Team Development: More Than a Team Player

team developmentTeam development should be a top priority for every manager seeking to improve performance, efficiency, and effectiveness. Managers are only as strong as their teams. Teams are only as strong as their weakest member. Developing team building skills will help managers mold their teams into finely tuned production machines.

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Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said, “Leaders aren’t born, they are made.” While leadership is a natural gift that great leaders are born with, it takes years of training and experience to fully develop that gift into a usable skill. With training and patience, managers can learn to lead and develop successful teams.

1. Establish a Clear Vision

Establishing clear goals and expectations helps build team confidence. Team members are able to measure their performance against established expectations and adjust performance accordingly. Over time, team members will realize they can succeed and meet expectations. This will help build self confidence and a greater commitment within the team. Take an online course to learn modern leadership skills.

2. Establish Team Values

Establish a clear right way of doing things. Don’t take short cuts to meet deadlines. Don’t compromise quality for quantity. Establishing a strong work ethic within the team will create a working environment that rewards performance and encourages exceeding the standards.

3. Learn Team Members

Teams are not autonomous organizations that function independently without thought. They are a collective of individual personalities. Learn about each member of your team. Learn about their personal values and what motivates them. The secret to developing an effective team is developing effective team members. Don’t overlook members for the sake of the team as a whole. Take an online course to learn to build high performing teams.

4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

It can’t be said often enough. Communicate with your team. Keep them informed on what is happening within the department, the company and the industry. Communication is a two-way street. Don’t just talk at your team. Talk to them. Accept their feedback. Listen to them to find out their perspective on workflow, assigned tasks and productivity. They are the ones in the trenches with real-work experience. They can provide valuable feedback when you communicate with them.

5. Career Development

Building a good team means being able to let good team members advance in the company. Many managers want to trap good team members within the department but this strategy will eventually fail. Quality employees naturally want to advance in the organization and will look at other companies if you hinder their advancement. You should be training your team members for their current job and future positions they will hold within the company. Show them you care about their long-term success and they will perform for you. Not only are you building yourself a strong team member, you are building a strong team player for the company. When it is time to let good team members go, let them go. it is your loss but the company’s gain because they are now applying the skills you taught them at a higher level.

6. Initial Selection Qualifications

When selecting new team members, focus on interpersonal skills and mannerism that affect your teams dynamic. Don’t worry so much about individual skills and experience. You can teach skills and provide experience. Instead, look for people that have the personal qualities that fit the mold of your team. They should work well within the established vision and values. They should work well with other team members. People are born with certain attitudes and mannerisms toward others. These are things that cannot be easily taught. Look for team members with these qualities and then teach them what you need them to know. Take an online course to learn how to put your leadership skills into action.