BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE WORKGROUP

Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success ~ Unknown

It is an inescapable fact that some people work well together while others don’t. In order to make sure that your team operates at maximum efficiency, you will have to make sure that each of your individuals:

  • Has his or her own set of skills to contribute;
  • Is able to get on well with the other members;
  • Is prepared to work towards achieving a common goal.

Choosing the Right Members for Your Team

When selecting a team, you need balance and effectiveness.  Ideally, the members of your team should display the following attributes:  

  • An Ideas person: creates useful ideas;
  • A Resource Investigator: analyses problems effectively;
  • A Finisher: gets things done;
  • A Chairman: brings it all together;
  • A Team Builder: motivates the team and displays leadership;
  • A Mentor-Evaluator: evaluates logically and mentors other members of the team when necessary;
  • A Techie: has technical abilities;
  • A Communicator: writes and speaks well;
  • A Controller:  controls workflow.  

Don’t forget to encourage your team to pick a name!

How do I Develop my team?

Now that you’ve chosen a team for your project, you need to steer them in the right direction and make sure that they stay on the project-path.

You first need to familiarise yourself with the task your team will perform.  When addressing your team, you need to:

  • Clearly define the task;
  • Clarify the aims and success criteria;
  • Explore ways of achieving the aims; *
  • Design an action plan. *

* A great idea to get your team’s buy-in is to involve them in a brainstorming session.

How do I Motivate my team?

You would need to reconcile the personal aspirations of the team with the needs of the organisation.  This can be achieved by:

  • Getting to know the members of your team individually;
  • Understanding what interests and motivates each person;
  • Providing the team with more challenging opportunities;
  • Analysing their strengths and their weaknesses;
  • Coaching and guiding the team in those areas in which members are weak;
  • Giving immediate recognition for good performance;
  • Ensuring that team members get the reward they deserve;
  • Delegating more of your own work to an effective team member;
  • Involving the team in decision making;
  • Sharing information;
  • Helping the team resolve problems if necessary;
  • Providing the right conditions for the team to work effectively.

How do I Delegate to my team?

Your team will only perform the task as well as what you brief them.  Remember: garbage in, garbage out.

Briefing your team
  • Specify the essential parameters;
  • Explain the desired outcome;
  • Get the team to explain its plan of action;
  • Check that the team understands what is required;
  • Sell, but do not oversell your approach;
  • Be realistic about your expectations;
  • Indicate the need for progress reports;
  • Discuss the areas of the task that is sensitive to error or risk.
Monitoring the team

By monitoring your team effectively you are setting them up for success.  The best way to monitor is by:

  • Encouraging them to follow their plan of action;
  • Being alert for signs that things are starting to go wrong;
  • Intervening only when the team does not spot errors;
  • Being ready to help but avoid doing the task yourself;
  • Encouraging frequent information discussions rather than formal feedback.
Evaluating and giving feedback

This is a very important step in the process.

  • Set up regular review meetings;
  • Monitor and evaluate the team’s progress;
  • Praise and give the team recognition if the task was successful;
  • Evaluate the reason why the result was problematic and work with your team on a solution.

Some people only succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined to. ~Henry van Dyke