If you think that working with a group of people means that you are working in a team, you could not be more wrong. Teams are groups but groups are not necessarily teams. A team can achieve so much more than what a group can achieve, it has higher productivity, efficiency and better communications. If you would like to improve and turn your group into a team, read on for tips on how to do so.
1) Teams Have Clear Goals
With an unambiguous goal, teams know what they are striving for and have far more motivation to do better. Conversely, groups do not know what their daily struggle is for and are usually just going through the motions at work. A good team leader sets the goal for the team and makes sure that every team member is aware and acknowledges the goal.
2) Teams Facilitate Communications
Even if team members do not want to be friends with each other outside of work, they still maintain their professionalism and communicate with each other during working hours. Be it face to face, using instant messaging, text messages, email or through the phone, teams welcome communications, as this will usually expedite the tasks at hand. On the contrary, there is rarely any communications within groups and you may observe that group members, although sitting in close quarters of each other, hardly talk to each other. To change your group into a team, make sure that members are able to communicate with each other freely.
3) Understanding & Respect
Change the mind set of your group members so that they no longer only think about themselves. They need to cultivate understanding for their fellow team members and to respect each other. There should not be any disparaging comments or snide remarks made, as this will bring the overall morale of the team down.
4) Inclusive & Supportive Environment
Team members trust and cooperate with each other and this invariably creates an inclusive and supportive environment. Within such a setting, people perform better and feel more engaged at work. Start small and build trust with your fellow group members by working on minor projects together. Researchers have found that people working in offices usually collaborate more when they sit at long tables as compared to those who sit in cubicles. If possible, try to arrange the seating plan at work so that team mates sit next to each other, and are not blocked by cubicle walls.
5) Teams Celebrate Success
Whenever there are any achievements, however small, teams celebrate and honour the accomplishments. This provides validation to the team members who will appreciate the acknowledgement. However, this does not mean that teams ignore failures. If there are any mistakes made, teams should work together to resolve the issues. There should not be any finger pointing or backstabbing. A competent team leader will make sure that the mistake will not be repeated. On the other hand, in groups, there is seldom any celebration of success and whenever there are any slip ups, members are quick to pin point the member who made the gaffe. People often work in high tension settings when they are in uncooperative groups, and this is not conducive for anyone.
An effective way to start turning your group into a team is to plan a team building activity for your members. Being outside of the work location, it is easier to communicate, build trust and respect, which will translate back into the office environment. At CulinaryOn, we can customise a team building activity specially for your team members. Contact us now and find out more!