A Guide on How to Build a Team That is Strong and Successful
Updated 14 September 2022
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Good teamwork is one of the key components that leads a business to success. The ability to hire the right people and build a successful and powerful team determines the long-term success of any organisation. Good organisations need high-performing team that can communicate clearly to achieve business objectives. As a supervisor or manager, you can contribute by encouraging teamwork and cultivating strong teams.
In this article, we discuss why is it important to build a strong and successful team, its key characteristics and how to build a team that is successful.
Importance Of A Successful Team
A successful team is essential to take an idea from inception to completion. There is a limitation on how much a single person can get done and it requires a strong team to execute a business plan and achieve success. A dynamic team can be an asset for the organisation which can help in accomplishing tasks and achieve business objectives. A strong team can help you assemble complementary skills from its team members that can help you accomplish tasks that you could not do own your own.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Successful Team?
Team members of a successful team often share ideas, consider solutions and solve problems together. In strong teams, individual members benefit each other by providing added support and opportunities for each other's development. Successful teams typically have the following characteristics:
Growth oriented mindset: Successful teams have growth-oriented mindset and they set, implement and track their goals together to improve efficiency and productivity. Teams with growth mindset believe that their talents can be developed and they continuously work towards learning new things.
Commitment to their roles: Individuals in successful teams are typically committed to their roles and generally work in roles based on their strengths and expertise. Because of this, these teams are typically highly motivated and deliver results under tight deadlines.
Open to learning: Successful teams often have members who are open to learning and adjust their roles and responsibilities according to the needs of a project or task. These team members are generally interested in challenging their skills and open to learning new things in order to accomplish new tasks which leads to professional growth of the entire team.
Diverse perspectives and experiences: Diversity tends to encourage innovation and creativity and successful teams often have members who come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a large spectrum of experiences and opinions. This enables the team to enhance their potential and perform at their best.
Shared culture: Teams who are united by a single mission or set of values are often more motivated to make a difference. Whether it is a company culture or group culture, having a shared culture, beliefs and values can help the team feel united in achieving the goals of the organisation.
Responsibility and accountability: Successful teams share their responsibilities and take accountability for every task that belongs to their team collectively. They share a common set of values and goals and each team member can be held to the same standard.
Clear communication: Strong and successful teams often have clear communication among all its team members. All the members of these teams brainstorm solutions, provide status updates and complete tasks together and tend to achieve their goals.
An effective leader: Successful teams typically have leaders who can provide a clear direction and encourage other team members to succeed. A leader helps the team in achieving the goals by providing constant guidance and support to all the team members in whatever way possible.
How To Build A Team
To build a strong and successful team, consider following these eight steps:
1. Set SMART goals
Your team can set SMART goals by choosing objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. For instance, you may want to exceed your monthly quota by 5% by the end of the third month.
Once these objectives are implemented, you may want to track the progress regularly. Every team member shares the same team specific metrics and your team can measure and monitor the progress and celebrate the accomplishments. Having a single metric to measure the progress rather than applying multiple definitions of success helps the team members to more accurately understand their progress and helps in achieving the goals.
Related: 10 Common Leadership Styles
2. Perform well-defined roles
Having well-defined roles for each individual member of the team helps in setting the expectations right and typically leads to team performing at their best. Typically the teams work best when each member is made responsible for contributing something specific. Creating well-defined roles for all the team members helps them in focussing on accomplishing their individual tasks and following specific workflows instead of wasting their energy in identifying their responsibilities and place in the team.
For example, you can divide the work among the team members and assign some team members to lead different project types, while others may conduct primary or secondary research, perform analysis and recommend solutions. Teams can achieve even more success when individual team members are given opportunities to advance into new roles and contribute more. Try to assign these new roles and responsibilities at the beginning of new projects to make these changes as effective as possible.
3. Experiment regularly
Although teams are often most productive when they have well-defined roles, you may consider experimenting with new ideas as well. Calculated risk taking allows for ample opportunities for learning and successful teams generally tend to accommodate this strategy especially if these experiments have the potential to generate much better outcomes.
You may try to make time for brainstorming before starting a project to initiate experimentation into your standard workflows. During this thoughtful exercise, team members can contribute ideas for conducting research, structuring a project or collecting and analyzing results.
4. Embrace diversity
When building successful teams, it is important that the team members are as diverse as possible and come from different backgrounds, have diverse opinions and experience levels. The most effective and successful teams embrace different skill sets and professional backgrounds which help in encouraging different ways of thinking and better decision-making. By inviting members with diverse views in your team, your team may approach problems in different and innovative ways and arrive at the best solution possible.
5. Share a common culture
Despite coming from diverse backgrounds and opinions, the most successful teams often share a common company or group culture. Your team might create and agree on these shared behaviors unconsciously, as they are likely to reflect preferred working or communication styles. However, your team is likely to be more productive when it has guidelines to follow. As the leader, you may want to set expectations right and make the type of team environment you are willing to establish in your team or company clear to all the team members.
For many teams, shared values start with a cohesive mission. You can try to establish a singular team mission by reflecting on the organization's mission statement and the ways your team contributes to this overarching goal.
6. Be accountable to the team
Accountability is one of the key things that each team member should maintain to build a strong and successful team. Holding each team member accountable for their assigned tasks helps in bringing the best out of them and allows them to achieve their full potential by doing their best work. You may want to lead by example and establish this type of accountability by setting a good example with your own work, encouraging your team members to discuss ways to improve and making sure to implement the feedback. Encouraging group accountability may help your team members in finding a sense of belonging and purpose and help them in focussing on the goals to achieve the desired objectives.
7. Communicate effectively
Effective communication is one of the key things that differentiates successful teams from average teams. Clear lines of communication is necessary to work together seamlessly and to streamline communication, you may want to clarify each member's roles and responsibilities in a clear way. This will help the team understand who is in charge of what and what to do when an issue arises or a problem needs to be solved.
Also, you may want to make it clear to the team that how the project updates will be communicated, be it email, messaging platforms or project management applications.
Related: Guide: How To Become an Effective Communicator
8. Welcome strong leadership
Strong leadership is necessary to ensure that the teams reach their goals, work together effectively and perform at their best. You can demonstrate effective leadership by being committed, accountable and responsible for your work. As a strong leader, try to cultivate adaptability, welcome feedback and motivate team members to do their best work.
Select a leadership style that best fits the type of team you are managing to discover how to best facilitate communication, mediate discussion and conflicts and ensure continuous progress.
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