Ways to Build a Professional Work Team
By Editorial Staff
by Catalogs.com Info Guru Roger DeGennaro
You’re about to start a project, or perhaps staff an entire department or company.
The way ahead can look like a tough mountain to climb. But if break down the parts of the process, you can create good group dynamics that work for you, freeing you to focus on the larger vision for your business. Here are 10 ways to conquer your fears and embrace the future.
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10. Survey the Landscape
Before you set up your group you should know what your company needs. What are its strengths and weaknesses? Organizational charts can only show you so much. Can you find the talent you want in-house or do you need to hire? If you’re stuck at the outset, you may have to call in the consultants, or seek advice from your professional network.
9. Draw up a Plan
What do you need to accomplish immediately? What about in one, five, or ten years? Write it all down and assign values to your priorities. Will you move into a new market? What technologies on the horizon might change the game?
8. Know Yourself
Be brutally honest. Where do you need help? What are your blind spots? Those are the areas you’ll need to rely on others for support. We all want to believe we can do everything and anything. If we could, we wouldn’t need a team.
7. Choose Your People
This step is as much an art as a science. After noting the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals, use a mixture of past performance and intuition to pick your positions. Aim for a diverse, dynamic group. Balance personalities, both outgoing and thoughtful. Orchestras need varied players, and so do you. Take the next step and design uniforms, like logo business shirts, if appropriate to your team’s work duties, to build team identity and a cohesive work attitude.
6. Navigate the Shifting Sands
As business needs change and new challenges emerge, you will all need to move with the times. Look for people with more than one talent. Do they have the insight to look a few moves ahead? Encourage them to speak up when they do.
5. Get Social
Set up time for icebreakers in relaxed settings. Karaoke nights, outdoor activities, and short trips can help create a relaxed atmosphere back at work. Celebrate successes with in-office pizza parties. Add teambuilding events, from cooking classes to creative brainstorming.
4. Course Correction
Do a quarterly review of your original plan. What’s working and not? Keep what does and drop what doesn’t. This clear-eyed look will likely spark new ideas. Consider your people. Knowing when to offer help to those struggling or swamped. The rest will understand that you stand behind them and increase loyalty.
3. Conflict Resolution
Differences are bound to happen when everyone is empowered to say what they think. You’re not employing robots without feelings. Learn to spot conflicts before they escalate. Don’t try to pick sides. Instead, let the parties know that you’ll consider all options and make the decision you think best. That way you refocus on goals and channel disputes into a creative process.
2. Give the Right Person the Right Task
It would be ideal if work got done in an entirely collaborative way, but in reality certain people need to know what they’re responsible for delivering. You don’t want people to avoid the less pleasant work because they hope someone else will pick it up. Individuals then get a sense of purpose and see how they contribute to the overall workflow.
You set the professional tone for those who report to you to follow. Communicate milestones clearly and have members report progress and any glitches that pop up. Use project management applications so people know when they’re on-track. Web and mobile tools for collaboration and discussion, such as Slack, can also help keep everyone up-to-date when on the go and avoid back-and-forth email chains.
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These steps will help you in building your professional team. Good luck.
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