Building a stronger team is a top priority for virtually every manager, regardless of industry. Strong, cohesive teams that understand how individual team members work tend to produce better products, helping their companies excel. In many ways, a team is a microcosm of the company. Each person brings their own expertise and the overlap should be minimal in order to ensure a lack of redundancy. The more diverse the team, the better, because you’ll end up covering all of your bases from big picture conception down to minute details of execution.
Yet, we all know that big picture people and minute detail people don’t always understand each other very well. Likewise, tech people and administrative people often have entirely different vocabularies. They’re all essential pieces of the same pie, but finding a way for all of the diverse pieces to work together cohesively is a continual challenge.
We recently worked with a company who was facing this exact problem. A manager of support services at a technical company had a team of about a dozen people. These people all had their own field of responsibility from technical support to customer service to legal documentation. You couldn’t imagine a more diverse team, but ultimately they were all working toward the same purpose. They just didn’t know how one another worked toward that purpose, and as a result they struggled to work together effectively.
By proposing to administer employee assessments, we knew we could help the manager and each of the people under her leadership understand how one another worked. By taking the time to identify each individual’s strengths and vulnerabilities, their values and the ways that they worked best, we knew the team would be able to get a better understanding of how they could each serve their team members better. In the end, that step would enable the team to become unified, stronger, and more effective.
Team building is never a simple task, but having concrete information about your team members’ strengths and vulnerabilities provides a foundation from which to build. Once you have a solid understanding of how your team members like to work and what’s important to them, here are a few tips for moving forward:
- Empower your employees. Make sure that they understand the roles that are assigned to them, and then give them room to grow.
- Work through problems facing the group as a team. Draw from your team’s experience and insights in order to address any issues your team is up against.
- Look for ways that you can better manage your individual team members. Find ways to reward them that they will appreciate most.
- Trust your employees. No one likes a micro-manager. Give them the power to work together, and then trust them to get things done. Offer guidance and support along the way.