Team Building Tips for a Successful Team

Best team building tips for team success?

These top ten ideas for building teamwork in organizations will set your team on the path to success.

If you want to create more effective groups and teams in the workplace, try putting a few of these tips into practice.

You're sure to see improvements in your team environment.

If you want more detailed information, browse through my collection of team building articles. Here you'll find team building tips such as: 
7 Steps to Choosing the Right Team Building Company.

Team Building Tips

Tip #1 - Communicate team goals clearly – and often!

Effective team communication is one of the key ingredients in a successful team environment. Discuss with your team the specific goals that need to be met. It’s natural that we all work harder if we know what we are working towards and why. Be sure to communicate goals more than once, or they aren’t likely to be remembered or understood clearly. Encourage team members to talk about the team goals, and ask questions until they are clear.

Tip #2 - Define individual responsibilities

Everyone on your team should know what they are responsible for – both in their overall job and for each project they are working on. This makes it easier to stay on track. It also avoids duplicated effort and reduces the chance that some important things will get no attention or little effort spent on them.

Wanting team building tips to improve motivation? Click here.

Tip #3 - Meet regularly

Regular meetings can really help communication and teamwork. They help all team members know what is going on, allow members to ask each other or the team leader for help if needed, and voice any concerns. If your team members work at different locations a long distance apart, regular meetings are even more important. You may just need to get creative and use more ‘virtual’ forms of meetings.

Tip #4 – Ask for help – and give it too…

You can survive on your own, or you can succeed with others’ help. If someone offers to help you, accept it. If you need help, ask for it. Even if you are talented, you cannot know and do everything alone. Knowing when and who to ask for help is vital for your team’s success. And being willing to help your colleagues is a sign of a great team member.

Tip #5 - Get team members to do what they are good at

If you haven’t read Marcus Buckingham’s book “Go Put Your Strengths to Work”, I highly recommend it. For each of us, it’s more satisfying to work in areas of our natural strengths. We can work to our full potential, and reduce the feelings of frustration that come with not knowing what to do. One of the great benefits of working as part of a team is to have someone who can quickly and easily do something that would take another person hours. One of the best team building tips is to match your team members’ strengths to their job responsibilities. Productivity and satisfaction will soar.

Is your team new? The team building tips on this page will help, but you might also benefit from reading our expert article on the stages of team development.

Tip #6 – Address team problems

In my experience, problems such as team conflict or poor team performance don’t go away. Things might temporarily seem to get better, but usually if the underlying issue isn’t addressed, the team problem will flare up again at another time. Don’t look to blame someone. Work towards figuring out what went wrong and how it can be fixed. If it would help, tap into the expertise of human resources professionals, team building specialists or organizational psychologists. They should be able to assist, particularly if the problem is a long-standing or tricky one.

Tip #7 - Foster collaboration and teamwork with group rewards

Team success can generate a tremendous positive feeling. Group accomplishments are often more meaningful and satisfying because of the relationships we build and the greater scope of the outcome. Together we can achieve more! Rather than rewarding individual performance, try designing your employee incentives around the achievement of team goals. Give rewards when your team meets a target. This will help to build a collaborative culture, where team members support each other and key decisions.

See more team building tips and ideas in our article about the characteristics of high performing teams in the workplace.

Tip #8 – Seek feedback

It’s important to listen to your colleagues and seek feedback on how things are going. None of us is perfect and we all have blind spots. Feedback is an important part of continuous improvement, plus it can give us a nudge in the right direction if we’ve gone a bit off-track.

Tip #9 Add fun to your team’s agenda

Go out as a team so you can get to know each other outside the workplace. This could be to a sporting event, or for lunch in the local park or restaurant. Or you could participate as a team in a corporate challenge or team charity event.

Check out this great video about the power of fun - I loved it!

Tip #10 Celebrate team successes

Public celebrations of team achievements encourage more success. There are lots of ways you can do this and I'm working on putting together some team building tips just about employee appreciation because this is such an important area. Why not acknowledge your team’s successes through articles in a company newsletter, broadcasts on the intranet or on a company message board if you have these tools available? Or you could have a simple morning tea at the completion of a team milestone to thank everyone involved.

Here are a few more team building tips for establishing a new team and setting it on the path to success:

  1. Encourage diversity of skills and personalities amongst the team. Team success is a near certainty when all team members maximize their strengths, compensate for their peer’s weaknesses and when different personality types complement and balance each other.
  2. Build trust between team members. Trust comes through knowing each other, and team members feeling they can rely on others if they need help with what they are working on. New teams can benefit from team building activities which focus on building trust.
  3. Inspire a common vision. Belonging to a team means feeling part of something bigger than yourself. In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall success of the organization. The team leader and all team members can play a role in identifying a common vision which unifies the team. This could include developing a team mission statement which sets out the team objectives and how the team contributes to the organizational goals.
  4. Examine your reward systems. Does your new team work environment support individuals working on their personal goals rather than team efforts? Pay systems typically recognize and reward achievements from individual employees, while performance management systems, appraisals and even promotion focus on workers’ personal goals. Establishing a new team can provide an opportunity to change the focus to be more team and group oriented.
  5. Involve the team in decision making. Each person on a team needs to feel that they have played an important part in reaching the team’s goals. Involving team members in decision making encourages shared ownership of outcomes. Although it is not always the case, a team that debates a decision until consensus is reached often arrives at better decisions.
  6. Develop transparency and awareness of what team members are working on. If teams understand who is currently working on what, this can help bring the team together and prevent internal tensions. As an example, you could post each team members current projects on a board. For a new team, this type of awareness of the role each person or sub-team plays in the bigger picture is even more important than for existing teams. It encourages collaboration and helps people understand how they can best support their colleagues.

Even if you only try one of these team building tips, I'm sure they will help you and your team be more effective. 

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