A team often starts as a group of individual people assembled to achieve a common agenda. They may already have some knowledge of each other but the main purpose is to work towards a specific goal. Teams may be tasked with the pulling together of different elements of a project, or they are formed to achieve targets, like sales, introductions and leads. Often these goals have a degree of urgency involved.
Communication is an important factor:
Training and motivation is often the first step in unifying a team. Introducing everyone to each other, becoming familiar with their skill sets, understanding the rationale behind the team and briefing everyone as to their specific roles, timetables and ultimate goals is important to do at the outset. Identifying training requirements is a serious consideration, whilst a question and answer session can help everyone get to know each other and provide an insight into each other's areas of expertise.
Some team building exercises may include residential seminars and group exercises. These are designed as a way of getting to know, like and trust each other very quickly. This is important as a means of developing a team mentality. Good communications then become more natural as people learn to respect and value each other and their respective roles and talents.
Regular and effective communications remind people of their particular roles and help each person appreciate their individual connection and commitment to the success of their team. Good communications are an important way of keeping everyone updated with changes in the business, of reminding people of important aspects like legislation, health and safety procedures, deadlines. Organising the teams and the work so that everyone enjoys and appreciates the relevance of what they are doing is the best way to get good results.
Teams can unite people with different but complementary skills, put together for the purpose of achieving a combined goal. In a car repair shop there may be one person who deals with paint spraying, someone who does electrical work, another who does mechanical work, someone who books the jobs into the diary and costs them out. Motivation and communication is often about quality customer care and keeping overheads down. Customers need to be kept happy, jobs need to be done quickly and efficiently. The team needs to communicate well.
Or a team can combine a group of people with the same skills, working together with a common purpose, like a call centre. In these situations teams may be pitted against each other in a bid to motivate each group to perform better. There may be a competition for the fastest response times, numbers of calls answered, number of appointments made. Some form of monitoring the statistics needs to be established to spur each group on to better efforts. These can be communicated through wall charts, screens, email. And a reward can provide the ultimate motivation.
Brainstorming sessions are an effective way of utilising ideas and resources. They give everyone in the team the opportunity to share their thoughts and different ways of working with each other in group discussion. This can often inspire new ways of working and trigger creativity.
By communicating well within a team people grow and become more confident in their ability to contribute. A crucial part of working in a team is to feel valued and relevant. When people enjoy what they do, enjoy the team dynamic and feel that they are achieving something positive they will continue to support the team and its goals. Communication is a key part of motivation in these situations.