As a manager, building a sense of oneness across your team members or a department is an uphill task. Most of the times, managers spend a lot of time in unnecessarily managing people issues or resolving human dynamics. If you could have your team member’s focus on the task at hand without getting distracted by the inter-team dynamics, the team’s capacity to take on more responsibilities would increase substantially.
Here are few tips to create a sense of oneness within your team.
Create a forum for open dialogue regarding team goals
Once the team members are settled and comfortable with each other, as a manager should look into setting up a platform. Through this platform, the team members can discuss the responsibilities of the project team as a group, how their individual expertise is shaping their roles, and how this blends into the larger picture, including the other team member’s roles.
Determine accessibility of external knowledge.
There will be many times when your team would need additional help or knowledge. The usual approach to solving everything in-house may leave the team members frustrated and unhappy. At the group level, the team members should agree on how they will handle questions or problems that are outside their or teams expertise. By proactively acknowledging that the team may not have all the answers or solutions, you are building a culture of openness to feedback and increasing the ability to ask for help. Eventually, this would lead to better results.
Educate team members on the benefits of collaboration.
You should remind all team members, that they are working as a single unit and are responsible and accountable for the success of the project. In most of the highly competitive modern day companies, the focus may predominantly emphasize the task at hand and promote individualism rather than working together as a unit. In the past, where direct management and visual cues were present, this may have worked reasonably well. However, in the modern day organizations, focusing only on one’s individual task connections and avoiding or resisting collaboration can promote distrust and miscommunication.
Be responsive to virtual team members.
As a team manager, you should establish a culture of responsiveness in dealing with all the team members. Often dispersed team members feel like a name without a face, and by consciously remembering to acknowledge their work and efforts, your team can enjoy an increased sense of loyalty among dispersed employees or contractors. It is also important to adopt communication and responsiveness as part of your corporate culture. For promoting inter-team member trust, all the team members have to communicate consistently and responsively with all employees, irrespective of the fact whether they are in the office or on the field duty.
Establish good meeting management practices.
Identifying and agreeing on periodic progress reporting deadlines serves to keep everyone on track and management aware of the ongoing work in progress status. It also helps to create a sense of urgency among the team members who may not be as committed to the project as much as other colleagues, a condition that erodes inter-team member trust rapidly.
By starting with a clear direction from the top, everyone on your team can understand the importance, the urgency, and the goals of the assignment from day one. After that by nudging your key team members for exceptional individual effort and the close collaboration between the senior members and other team members will propel the deliverables forward at a super high speed.