skills. This is very different than hiring skilled candidates and then trying to place them on the team without considering the overall requirements.
  • Understand what the team is formed to do – sales teams are very different than project teams or teams that come together to deal with a single, specific problem. It is imperative that the objective for the team, or the priority for the team, is clear and identifiable. There should be no more than one or two priorities for the team to accomplish. Too many priorities make it more challenging to include the right people with the right skills.
  • Start building team culture immediately – each team will have a culture that is uniquely their own. Ideally, the team would develop a positive culture that recognizes everyone for their talents and what they bring to the team. Leaders can step in and proactively work with the team to develop a culture. Different activities, discussions on collaboration, setting shared goals for the team, and creating incentives and recognition for the team as a whole leads to a positive team culture. Starting early as the team is forming is most effective.
  • Let the team do its job – stepping out of the way as the team leader can be difficult. However, if the team leader is constantly micromanaging the team does not feel respected or valued. In these types of situations, the team can turn against the leader, creating a drop in productivity, creativity, and ability to take responsibility for the outcomes, either good or bad.
  • Keep communication open – open door policies are important, but open communication is even more essential. Encourage team members to discuss problems, concerns, ideas, information, and options with each other and with leaders. Keep this a focus, taking and giving feedback and working collaboratively as a model.

Powerful teams do not develop immediately. They take work and focus that offers a large return on your investment.