Effective Team Building for Successful Organization

Times have changed and unlike the earlier times when a small-scale entrepreneur was able to build an empire single-handedly. In today’s business scenario, the environment has become so complex and competitive, that it is not easy to achieve success on your own.

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The business environment is in a continuous state of turmoil, and achievement of tasks depends more and more on the outputs of teams rather than efforts of a single person and there the term Team comes in existence.

What is Team?

A team is group of small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they are mutually accountable. ( Definition by Katzenbach and Smith – 1993 ). Different definitions are coined by many people for Team. But the purpose behind forming team remains same to achieve common objective.

There are some important aspects of successful teams as follows.

Aspects of the Team Building

To build an efficient Team, approach has to be dynamic and adaptive in this competitive world. However, there are certain aspects of team-building to be followed by the members in order to achieve the end target.

  1. Team should be small in number. Small group is able to deliver better results. If team is say fifty people then it is good to divide it into sub-teams as probability of such bigger team to give better output is less if compared to team of 5-10 people whose probability of successfully sorting out their individual, hierarchical and functional differences, and work towards a common goal, and also be accountable for the results.
  2. To succeed as a team, the team should have appropriate mix of skills and traits. If the team has people with homogeneous skills then it won’t be very effective to accomplish their set goals and objectives. On other hand if team has skills and traits more than what are needed for requirements then it may cause unnecessary disruptions which can affects results. We can explain this aspect by giving example of maintenance team in industry. Such team should consists of different people with different skill sets like mechanical, electrical, civil, information technology. It would become difficult if such team has people with similar skill sets.So there are basically three categories of team skills:
    1. Technical abilities or expertise needed for the task
    2. Problem-solving and decision-making skills
    3. Interpersonal skills
  3. Team should set their goals on the basis of requirements placed on them by the organization. This helps the team to define their boundaries and scope of their job.
  4. Team should take common approach to achieve common goal set.
  5. Team’s mutual accountability is the most important aspect of this approach. Mutual understanding is important in team members to work in coordination with each other to target common objective.

As we already know team is group of people with complementary skills who work together to achieve common goals. So it is important for team members to communicate with each other to and keep learning from each other eventually maximizing their strengths and weaknesses. However there are certain principles of team building.

Principles of Team Building

  1. Each member’s roles and responsibilities have been written down and explained to them in clear and unambiguous manner.
  2. Every team member should understand their own responsibility and should be committed towards their work to increase the team’s productivity and work towards the team’s success.
  3. Team members should collaborate with each other in order to take their tasks forward smoothly.
  4. Effective Communication becomes essential factor in team building. It is essential for any manager and team members to communicate with each other in freely and openly about nature of work, goals set for team, and methods adopted for accomplishing objectives.
  5. The manager should be polite, humble and approachable so that team members do not hesitate to approach him with whatever issues they might have. This also helps the manager to bring about coordination among team members.

Along with such principles there are some approaches to team building. There are five approaches that are generally followed.

  1. Interpersonal approach: Interpersonal approach is most ancient approach among others emerged in 1950 which is based on human psychology. It develops social and personal awareness between the team members. Better understanding of each other’s nature will help to work easily within team. Interpersonal approach enhances bond between teammates which also enhances productivity.
  2. Role-Definition: This approach is based on roles and norms which exist within team. Defining roles and responsibilities for each person in team, defining expectation from each person enhances coordination between team members which ultimately gives better output while achieving common goal.
  3. Values: This approach is based on values that team members adopt while executing their roles and responsibilities. It is important that the team members have same values. For effective teamwork and coordination, values given to each should be well justified otherwise it would become difficult for team members to work in team.
  4. Task based approach: This approach is based on individual’s skills and how he executes tasks assigned to him and make teamwork successful. It is managers’ who should put all the tasks in clear terms. Bigger tasks should be broken down into smaller tasks by manager. Then it becomes individual’s responsibility to contribute in team by working on his tasks to achieve common targets.
  5. Social Identification: It talks about members’ need to feel part of team. It is important for each member to understand each other’s point of views, should have good communication with each other, standing in crisis for each others, taking unfinished jobs of other in need to achieve common objectives which are set for the team and not for individual. These things help member to come closer with other member of team and to feel being part of Team which enhances effective teamwork. Each team member should have self esteem and respect for each other to have effective co ordination in team. Some common platforms, interests, knowledge sharing platforms can help members to stand for others in need so that team can reach common targets.

Every individual has always been considered as asset of company. So it is important for any organization to take all such individuals together as a team to become a successful organization and team building techniques definitely make it possible.

7 Traits Every Successful Business Leader Needs

There is no perfect skill set for a successful business owner, and the ‘cookie cutter’ approach some people take is wrong. Businesses vary, and as a result, the skills needed to own and run them vary also.

Successful

That being said, the following are 7 traits every successful business leader needs:

1. Optimism

You must be an optimist because at some point, you have to see beyond the hard times to see the better times. Optimism and confidence tend to go together. You, as the business owner, must be able to make it through the tough times because you know in your heart that it will get better.

2. Ability to Sacrifice

Being in the bottom spot on the totem pole is something that you are going to encounter as an owner. Your business takes precedence over just about everything else. You most likely will not be taking any vacations in the beginning. Your financial needs are the last ones to be met. You only get paid after you have paid your employees, your expenses and your vendors.

If there is any profit at that point, you can take some salary. But if you want to continue to grow, you will probably have to reinvest the profits and take little or no money. At least that will be the case in the beginning. Driving an older car, living in an older house and postponing vacations are just a few of the sacrifices you must be willing to make.

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3. Ability to Manage

I did not say management experience because people tend to think that means the ability to manage people. What I’m talking about here is the ability to manage everything.

Things like accounts receivable, accounts payable, vendor problems, advertising, customers, the banker and your lawyer all have to be managed. And the most important thing you have to manage in the beginning is your family. They have to understand what you are doing and know that it’s going to be tough in the beginning.

4. Interpersonal Skills

Running any business, even an Internet business, requires interpersonal skills. If you run any business, then you have to be able to get along with more people than you realize. Some people go into business for themselves because they can’t get along with their bosses.

These same people are surprised when they find out that getting along with their previous boss was a piece of cake compared to getting along with irate customers (even if they are wrong, they will think they are right), demanding employees and quirky vendors. You will be a referee, a judge, a boss, a cohort and a friend.

5. Common Sense

You don’t need a Harvard education to run a successful business, and you don’t need a college education to come up with a good business idea. What a business owner must have is the ability to anticipate problems and take steps to prevent them. Successful businesses look to outsiders as though they rarely have any problems. What they don’t see is a business owner who is keeping his/her finger on the pulse of the business and the industry.

When successful leaders anticipate change, they take steps to prepare their businesses in case it comes about. That preparation and willingness to change can make the difference between success and failure. Done well, it’s just about invisible to anyone except the business owner.

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6. Organization

People, especially your employees, will always be looking to you for answers. Answers about your products, your market, your competition and just about everything else. As the owner, you are expected to be able to answer any question relating to the business or the industry. It’s human nature to want to be led and to want someone to explain why something happened or didn’t happen. If you can’t handle being pulled in a lot of different directions all at the same time, then you should rethink your desire to go into business for yourself.

This is a real problem for some people. If you can’t juggle lots of things at the same time, then you shouldn’t go into business for yourself. There is never just one thing going on when you own a business. There are customer problems, there are vendor/supplier problems and there are competition problems.

7. Business Experience

This is one of the biggest reasons for failure, in my opinion. There are lots of people who are great at their jobs. Maybe they are the best carpenter, or the best painter, or the best salesperson or the best cook. There is a tendency for people to believe that just because they can do their current job well (maybe better than anyone else they know), that means they would be a great business owner.

The best mechanic I ever knew decided that he should open his shop. To my knowledge, there was no one smarter than him when it came to troubleshooting a problem with a vehicle. He was brilliant. So, he saved his money and opened his shop.