13 Ways to Build A Strong Team in 2021

13 Ways to Build A Strong Team in 2021

In 2021, the chances of hiring mediocre talent are slim to none.  As companies continue to adapt hybrid and remote work solutions, leaders look for new ways to advance their team and keep members engaged.

If you’re reading this, it means that your company has been given a chance to reinvent itself, emboldening you to find new or promote existing talent to boost your company’s mission.

Take advantage of these 13 ways to build a strong team and help you do so.

1. Choose the right talent for the job.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right person for a role.  While there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ person, a good work ethic, a positive attitude, and the ability to face adverse situations are some of the many things that make a great candidate.

For business leaders and hiring managers, having a solid understanding of the work scope and responsibilities expected of the role will provide a clear roadmap for acquiring your ideal candidate.

Look for characteristics that promote a positive attitude, good work-relationships amongst peers, and a sense of dignity with the utmost professionalism when carrying out projects and everyday tasks.

2. Clearly define roles and responsibilities.

One of the many ways to set up a candidate for success is to grasp their role’s purpose within the organization.

According to the Association for Business Psychology, an employee who recognizes that they have a purpose within a company allows them to realize that their work matters. It also promotes camaraderie and teamwork as they execute their duties with the company’s mission in mind.

Defined roles and responsibilities promote transparency, structure, and clear expectations of the individual performing the work. It also allows top-performing individuals to know what to anticipate and discover what can be improved within the role.

3. Establish team values and goals.

Team values are essential because they set the tone for the team’s minimum standard for acceptable behavior and outlook towards the job.  They also act as core beliefs that guide a group’s actions.

Goals, on the other hand, guide employees by showing them where to aim.  Whether that’s increasing sales, attracting more customers, or improving customer support, goals are the terminal point of a race to the desired achievement.

Combining these two components permits team members to take action with confidence and zero hesitation, trusting that their organization knows their intent and reasoning for their tactics.

4. Utilize Resource Management

Resource management is the process of planning, scheduling, and allocating resources in the best possible way.  Its aim is to maximize your resources’ efficiency.  This in turn will help the success of your project, task, or organizational goals.

By utilizing resources, you provide your team with better insight on what has been done in the past and what can be done to create better outcomes, contributing to overall organizational efficiency.

5. Encourage communication and welcome all ideas and opinions.

Authentic connection is one way to ensure that your employees feel heard within a team.  Open-door communication, rewarding good ideas, and providing sincere feedback are just a few ways to foster a healthy culture and inclusive work environment.

By welcoming all opinions, you create a safe space for employees to be themselves, become motivated to develop new ideas, and create new processes that improve the team’s operations.

6. Make it a point to evaluate team performance.

Whether it’s day after day or week after week, don’t be afraid to check on your team’s performance.  Review where they’re excelling, what they’re lacking, and what can be done to improve team efficiency.

Evaluating team performance enables you and the team to tracks goals and determine which areas need more attention.

Lead by example by and show employees that you hold yourself accountable to make the team better every day.

7. Mediate minor disputes to refocus the team on higher goals.

As a team leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that the adults remain adults.

When focusing on long-term projects, it’s easy for team members to become deviated from the project’s overall mission.

Steer away from purposeless conversations that reduce the team’s morale.  Removing tension while practicing transparency is one of the many critical factors in keeping a high-performing squad together.

Practice consistent communication throughout team meetings, show empathy, and most importantly, avoid gossip.

8. Encourage trust and cooperation.

For a team to thrive, every member must trust that each person within the group is fully capable of carrying out expectations and responsibilities.  Without cooperation, team members can begin to feel like a one-person island.

The best way to cooperate is to utilize a reliable and effective collaboration platform that empowers individuals.  Teammates that invest their time in cooperating with each other meet deadlines faster and achieve quality output.

9. Delegate problem-solving tasks.

According to Tanveer Naseer Leadership, managers tend to feel responsible for the difficult tasks that their team encounters, leading them to take on the burden themselves and not delegate at all.

Take the time to share what’s on your roadmap with your team.  You may be surprised by how many individuals volunteer to spearhead an assignment – helping you take some load off of your plate.

By delegating problem-solving tasks, you’re utilizing trust and giving employees the confidence to handle the next steps and grow, avoiding future tendencies to rely on upper management when things get tough.

10. Make an effort to learn about your team members’ strengths.

The one thing that separated Phil Jackson, Chicago Bulls’ head coach during Michael Jordan’s prime, was his keen ability to recognize his team members’ strengths and use them to the best advantage.

Talk to your team members.  Ask them what motivates them when they get up in the morning.  At the end of every week, hold one meeting to understand what they enjoyed accomplishing the most.  Did that accomplishment contribute to the team?  Could you see that individual doing that again, carrying out the process, and owning it?  Is there a top performer that you believe could take your place one day?

Not only do small acts like this allow you to strategize where to place certain chess pieces on the chessboard, but it will promote a much smoother process in the future.

11. Cross-train employees.

Whether you’re working with a small or large team, employees must be able to pick up where another employee left off, especially if you’re working in one group.

Not only does this remove any frustrations towards employees taking a vacation, but it allows employees to grow outside of their existing skillset and train others down the line in case one decides to leave the group.

12. Practice emotional intelligence.

In today’s modern world, the practice of emotional intelligence has become a make-or-break factor in the workforce.

When leaders forget that their employees are human by looking at them as merely productivity machines, burnout climbs.

Simple check-ins, gestures to show appreciation, and asking whether they need better tools to work better from home, are just a few ways to show employees that you care.  In return, you’re allowing employees to give you their commitment and loyalty.

13. Find ways to collectively celebrate wins and achievements.

You’re almost at the finish line, and you’ve hit all the milestones that you and your team set out to achieve.  Now it’s time to acknowledge the top performers and remind your team how far they’ve come.

If you’re working remotely, plan a virtual get-together or event ahead of time and use interactive meetings to get the party started.  Nothing is better than celebrating fruitful victory after a long feat of hard work.

Lead your team to success

There are many contributing factors to ensuring a successful team.  But with these 13 tips, you’ll be the sole reason why your team will continue to thrive.  Practice consistent communication, put your people first, and lead by example.

How can SmartChoice help?

SmartChoice provides the full range of UC tools and services you need for a fully integrated communications and collaboration platform. With Smart Direct Routing, you can make and receive phone calls on certified Teams devices and on your mobile phone through the Microsoft Teams app. Our solution lets you reduce costs by paying only for the calling paths you actually use, rather than purchasing the individual calling plans from Microsoft.

SmartChoice is a technology company based out of New York City with a unique portfolio of solutions including UCAAS, collaboration, software and analytics, dedicated contact centers, security, infrastructure, and managed connectivity. Through its unsurpassed white-glove service and 24x7x365 U.S. based support, it has grown to become one of the largest award-winning PBX/SIP providers in North America.  

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