5 Ways a Leader Can Build a Strong TeamSeptember 27, 2016 - By: Matt Thomas
Team building is an art and science that doesn’t always come naturally for managers. It takes certain skills and competencies to successfully build great teams, and ultimately, great companies.
Here are five ways you, as a leader, can build a strong team:
1. Be willing to adjust your working style.
It’s important to be aware of your leadership and working style, as well as your technique. As a leader, it’s even more important to continuously look for ways to improve. You can do this by evaluating yourself and seeking feedback from your employees. If your team is not particularly receptive to your working style, now is a great time to consider aspects that you can improve. By holding yourself accountable, you can target the areas that need to be modified to ensure you are leading from a position of strength and respect.
2. Make an effort to know your employees.
In order to achieve the maximum performance of the team, a leader must know the individuals that make up the team. A team needs to know that their manager cares about the success of the team and the individuals that comprise it. A leader shows that by understanding the needs of the team, embracing differences among employees, and placing individuals in areas of their strengths.
Invest the time to understand how your team members are wired to think and what motivates them to excel beyond expectations.
3. Define roles and responsibilities.
Once you know the strengths and weaknesses of each of your employees, you are better prepared to clearly define the roles and responsibilities within your team. An effective team structure is one where each person’s responsibilities are interconnected. A good leader should be able to identify people who can not only fit a certain role, but even more importantly, fit within the team.
4. Proactively provide feedback.
Many managers wait until a problem occurs before stepping in to give feedback. It’s much more effective when leaders are proactive and provide constant feedback, ensuring that employees stay on the path to success. Feedback isn’t always a formal discussion. In fact, employees may be more receptive to informal, authentic discussions.
If you don’t do this already, set aside time for weekly one-on-one discussions. Use that time to talk about ongoing projects, and provide employees with advice on ways to improve outcomes. A good leader will remind someone of what they are doing well, and address how and what they can do better. As you provide feedback to employees, they are likely to provide you with feedback as well. Listen to it. Employee feedback can help you improve your skills and will provide invaluable clues regarding the perception of your leadership.
5. Celebrate success.
After providing feedback to your employees, be sure to acknowledge and reward improvements, as well as celebrate the team’s successes. A respected leader takes the time to give his or her team the recognition they deserve. Genuinely celebrating the accomplishments of your team will help build loyalty and trust, while reassuring your team that you really are paying attention to their efforts.
It’s important to always remember that leaders are only as successful as their teams. If your team needs to shift from good to great, start by applying the above tips. With the team dynamic and guidance of a competent and trusted leader, you are setting up your employees and your company for success.