I have been asked the same question by several people and several organizations “how do you build a successful team”? The answer is a lot more simple than you think!
First of all, it is important to remember that there is no “I” in team. The owner or manager can and should be the coach (or you can hire an outside consultant to help be the coach if that works better for you) and the owner or manager can certainly lead the team, but all people that are part of the team need to have the opportunity to contribute and they need to feel appreciated.
One of the key ingredients to making the team successful is to share the overall vision of what the business is trying to achieve. For example; if you were in a retail business, the key focus or goal of the team may be “how to deliver the best customer service” OR “how to make a customer feel welcome”. Now that the team has the goal or target outcome; all members of the team should have the opportunity to give input and ideas on how to achieve that goal. They can even vote on the ideas as a group as to which one they think should be implemented first. You may even want to create a challenge of some sort within the team to reward the best ideas.
Appreciate your team and celebrate the victories or the positive strides towards the goal. Make sure that the team stays engaged with regular meetings. If the team is local you could maybe arrange to have breakfast or lunch meetings. If the team is not able to get together in person with the technology available today you can schedule webinars, conference calls, etc. in order to keep in touch. No matter how you get together; keep your meetings consistent. If you meet for a while and then stop; the team will feel that nothing has changed and they are no longer important. It will be harder to try and re-engage the team the second time. Also, try to start and finish every meeting with something positive such as customer feedback or an idea that has been implemented and is showing improvement in customer satisfaction or productivity.
From my example above you may have noticed that I only had one goal; in this example, it was improving “customer satisfaction”. That is also very important when building a team. There may be a TON of things that you may want to change or improve. However, even focusing on one thing there may be many components to reaching the goal, in order to keep a team together and motivated it is important to tackle one goal at a time, implement one or two ideas at a time and celebrate the victories as you move forward.
If you start building change together as a team one step at a time and celebrating the small victories you will be surprised at how quickly the culture of your staff will change and how quickly they will start coming up with additional ideas for improvement.
Helping You and Your Business Achieve Maximum potential!