Because great teams are goal-oriented and imbued with a sense of purpose, team-building needs to be a holistic process.
The first step is to choose team members who can and will contribute in meaningful ways to the team’s overall success. Once the team is in place, as team leader, you need to delineate the roles and responsibilities so that individuals know that their jobs matter and that they bring something unique and essential to the table. Next, set clear, realistic short-term and long-term goals, and establish milestones and deadlines. Motivate progress toward the goals with positive reinforcement, but also know when to pivot or course-correct if necessary.
Provide continuous feedback and maintain open channels of communication. Communication fosters engagement and commitment to the team’s success and also enables team members to surface ideas, suggestions, and issues that may lead to a more productive workflow.
Celebrate successes and accomplishments, but also acknowledge problems, setbacks, or concerns. This type of candor conveys the importance of working together and reaffirms each individual’s responsibility to contribute to the team’s success.
Ultimately, it takes vision and strong leadership to create and sustain a high-performance team. As a leader, you will have to make difficult decisions, establish standards of performance, and implement corrective action from time to time. Be aware of your leadership style and techniques. Get to know the people you work with so that you can have constructive discussions and lead your team to achieve the best outcomes.