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6 Steps To Build An Effective Team

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6 steps to build an effective team

As many as 86% of workplace failures can be attributed to the primary markers of ineffective team building: poor communication and a lack of true collaboration. This is likely the result of a historically rigid job market in which a successful job search required exactly matching the terms of a job description. This focus has been detrimental to team building, as research indicates that the most successful team building has more to do with employee relationship management than the collection of specifically skilled workers.

Steps to Build a Very Effective Team

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Step 1: Start With Strategic Talent Acquisition

High performing firms use recruitment/hiring to execute an explicit corporate strategy (based on a goal-driven plan). That involves reorienting candidate selection to:

  • View employees as strategic resources and their growth/promotion as part of the plan;
  • Make candidates’ soft skills, including work ethic and personality, as important as hard skills and work experience;
  • Use data to combat bias in the selection process.

This type of strategic talent acquisition has changed the job market — and job search outcomes — for the better.

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Step 2: Intentionally Cultivate The Company Culture

BCJobs.ca found that firms experience a 21% increase in profits when they intentionally cultivate a positive, goal-driven culture in which team members:

  • Trust each other;
  • Work toward a shared, measurable goal; and
  • Understand their own (and each others’) unique role in and value to the team.

Firms that do not intentionally develop these characteristics — believing instead that employees will naturally understand/embrace the purpose of their work — cultivate a culture wherein team members disengage. Intentional team building within this culture is contrived and useless.

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Step 3: Teach Teams To Strive For Consensus

Consensus (a plan that all team members can “live with”) is a critical element of teamwork. That is why job-seekers hoping for success in team-based positions should look for signs of consensus-seeking in descriptions of jobs in Vancouver. Such signs indicate that the team:

  • Has a compelling, explicit, collaborative goal;
  • Supports equal contribution to the goal; and
  • Cultivates a shared goal-oriented mindset.

These elements empower teams to adequately (and respectfully) consider individual members’ unique contributions in decision-making negotiations.

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Step 4: Cross-Train Team Members To Foster Empathy & Improve Collaboration

People working jobs in Vancouver are more likely to thrive and remain in those positions when all members and managers:

  • Help each other leverage individual strengths;
  • Exemplify and uphold the shared values of the team;
  • Support and respect members’ expertise and autonomy;
  • Practice collaborative problem-solving; and
  • Express confidence in members’ abilities.

Establishing these types of member-manager and member-member relationships requires cross-training. The more team members know about each others’ roles, the more agile (and functional) the team becomes.

Step 5: Invest In Multiple Growth Channels

It is crucial to support individual team members’ growth across all of their task-oriented, relationship-oriented, and self-oriented roles. This involves upskilling, informal learning, and professional development — manifesting as mentorship, education/training courses, and networking.

Robust investments in individual growth do more than just support the planned promotion of team members with the organization: Cross-channel development strengthens the “spirit of professionalism” of the team, organically improving both individual and group actions/behaviors.

Step 6: Recreate What Works, Except When Team Goals Change

After developing a team structure that meets organizational goals, ongoing team building activity should recreate the conditions that prove most effective. Research shows that teams with a high degree of similarity to the “most effective” model are similarly successful in 85% of cases.

That said, organizational goals often change in response to both internal maneuvering and shifting consumer/competitor behaviors. Under these circumstances, it is important to redraft the plan as team building begins; team members selected and trained to support a different corporate strategy may not work well together in pursuit of new goals.

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