Article: Building a Successful Team

Author: Dr. Saravanavasan KS
              Associate Vice President, L&D, 
              Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

Successful teams deliver success, not deliver successfully. These are teams that work collectively towards organizational excellence, placing the greater good of the organization over and above their individual growth and achievement. These are teams that resonate with the notion - Collective wisdom results in greater success than individual smartness. It is such cohesive teams that form the solid foundation of organizations that scale great heights constantly adapting to changes evolving their strategies accordingly.  So what then is essential for building a successful team?

Trust is the foundation for any team
A successful and progressive team is one which rides high on the trust factor. Without mutual trust within the team, not much can be achieved as doubts and conflicts will always exist among the team members. It certainly will take time to build a strong trust factor within the team but it is essential that every team leader puts this on the top of his/her team building agenda. A congenial team with high levels of trust is one where team members are comfortable about opening up with each other, letting the others know about their insecurities and weaknesses. With trust, individuals will step forward together as a team, align themselves to a common goal, increase their risk appetite, communicate openly and collaborate towards a greater good. 

Vision Goal – While the business would have its defined goals, the team should have its own defined goals that ultimately contribute to the achievement of the larger organizational goal.   There should be uniform acceptance of these team goals. This will help list the tasks and responsibilities of each of the team members, and give them a fair sense of the challenges they would have to encounter as well.
Play on people’s key strengths
Another key factor in building a successful team is to understand and play to the strengths of each of the team members. Personality assessment tests can help gain a good understanding of an individual and their traits. They can be used to match an individual with a suitable role and its requisite skills, values and characteristics. This will help to build a team with members that compliment one and other’s strengths negating the weaknesses to a great extent. A leader should be able to bring to the table, the strengths of his individual team members and put them into action to collectively accomplish team goals.
Collaborating ideas and efforts
Collaboration is working together by sharing ideas and thought to accomplish certain common goals. Leaders should be able to create and sustain a culture of collaboration. Such teams would see the value in working together and how it is beneficial for the company as a whole. Collaboration with effective communication can lead to innovative solutions utilizing the strengths of the team.
Build team on shared ownership
A sense of ownership will motivate members in a team to do their very best going the extra mile. Leaders need to make their team understand the share of work they are responsible and ensure they take ownership of it. Such team members who work with a sense of shared ownership would operate with a fair understanding of the repercussions on the organization due to incomplete and inefficient work. Creating a culture of ownership is synonymous to creating a culture of leadership where the people always strive to do their best possible. A culture of ownership will also help promote creativity and innovation, factors essential for transformation and growth of an oganisation.

Create leaders and not followers, create an empowered team
Followers need direction and are typically individuals who will tend to follow a pre-defined system of work processes. They need to be told what to do. Leaders are those who can flex, adapt and take charge as and when the situation arises. Leaders should empower their team members with decision making abilities, encourage them to take risks and innovate to be able to contribute to the overall organization growth. Empowered individuals then become leaders who prioritize the organizational growth over and above their own growth.
Make them feel part of the greater good
Company goals and values should be clearly communicated to the team, giving them a clear picture of what they are working for and what needs to be achieved.  Their efforts and achievements need to be appreciated and recognized on a timely basis. Making them feel a part of the organization’s success and growth will motivate them to put their best efforts into their work, encouraging them to innovate and explore new solutions and avenues for progress.
Successful teams are motivated by the interest they earn through emotional bank balance. This will lead to self-motivation, driving them to push their limits and exceed expectations. Self-motivation then translates to happiness and will eventually result in a sense of self-leadership.  “A team is a reflection of its leadership”, and a successful team is a team where each member is a leader.
Dr. Saravanavasan KS, 
Associate Vice President, L&D, 
Omega Healthcare Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

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