Building a Successful Team

Teamwork is essential to success. Good organizations need teams that are high-performing and can communicate clearly. As a supervisor or manager, it’s your job to cultivate strong teams by hiring talented individuals and encouraging teamwork. However, building a successful work team can be challenging because it brings together a variety of opinions, values, past work experiences, and skills.

In this article, we’ll explore characteristics of a successful team and discuss ways in which you can start to build your team or improve your current one.

What are the Characteristics of a Successful Team?

Successful teams encourage team members to share ideas, consider solutions and solve problems together. Good teams also benefit clients by offering added support and opportunities for development. The following characteristics are typically found in a successful team:

  • Commitment to their Roles: Individuals working in roles based on their strengths and expertise are most often highly motivated.
  • Diversity: Since diversity tends to encourage creativity and innovation, teams with the largest spectrum of experiences and opinions have the potential to perform at their best.
  • Goal-oriented: The most effective teams set, implement and track goals together to increase efficiency and improve productivity.
  • Responsibility and Accountability: When teams share a set of values and goals, each team member can be held to the same standard.
  • Open to Learning: Some teams may adjust roles and responsibilities due to the needs of a project or task. Team members who are interested in challenging their stills and learning new tasks encourage professional growth.
  • A Great Leader: Leaders who provide clear direction and encourage team members to succeed are typically managing successful teams.

How to Build a Strong Team in 9 Steps

High-performing teams don’t materialize out of thin air. They require careful cultivation from a team leader with a strong sense of team values, goals, and code of ethics. Here are some steps to make that happen:

1. Talent is the foundation – Hiring good people is a key success factor. It’s important to focus your recruiting efforts on not only finding people with the right skills and experience, but also people who are a good fit culturally and share the same values and outlook. Your people are the core of your marketing team.

2. Establish expectations from day one – Employees and new team members tend to arrive as relatively blank slates but they will quickly start seeking cues for how to operate as a member of your company. Take advantage of this. Set ground rules, and let your expectations be known from the start—not just in terms of sales goals or a five-year plan, but in terms of the type of team environment you’re looking to establish.

3. Respect your team members as individuals – At work, you want your employees to be part of a team, but you must also have perspective: these are individuals with stories of their own. They got this far without your company, and they presumably have rich and varied lives when they leave work each day. A robust team environment blossoms when individuals are honored and respected for their unique gifts and their ability to contribute toward your common goal.

4. Motivate with positivity – It’s more effective to shape behavior with positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. Resist the urge to criticize team members’ mistakes. Instead, create a positive team environment by citing events and behaviors that you particularly liked and encourage your team to bring more where that came from.

5. Communicate, communicate, communicate – As humans, we all love to know where we stand. If they sense you’re unhappy but aren’t saying anything, that can lead to stress and even resentment, which will result in poor performance. Or if they think they’re doing a great job but you as a boss aren’t satisfied, this can lead to unwelcome shock when you break the news that they’ve been underperforming.

ebs/Growth can Help you Get Started!

Whether you’re starting our own business or a veteran CEO, hiring the correct person can make all the difference between a successful team and an unsuccessful one. In episode #80 of our Talent, Sales & Scales podcast Nigel Green covers the concept of a “Sales Council” and how building one benefits your customers. To listen to episode #80 and the rest of our podcast check out or website here:

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