Escape room

How to Build a Successful Work Team

Building a successful work team is not rocket science. But you will need to have the right approach, as well as access to the right tools. Finally, you'll need a willingness to employ an open mind and take on board all possible options.

Building a successful work team is not rocket science. But you will need to have the right approach, as well as access to the right tools. Finally, you'll need a willingness to employ an open mind and take on board all possible options.

At first glance, to build a successful working team appears to be both tough and challenging. The reason for this is that it brings together a huge variety of opinions, past work experiences, upbringing, prior team experiences, values, skills, and communication levels, and last but not least, actual team building itself. 

In this article we’re going to have a look at how calibration and teamwork can be developed for designing a successful team.

What Is a Team?

But first thing's first, before we look at how to build a team, we should actually try and understand exactly what a “team” is and the purpose that it serves. Essentially teams are groups of employees who act independently as one, and are united around a singular task, objective, or project.

Then there are an endless number of applications that teams can be used for, as opposed to simply using individuals. May be there's a gap that needs bridging between different departments, or they may be brought together in order to complete short-term projects, or even to help create long-term approaches for producing specific departmental goals.

Team Purpose

One thing is certain, if you wish your team to be successful. It needs to have its purpose laid out and understood in a manner that is crystal clear to all of the team's members. Though it's important that many of the team players have different goals and opinions, you want them to work as a single cohesive unit. A successful team is able to raise the heights of productivity for the good of their organisation.

It's important that you identify both the short and long-term goals necessary for the team to be able to be successful. Also you'll need to take into account the individual skills that each person brings to the table. Once these two main points are in place, then you'll have no problem identifying the right people for your team.

Team Building Tips

Two words spring to mind as being probably two of the most important aspects of team building. They are “collaboration” and “communication.” Without these two factors you will never create a successful team. When hiring a team it's a good idea to recruit the highest ranking member as the first member. This employee will then be in a prime position to help you collate the perfect group of employees to build a team and it's appropriate culture.

Team Culture

Workplace culture can have a huge influence on the impact that the team is able to make in the right place. Much of this depends on the reward structure and whether it's based around individuals or groups of employees. Unfortunately, many managers tend to focus on individual achievements as opposed to rewarding the department or group responsible. This does nothing but creates friction within departments. When you really want to encourage teamwork, then we go back to the two words we used above, “collaboration” and “communication.'' As the manager, you need to devise a culture which supports employees in helping them improve these two skills. By all means create a work environment that respects and fosters collaboration across all employees. Fundamentally, it must recognise the importance of teamwork and reward its use. The individual must take second place to the group.

Better Relationships

How many work situations have we come across teams that are almost clinically effective? Yet at the other end of the scale, we have also found teams that are disturbingly dysfunctional. You may wonder in these cases how anything is achieved that might benefit the business. For a team to be truly effective, it's essential that they have figured out the workings of intercommunication, and also their relationships with regard to each other.

Every member of the team must have an understanding of why the team is there in the first place. Then they need to have figured out their own role within the team structure. On a different level, all team members need to understand how performing as a singular team on a constant basis, will improve all aspects of their work situation. On another point, they need to have a willingness to check their own progress and how it's affecting the relationships between team members.

Employee Empowerment

We would hope that the days where the boss is all powerful and leading from the front are well behind us. If you want to foster an environment where teams can feel empowered, then you'll need to let the employees feel that same way. This means, for a manager, a more hands-off approach, as you need the team to act almost independently and without your direction. What's very noticeable in most businesses is that middle management always claims they want more empowerment for individual employees. Yet on a daily basis they act in ways that undermine the ability for employees to act autonomously. You can't have it both ways.

Secrets of Great Communicators

Effective communication is essential for any team success. In fact, we would suggest that all managers emphasise communication techniques as being of paramount importance. This will not only help to build efficient teamwork, but also one of the by-products of this is the formation of a healthy camaraderie between coworkers. By allowing employees to talk freely to each other you are already introducing an important aspect of team building.

At the end of the day, if all members of the team are able to communicate freely and clearly then the real benefit will only be for the team itself. Not only that, but by being open, you are helping to form a supportive environment where teamwork and a positive working environment is assured.

How to Create Habits

In the regular working day to day, every individual employee has their own way of dealing with interaction and accomplishing their work. Over time, they will develop habits and patterns around such things as meeting deadlines, planning steps, decision making, and keeping commitments. These habits are perfect for the individual, but some may be more of a hindrance to a team.

If you are planning to put together a team, it's important that you take the lead and decide on exactly what guidelines and rules can be used to best serve everyone's efforts, not just on an individual level. It's important for the team to develop its own habits as these will allow it to function as a single cohesive entity, as opposed to having different individuals pulling in different directions.

Group Guidelines

You need to recognise that developing norms to help build a team is not an easy or painless process. Everyone has a different opinion as to what could benefit a team the most. This involved a great deal of different ideas leading to discussions, disagreements, and a few healthy arguments. But it's essential to develop normatives that are configured for the team's best interest. 

We suggest that a good idea for developing roles is to invite an external facilitator to run this particular part of the team building. Because they will not have a personal axe to grind, they can be much more objective when overseeing the whole process of building normatives. As such they are less likely to have ulterior motives or a more selfish viewpoint.

Keys to Team Success

If you are tasked with building a work team then you need to find team building activities that can help focus a group of employees to come together and work as a singular cohesive unit. In truth it's like walking through a minefield, as there are many more possibilities for things to go wrong then for the desired outcome to be produced. Whatever activities or factors you are using in order to design your perfect team, keep in mind that you too, are going to be part of the team, and so do your best not to play the part of the rigid manager or boss. Otherwise he will destroy the very thing you are trying to create.

Finally, once the team has been up and running for some time, and have finished with their first projects, then be sure to perform a follow up. This can be in the form of a group debrief. Remember this is not to find a fault. By design it's to help reinforce the team spirit by looking at a shared achievement. 


Why You Should Try Gamification In Recruitment
Why You Should Try Gamification In Recruitment
In 2004, Google set up a series of billboards which featured a mathematical riddle. And it was one of the first examples of how gamification could be used in recruitment. Everybody who saw the billboard was invited to solve a number of equations. The idea behind this was that those who had the motivation and brain power to complete the exercise would, in turn, make great candidates for employment
KFC Creates Virtual Escape Room World To Train Its Cooks
KFC Creates Virtual Escape Room World To Train Its Cooks
A new virtual reality experience called “The Hard Way” is not about experiencing life in prison or in the boxing ring. It's actually a training program developed by KFC. It’s used to train the new KFC cooks in how to make menu items including their famous Fried Chicken, in exactly the way the Colonel would have approved.
How to Build a Strong Virtual Team
How to Build a Strong Virtual Team
With so many people social distancing today, by working at home it can be very difficult to run a workplace team virtually. We find that the lack of face-to-face communication can certainly affect a group's overall performance. That's why it's important to get to know the basics of how to build a strong remote team. A strong foundation starts with the requirements of the group itself.
Escape Rooms: Working with Ambiguity
Escape Rooms: Working with Ambiguity
Over the last couple of years we have seen a huge rise in the number of corporate escape room games being played. More often than not, these can be labelled as “team building exercises.” One thing we noticed after a agame, when the team players are being interviewed, they often mentioned that the escape room scenario allows them to feel vulnerable but without any associated stigma.