Team is a word that is often used by companies when talking about their staff. However, a group of people doesn’t become a team just because we call it this way. A group of people is only a group of people.
Being part of a strong team enables all team members to perform at their best! But to be able to talk about a team, we need to create a sense of common commitment, shared objectives, collective intelligence and knowledge.
What makes the difference between a team and a group of people lies in the power of collective performance!
1 – Promote team spirit
The starting point for creating a team is to work on team spirit.
Team spirit is an emotional commitment from various members of a group. It is the bond that ties the members of the group together. A strong team spirit leads group members to work for the common good rather than the individual one.
Henri Ford: “Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success”.
What better way to strengthen a team than team-building activities? Common reflection, laughter and mutual help are key ingredients to such events. Does it all need to be digital? Then it’s time to show some creativity!
Don’t forget to also organize informal and regular team meetings, whether by video-conference or around the coffee machine. No discussion about work should take place during these precious times. But rather leisure and socialization: “How’s the family doing?” “Who saw the football match this weekend? ” “What about the new apartment you just moved in?”
2 – Have a strong corporate culture
As we talked about it in this article, a strong corporate culture is made up of a set of shared values, rituals and goals.
It is essential that your people believe in the company’s values. These values must be built and must evolve with them. This way, you ensure that they are shared and meaningful to each of them. A strong corporate culture will give your teams a common vision. It is your own work methods, best practices and traditions that bring everyone together around a common culture.
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3 – Define common goals
A core element of supporting collective performance is the setting of common goals. Everyone contributes to support the team’s performance through common objectives.
When planning your strategy, think of goals that you can all achieve together. These goals should be clearly communicated to everyone. It motivates them to do their best for the team, and to help each other achieve them. The objectives must be clear and precise.
Set these objectives together. Everyone has a role to play in achieving the company’s objectives. It is important that they understand how each individual effort leads to the realization of common goals. This helps to boost motivation to work together as a team.
4 – Value knowledge sharing
To work efficiently together and be as successful as possible, it is necessary to value knowledge and information sharing within the team. Promoting knowledge sharing and mutual support brings many benefits.
The sharing of knowledge between older and younger colleagues allows the company to multiply its know-how and preserve it. A senior profile with great experience in a specific field must be encouraged to share it. Whether it is through internal training or a mentoring program, give people the space to pass on some of the tricks they know.
Junior profiles also have a great value to bring to the team. The world is constantly evolving, and your business needs to keep up. Juniors’ fresh look and knowledge of innovations (new social media, marketing techniques, sales tools, etc.) can challenge the old habits that are already comfortably installed in the company. It is by shaking up these habits and combining experience and novelty that companies can continuously improve themselves.
Collaboration is key. Encourage everyone to embody this collaborative thinking. They all have their own skills and experience and have to make them valuable to others. Beyond the performance benefits, collaboration and mutual learning is also a way to strengthen team cohesion.
5 – Hold regular team meetings
Collective performance is built up gradually. It is very helpful to have regular team meetings. It enables to assess the project’s progress and to provide the necessary feedback. But it is also a time to share ideas to drive the common project forward. It is through brainstorming sessions that you define relevant objectives, adapt your ambitions to the feedback you get, and focus on continuous improvement.
Additionally, take this time as a team to highlight common successes and progress towards your common goal. It gives a positive boost to your team, which will be even more motivated to continue on this path.
6 – Make room for individuality
Although team members have common goals, there must be room for individuality.
Give autonomy to each collaborator. Collective performance is made up of different personalities, each with their own skills and know-how. Teamwork does not mean that there is no more individual work. Each person still has to do his/her best work. Make each employee responsible for his/her own work and prevent some from totally relying on the rest of the team. Give them autonomy, and encourage them to take initiatives to achieve the common goal. This will generate a boost of creativity and innovation within the team.
Take the time to congratulate someone for his/her personal work. Indeed, even if the objective is common and the team spirit is important, everyone has his/her own objectives. The successful achievement of these objectives deserves recognition.
If you have more negative feedback to give to someone in particular, do not do it during a team meeting or in front of his/her colleagues. This could make him/her feel uncomfortable, and lower his/her self-confidence. Take him/her aside, and take the time to also explain what could be improved, and how to do it. By giving constructive feedback, the collaborator will be more likely to start off on the right foot and not make the same mistakes again, while still feeling comfortable with the rest of the team.
To sum up!
Collective performance is the differentiating factor between a group and a team. It is built on team spirit, strong corporate culture, common objectives, knowledge sharing, regular team meetings, and consideration for everyone. Working as a real team has a positive impact on your company, its performance and results, its turnover rate and everyone’s well-being!