How to Build an Effective Team in the Workplace

When it comes to the workplace, teamwork is an important part of any organization’s ability to accomplish goals. However, creating an effective team is not easy. Based on a survey from McKinsey & Company, 65 percent of those surveyed mentioned that trust was an important factor when creating an effective team. The following are strategies we can use to increase the chance of a highly effective team.

Building a Team-Wide Foundation of Trust 

Without trust, a team will have a hard time functioning. Some ways to build trust include exploring how individuals best learn and how they prefer to be approached when solving new problems. Gathering everyone together to discuss how each individual best absorbs feedback (e.g., oral versus written), how team members express and work through disagreements, and how team members can cooperatively tackle a problem are of the ways to build trust.

Having the Team Meet to Accomplish Goals Efficiently 

Another approach to successfully creating a team where all members can rely on one another is by coming up with ground rules that everyone has a hand in developing and signs off on. Examples include giving project updates to colleagues within a specified time frame and giving priority to external customers’ requests over internal tasks.

Whether it’s done weekly or daily, having all team members participate in a meeting can be an effective way to develop communication. Before the meeting starts, everyone takes a card to determine which person starts the meeting, who goes next, and ultimately who finishes. During the meeting, individuals share three things. They first say what they’ve accomplished on existing projects; second, they mention what they’re going to do that day; and third, they share what problems they currently face with their current workload.

This type of meeting can help develop an efficient way to determine where workers are excelling and where they might be having problems with the workload. If someone breaks the chain of team members giving an update to say she could help, there might be a simple phrase such as “follow up with a facilitator” to keep interruptions to a minimum. While some people will find it uncomfortable, discussing this before the meeting can lessen the negative impact. It’s imperative to do so because it will acknowledge their comment and help the facilitator discuss if and how the coworker can help the struggling colleague get past their work roadblock.

After everyone is done with their turn, a worker who believes she can help another colleague may follow up with the facilitator to discuss how to help the struggling worker. Whether this follow-up is done orally or through written means, it can be an effective approach that avoids micromanaging.