How to Build Dynamic Team Cohesiveness
By: Tony E Ornduff
Just because an organization has employees does not mean they will function together as a team. To be a team requires that the team members enjoy working together and does so cohesively, productively, and efficiently. The successful team is cohesive because team members work together and share common goals and resources. Production doesn’t mean the team members never disagree, but they know how to work through conflicts and resolve conflicts together. The team is efficient because tasks are assigned in a way that takes into account each member’s strengths and weaknesses. The benefits of having a high-functioning team cannot be stated enough. Some of these benefits include increased trust, enhanced performance, enhanced productivity, job satisfaction, staff retention, shared purpose, and a sense of community. In contrast, the absence of teamwork will present itself as unwillingness to engage in honest communication, avoidance of accountability, frustration, resentment, suspicion, and lack of commitment. When a manager is tasked with forming a team, the manager strives to build a cohesive group. But a cohesive team does not occur by accident. A lot of time and effort goes into building a great team. Managers play an essential role in developing and leading teams that work in these ways. Managers who are skilled at effective team building all employ a series of common guidelines to ensure the final product is a cohesive team. Team Member Selection
The first step in developing a cohesive team is careful selection of team members. When selecting his team the manager should consider the mission of the team. Chosen members should be best suited for the task at hand. Some consideration should be made to pair workers together who get along with each other. The team should have some diversity on it. The members of the team should represent a mix of viewpoints and perceptions. Without diversity, the final result would be limited if all the team members share the same interests and experiences. Once the team has been chosen, it is important to now identify each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Each person has strengths to bring to the team effort. The team members should help their manager decide what tasks they feel most suited to accomplish. Assignments should be delegated to the members that are the best equipped and most eager to perform them. Allocating these assignments based on individual abilities will give the best results. This also helps to establish clear roles within the group with specific terms and not vague generalities. It is important for each member to be clear about responsibilities. All the members of the team need to understand what is expected of them and what role they will play on the team.
Individuals need individual goals. Teams need team objectives. Developing an objective is the first task that teams should undertake. If the team as a whole does not understand the objective then the team will struggle to see their purpose. The manager needs to explain to the group what the team objectives are. The manager should then explain the importance of each team objective and how it impacts team success. It is also important for the team to understand how it contributes to the company’s success. For teams to function cohesively, all members must clearly understand the team objectives so they can function cooperatively to work toward that goal. Once expectations and goals are agreed upon, they should be documented, updated at least annually, and referenced frequently. If the team begins to veer off course, reviewing the documented goals is a good way to steady the team and focus them back in the right direction. The manager may need to communicate the team's vision each and every day and use it as a behavioral guide. This will help the team members link their every day activities to the vision...
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