COVID-19 has resulted in our biggest population of work-from-home employees, with increased virtual meetings. It is now the norm to work with team members remotely, whether it be home, office, or other location.
With this increased physical separation, you may question whether it Is possible to build a team that is fully functional and effective. Here are a few topics that leaders will find helpful in building effective teams.
Create an environment that promotes teamwork to ensure successful outcomes. Starting small, involving two- or three-person teams is an excellent idea. Your team size and the scope of assigned projects will expand over time. It is never a good idea to assign a task that is beyond the skill level of your team. Leaders who make this mistake are setting themselves up for failure, and it can irreparably damage the relationship among the team.
Unless you clearly communicate your goals and objectives to your team, they will not be able to understand and perform your task. In some cases, you will be a hands-on leader who participates in tasks and supervises closely. In other cases, a team leader may be assigned to keep you informed about a task’s progress. The flow of communication must be multidirectional. Communication breakdowns can cause major problems or even the failure of a project.
Provide Sufficient Resources and Autonomy
Members of a team who lack the time and resources to complete their assignments fail. Check the reality of the situation. To meet the demands of the project, determine how much time and resources you will need. Secondly, depending on your team’s experience, determine whether it requires more, less, or equal time. You may want to ask team members to evaluate the duration of specific tasks. Developing a realistic, accurate schedule is your objective. Team leaders should be allowed to delegate responsibilities in accordance with their own vision.
In terms of autonomy, don’t micromanage your team, or your team leader. Ensure that members have an attainable goal and sufficient autonomy to accomplish it. Monitoring progress is important, but avoid being too intrusive. It’s your job to lead, not to babysit. Give your team members the opportunity to take on responsibility and feel ownership. In case anyone needs your assistance, remind them that you are available.
To complete a task, you must convey to your team members that you have faith in their abilities. It is also important for them to feel confident about reaching your goals. Employees who feel uneasy about their role on the team should be paired with a high-performing peer. A strategy such as this can help boost self-confidence in an employee who is lacking self-efficacy, the belief that he or she is capable of completing the task at hand.
No matter the employee’s training or years of experience, he or she should be held to the same high standard of excellence. All team members should be unwaveringly committed to completing the work, regardless of their specific tasks.
An effective debriefing, often referred to as a post-mortem, is a process that reflects on a project to address the project’s highs and lows, noting what went well, what did not, and areas of improvement. When reviewing teamwork, give positive feedback to individuals and acknowledge individual and team accomplishments. Cooperation, coordination, and sharing knowledge among team members should be rewarded. Depending on the negative feedback, it may be best to inform the individual separately before sharing at the debriefing. Ensure that all team members have the opportunity to share their views on the project, as well as identify ways to improve performance going forward.