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A team in business is a group of individuals from all walks of life. You might have the youngster fresh out of college working next to the seasoned veteran. Your team is going to be full of different people and personalities and getting them to gel and work together is key to success in the workplace.
But there are plenty of issues that can face your team.
For example, trust. Your team needs to be effective team workers, and trust is essential to this teamwork. Your team members need to know each other to function as a unit. If they can’t connect or understand each other, they won’t connect and work together and may not want to engage in working with each other at all – because they cannot trust their fellow team mate.
An open workplace is the best policy and transparency will lead to a good team. Being open and honest about work life within your team should be something that you, as a leader, fosters within your team. Honesty doesn’t have to be harsh, and it is helpful. Transparency leads to trust, which we mentioned is so, so crucial to forming a good team.
If trust isn’t there, conflict can occur. The sparks of conflict can generate mainly in a difference of opinion, and while this can burn into a fuel for your company and help organise useful debates for work processes, it can also cause friction within a team and jam the gears. Conflict management skills are key to running a good team. If conflicts are not resolved, this can lead to high tensions within a working unit and even lead to insults, personal attacks, manipulative behaviour, and aggression. No-one needs to tell you that this is how a team will fall apart – make sure these issues are dealt with as they are terminal to the health of your team.
Communication issues are a huge problem in the workplace. Whether it’s aggressive interruptions or talking over one another or consistent silence. Communication issues can lead to a failure to address problems and resolve conflicts, which can obviously lead to a failure in the team. If your team are not fully engaged and are simply agreeing because everyone else in the team is, you’re going to be running into problems. If team members are engaging in the work process and loving what they are doing, your workplace is going to succeed because of that. It’s key to identify the opposite of engagement – a lack of participation and encourage your team to boost each other.
A lack of creativity can seriously damn a team. If a team is unable to explore new avenues of idea generation, adopt fresh perspectives and galvanise themselves from the unexpected, they may find themselves stuck in a rut. Inspire creativity in your team, or you could suffer from Groupthink. This is when a team doesn’t consider alternative approaches to issues, and critical thinking and debate simply doesn’t happen. Your team doesn’t need to agree on everything so healthy debates are to be encouraged. Communication also inspires your team to make decisions. If your team are having a great deal of difficulty when making decisions, then you have some problems – encourage people to take action when this sort of situation arises.
Problems do arise in the workplace and if you need to have a serious conversation with employees, don’t rush into it. It could be a legal situation, and you absolutely need to consider HR and legal advice before you act too hastily. People like Ellis Whittam are always on hand to help in these situations and if the honest and serious conversations about the future roles of employees need to happen, ensure your actions are legally sound before taking them.
The unity of the team starts with you. Ineffective leadership from yourself sets a low bar for your team. If you can’t offer goals or vision to your team, or delegate tasks and focus when you need to, then you are going to ensure that you are in charge of a group of individuals, not a true team. Your team might not feel accountable for one another and be unwilling to help. They might not be fully committed, and conflict could arise out of an unwillingness to collaborate. Lead by example, encourage good habits and don’t be afraid to step in when it is asked of you. It is all on your shoulders to lead your team, so make sure you do so – your team will mirror your actions.