Many companies attribute their success to the dynamics and performance of their teams. After all, ineffective teamwork often translates to poor productivity that diminishes the bottom line. Some managers mistakenly believe that all they have to do to build an effective team is to bring together competent and high-performing individuals. However, the Google five-year study on the secrets of effective teams reveals that successful teams were “less about who is on the team, and more about how the team worked together.”
Here are the six characteristics that successful teams exhibit:
1. They have clear goals and plans
Before jumping right into work, effective teams first set common goals with clear metrics of success. This provides their members with something to aim for collectively and defines how they will be evaluated —that is, based on measurable outcomes and not only the number of work hours they render.
Afterward, effective teams create plans on how to attain their goals, detailing each individual's contribution and respective deadlines. This allows every member to understand not only their own role but also their fellow team members’. Plans are then regularly reviewed during status update meetings to see if the team is on track or if adjustments are needed for goals to be met.
2. They have strong leadership
A successful team is usually led by an individual who is trusted and respected by its members. Such leaders unify members toward the same direction by providing focus and guidance. They also offer encouragement and motivation to keep the team morale high, even in the midst of challenges. The best leaders even help team members achieve their individual goals and realize their potential.
3. Members fulfill their own tasks and also help one another
Since members are deeply committed to the team’s success, they make sure to follow through with the team’s plan by accomplishing their individual tasks excellently and on time and trusting that their teammates will do the same. However, should a teammate encounter difficulties with their share of the load, members willingly lend a helping hand.
4. Members communicate openly with the team
In a successful team, members feel that their ideas and input matter so they are not afraid to express their own thoughts and opinions, even if these conflict with what has been presented. In fact, diverse opinions are welcomed and seen as opportunities to stir creativity and generate fresh ideas.
At the same time, members listen to what others have to say because they believe in the ability, character, and integrity of their teammates. This culture of trust allows members to share their knowledge, build on each other’s ideas, collaborate, and experiment.
In successful teams, diverse opinions are welcomed and seen as opportunities to stir creativity and generate fresh ideas.
5. Members resolve conflict constructively
Having disagreements within a team is inevitable. However, in an effective team, members try to resolve their issues in a constructive manner by doing the following:
- Speaking to one another calmly and in a nonthreatening tone
- Allowing the other person to speak without being interrupted
- Practicing active listening to understand where the other person is coming from
- Focusing on the facts rather than attacking the person’s character
- Respecting each other’s viewpoints
Related reading: 6 Tips for resolving team conflicts
6. Members feel they directly contribute to the company’s success
When there are multiple teams in a company, each team may become too focused on their own goals that they lose sight of the bigger picture — the company’s overall goals. However, members of an effective team feel that their work is important and that their team directly contributes to the overall success of the company.
Your team can become even more successful when equipped with the right IT solutions. When you work with us at Athens Micro, we’ll empower your staff with the tools they need to work smarter and more efficiently. Schedule your FREE consultation with us today.
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