Assembling the “dream team” for your company doesn’t have to be difficult – with a change of perspective, it can come together in no time at all. The key is to take a “doing” rather than an “information” approach. There is a vast range of training options open to employers, so it’s hard to pick and choose which method to follow that will bring the desired results.
The basic rule that must be applied when considering your next team building exercise is to remember that “dream teams” don’t come together through useful information or training alone. As great as attending seminars, participating in competency training, reading books or watching videos can be, the saying “actions speak louder than words” holds true in this regard. Being able to perform a task during training isn’t always the same as knowing what to do in real life, on a daily basis. For example, many people have read about the negative implications of smoking, but people still smoke.
An encouraging work environment is another primary factor in leading your team to success. Team members will form their professional behaviour based on what they believe about themselves and their work environment. If they believe they’ll have a positive effect on that environment, and that it supports their behaviour, they’ll strive to succeed. Does the team environment you’re creating encourage positive behaviour? Does it give team members the ability to contribute?
As well as a nurturing work environment, your dream team will further develop by possessing the right equipment. A combination of the two will enable them to feel safe and supported, and thus make them more effective team players. Team members who get results feel it’s ok to contribute their opinions and offer feedback within a supportive environment.
So, how do you know if you’re fostering this kind of atmosphere? All you have to do is ask! Approach your team members and ask them what could be improved to help them become more efficient and productive, or happier while at work. Some might benefit from flexible work hours. Others might like to listen to music while they’re working. Furthermore, some team members might simply desire better lighting or a supportive desk chair.
More often, organisations are realising that employee satisfaction contributes heavily to the bottom line and their overall success. As a result, some workplaces now include childcare facilities, ergonomically designed workstations or yoga classes.
Beliefs are another key factor in motivating a team to success, but changing team members’ beliefs is not an easy or expedient task. Recruiting better suited team members through personality instruments and interviews is one strategy for assembling a dream team, but understanding their beliefs is essential in identifying other strategies. Beliefs that may limit a team’s performance can include:
- The fear that offering feedback may lead to a negative confrontation, making it better to keep the opinion to oneself.
- The fear that delegation will go wrong, and the only way to get a job done properly is to do it yourself.
- The incorrect notion that successful salespeople must be dishonest, pushy or arrogant.
It may seem daunting to challenge and transform these beliefs, and team leaders need to do so by designing flexible experiences for people within organisations to learn there may be a better approach.
Experiential learning events, such as team building outings, aren’t just used because they’re fun and can strengthen relationships. They’re used because they work. Frequent, varied experiences are great ways to inspire new ways of seeing and thinking about business, opening the mind to new beliefs and behaviours.
It takes more than information and ideas to develop a dream team. The core concepts must be utilised on a daily basis. Team leaders should look at the different training options open to them and ask which beliefs the particular organisation promotes that may encourage or dissuade their desired outcome. Furthermore, they should consider how their work environment can be changed to support flexibility and greater productivity, or what experiences might help foster new beliefs and behaviours.
Team building isn’t an exact science. Sometimes it’s a matter of trial and error, or asking carefully considered questions in order to find the best strategies available to maximise your team’s potential.