For many, it’s the ultimate goal, the ambitious intention, the just out of reach vision. Heading up a high-productivity, low-drama team is everyone’s dream. Of course, working in close quarters for hours on end may eventually precede some conflict. But a well-organized and high-functioning collaboration can weather any storm. Below, four simple strategic initiatives to create a harmonious and highly efficient team environment.
- Clear Boundaries
Healthy boundaries define who we are in relation to others. They also help us to know what the extents and limits are with associates. Team interaction should be the key focus when hiring/putting together a team. Skills can be built but innate trust and good chemistry needs to be organic. How each member views their own contributions and those of others will say a lot towards how they will collaborate. If clear boundaries surrounding workplace ethic, hierarchy and communication are encouraged, then employees can feel safe exploring and expressing themselves without fear of repercussion.
Create an operations manual with a dedicated mission and code of conduct. Utilize any inter-office conflicts to update the manual on best practices. From there, use the boundaries you have drawn out to mitigate any issues that arise. Once healthy, defining lines are clearly drawn, your team will learn to connect with themselves and with others in a productive manner. Creating clear boundaries ultimately allows for a safe and empowered working environment.
A trusting environment produces intense collaboration and a high-level of comfort. If employees eliminate their fear of high-handed criticism or retribution then they will feel comfortable taking risks or admitting they don’t know something. This leads to boosted morale and the ability to find a deeper meaning in their work. As a leader, you must take the first step in this. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability and you’re willingness to take risks. Others will appreciate your behavior and follow suit. An additional bonus is that the entire team has a chance to observe and develop empathy, thereby sustaining it within the workplace community.
- High-Level Organization
A high-level of organization leads to strategic precision. Long cited statistics demonstrate clearly that 80% of the problems experienced by the majority of teams is attributed to the process side of the equation. A team will be unlikely to institute new stratagems if operational quality is not present. In addition, self-evaluation is easier when all your ducks are in a row. Monitoring of progress falls into this category. Keeping track of how everyone is doing, what everyone is doing and when — is an organizational tool with incredible benefits. It falls under the umbrella of solution-based strategic planning. This method also works particularly well in meeting management. Instead of using up critical resources and sapping organizational energy, create a precise meeting plan that can increase process-level harmony.
- Dedicated Roles with Little/No Overlap
Developing structure and clarity within a diverse group is not the easiest thing to do. Though every responsibility is naturally interconnected within a well-functioning team, making sure there is as little overlap as possible is key to a maximum efficiency output. Delegation is the key to defining roles. Work with each member of your team to create guidelines within their roles, thus creating clear boundaries and goals. This also will empower each employee to make their own decisions within their highly structured role.
Many mistakes are made along the road to communicative working environments. However, if carefully constructed and observed, a high-performing, results driven team is within everyone’s reach.