10 steps to get your team working together

Mar 08, 2020

Eric Fitzpatrick outlines the steps a leader can take to encourage their teams to work together effectively for the good of the team rather than the good of themselves.

Leadership is about building up the people around you, trusting them to do their jobs and supporting their efforts to achieve the desired outcomes. One of the challenges a leader faces is getting their team working effectively together. The following is worth considering to get your team firing on all cylinders.

Communicate with clarity

Teams want clear instructions and guidance. They want to know what’s expected of them. Be open and upfront. Keep your team updated as much as is possible. Leave no room for ambiguity or misunderstanding.

Have a common purpose

Successful teams work together to achieve common goals. Include them in the process of agreeing to those goals. Making them part of the decision-making will increase their sense of responsibility and ownership of the goals and make them more inclined to work together to achieve them.

Build trust and respect

Be consistent in your decision-making. Deliver what you say you’ll deliver. Create an environment where mistakes, creativity and risk-taking are encouraged and not penalised. Make the decisions that must be made even when they are not popular.

Provide the right support

What does your team need to be able to do their job? Is it training, equipment, coaching, time? Aim to give it to them.

Create the right culture

What are the ideal values and attributes of your team? Does everyone know what they are? Have the team had input into creating and agreeing them?

Give your team responsibility and value

Challenge your team to grow and recognise when they perform well and deliver desired outcomes. Celebrate small wins.

Listen

Great leaders know when to listen. Your team will appreciate knowing that you value their opinion and insights.

Recognise the individuals within your team

It’s important to recognise that your team is made up of individuals with differing personalities. One of the challenges a leader faces is in marrying the desired outcomes of the team with the needs of the individuals within it. Recognise what each individual brings to the team and play to their strengths.

Make sure your team is actually a team

Sometimes a leader finds themselves in charge of a collection of individuals and not an actual team. Know if everyone on your team is working together. Do they keep the team goals at the forefront of their thinking or are they focused on personal results?

Know when to cut a member of the team

Know when a team member is not performing and not prepared to consider the negative impact this has on the rest of the team. Adding a fresh face to your team can generate new ideas and spark new thinking.

Finally, constantly test how to keep your team engaged. Provoke new thinking within your team, create an environment that encourages creativity and challenge them to achieve the outcomes they have committed to as a team.   

Eric Fitzpatrick is owner of ARK Speaking and Training