5 Keys to Making Teamwork Work

Teamwork requires the right mixture of production, cooperation, and celebration to really work.

TeamworkNow that you have a blueprint for team success, how are you going to work with your team to make sure it all works in practice? It’s a fairly simple thing to design your blueprint: write your vision, mission, values, goals, and expectations. But how are you going to put it into action?

1. Locate the members you need on your team

For any team to be successful, you need to be sure to very clearly identify who the team members are, and what they are responsible for. Depending on the size and maturity of your organization, these may be new hires or existing team members from across departments, divisions or units.

2. Communicate the blueprint to success

Once you have located and assembled your team, your next step will be to communicate the blueprint to success. Your team needs to understand with absolute clarity what success looks like for them. The success metrics for the team should be aligned with your team blueprint.

3. Cooperate

In order to make teamwork work, your team needs to be able to understand the connection between team and individual performance. Make sure that cooperation becomes an expectation by awarding team successes, not just individual success. A highly productive team will understand that the team is able to produce far better results together than any one of them could do individually. Once you have a team that internalizes that, you need to make sure you encourage it by rewarding (or disciplining) the team as a whole.

4. Motivate

As the leader, one of your primary functions on the team is to motivate. It’s easy to motivate in the beginning of a project, but as individuals start to sludge through the day-to-day drudgery of responsibilities, it becomes tough to keep motivation and productivity high. Your blueprint for success outlines the mission of your team’s work, use that mission to continually remind them why they are doing what they are doing and why it’s important. Make sure that your team works together, that they are recognized for their contributions, and that they have tangible incentives for cooperating and collaborating with each other.

5. Celebrate

Celebrate TeamworkOften overlooked, yet every bit as important as the previous four keys. Celebrating your team’s achievements helps to make sure every other key to teamwork is happening, and it makes sure that you’re able to keep your team on target with your blueprint for success. As the team leader, make sure you’re celebrating your team’s achievements, even as others in the organization are doing so as well. As your team continues to achieve great things and reach their goals, these successes slowly become expectations rather than achievements. It will become easier for others in the organization to overlook them, and thus the celebration and the motivation wanes. No matter how much recognition comes from others, the team leader, the manager is responsible for finding creative ways to frequently celebrate the good work that their team does.

Building and developing a successful team is just the first step. Putting that team to work and making sure that their teamwork produces great results is the truly important part. Implement these five keys to making your teamwork work for you, and you will enjoy a higher level of productivity and employee motivation and engagement.

photo credit: Motion Machine Project 2010 via photopin (license)

photo credit: 055 | 366 – Office pranks continue via photopin (license)

This month, Bullet Proof Managers are attending sessions to develop their skills in Creating a Blueprint for Team Success and Negotiation Success.

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