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All posts by Lorraine Schaefer

7 must-haves to develop a highly effective team

Ever come across the saying ‘there is no ‘I’ in team’? Or this one: ‘Together everyone achieves more’?

You’ve most likely been part of a team countless times over the course of your life – perhaps in the workplace, sports, online gaming or even in a game of paintball. So, what’s all the hype about?

It’s proven that when people work together cohesively and effectively towards a common goal, there is an increased chance the goal will be achieved. Teams are common, but highly effective teams? Now, that takes some work! Having been a team leader myself for several years in a large corporate, high pressure and results-driven organisation, I have firsthand experience in leading and managing teams.

Here are my top seven tips on how to develop team effectiveness:

 

Where are you going? Think goals!

You can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you’re going. That makes effective leadership vital, as is ensuring that all team members know what they are aiming for and working towards.

How do you achieve this? You need to lead the team and clearly define the team goals. There are significant advantages to gathering the input of the team on how you will work together to achieve it. This increases buy-in, motivation and ownership, which leads to an increased chance of goal achievement.

Who is doing what? Define roles!

If you have team members with unclear roles and responsibilities, it can take you away from achieving your team goal. You need to identify, define and clearly communicate the role of each individual so that they make a start in fulfilling their accountabilities and contribute to goal achievement.

Efficiency and effectiveness for the best outcome? Utilise strengths!

Know your team members. Identify their strengths. The significant advantage in this is being able to strategically allocate roles and tasks based on strengths, which helps you achieve your team goal easily, efficiently and effectively.

Consultation, motivation and communication? Yes please!

As humans, we need to feel a sense of belonging. What better place than in a team? To achieve this, we need continuous communication and consultation, which keeps your team in the loop on what is developing in the pipeline, allows them to contribute and keeps them motivated. This also makes them feel included and valued.

Regular communication between team members is also an effective way to build team cohesion. If you experience any challenges, pull your team together for a brainstorming session.

Make this meeting motivational – not your typical a sit-down meeting. Get that oxygen flowing by standing up together around a whiteboard. Talk about the problem, and draw from your team’s experience and expertise on how you can get through this – together.

Do we share a bond? Develop team cohesion!

Cohesion can be described as unity and togetherness – a bond that individuals in the team share. Some would say cohesion is what keeps the team working together like a well-oiled machine. This is an extremely important part of team effectiveness.

Cohesiveness is developed over time as individuals get to know each other, develop trust and share experiences in their journey of working together. It involves collaboration and cooperation where individuals work together to achieve the common goal.

Team cohesion can be achieved a number of ways. One of these is through team-building activities and ice breakers when they first meet, which allow individuals to get to know each other.

Are we on track? Measure and monitor performance!

To meet expected outcomes and team goals, it is critical to keep your finger on the pulse. This means measuring and monitoring the performance regularly. How? Communicate expected performance outcomes to team members clearly from the word ‘go’. Check in with your team members one-on-one and meet as a team often to discuss performance. Celebrate areas you are excelling in, and work on an action plan for areas of opportunity to improve.

Don’t forget to support and encourage your team every step of the way – this is the fuel they need to keep persisting and functioning effectively to achieve team goals.

Goal achieved? Recognise, reward and celebrate success!

As a team, you have worked hard to achieve your common goals. So what happens when you have reached them? Celebrate, of course! As humans, we crave positive reinforcement and recognition – this is key to keep motivation levels up and make it all worth it.

It doesn’t have to elaborate or expensive – it can be something as simple as saying thank you, well done, or excellent work. You can celebrate by going out for a team lunch, or recognise staff by giving out informal certificates recognising individual key contribution areas. All these strategies can make staff feel appreciated, and creates a boost of ambition for the next team project.

Business Management Skills Employers Want

There are so many named skills these days it’s hard to know which ones you need to acquire to maintain a competitive edge isn’t it?

I have narrowed the list down to 7 Essential Business Management Skills that Employers Want:

  1. Organisation and Time Management skills: This skill is a crucial requirement when in a Business Management position. Time is limited, deadlines always exist and effective management of competing demands is critical.
  2. Communication skills: Communication is something we do from the time we are born, and yet misunderstandings occur so often, don’t they? One would think we would have perfected this skill by now wouldn’t we? As human beings, the only way to get a message across is to communicate with each other. A business cannot function without the presence of effective communication. A Business Manager frequently interacts with clients, direct reports, and key stakeholders. It is important for them to effectively articulate their message verbally, non-verbally and in written form. This will avoid confusion and misinterpretation. It will contribute to confidence and future success.
  3. People Management and Leadership skills: Would you say human resources are a Business’s most valuable resource? I believe they are and here’s why… Human resources can either make or break a Business. People management is crucial based on the impact employees can have on business success. This is where you come in as a Business Manager, it is your role to work through people to motivate them to achieve key result areas, which in turn contributes to optimal Business performance.
  4. Emotional Intelligence: As humans, we are emotional beings aren’t we? Human emotions can be complex to understand at the best of times, can’t they? The concept of emotional intelligence in terms of leadership and management is relatively new. Emotional intelligence, very briefly described refers to heightened consciousness of your own emotions and your ability to proactively manage them effectively. It is also about recognising the emotional states of others by picking up on verbal and non-verbal cues and then acting accordingly to achieve the best outcome for all parties involved. This contributes to you being a highly effective leader and manager.
  5. Project Management Skills: Projects are very common in the workplace. They can range from being simple and small to something complex and big. To have skills in this area and an understanding of project management concepts such as planning, implementation, monitoring and finalisation is certainly an advantage and in demand in many industries today.
  6. Computers and technology: What doesn’t work without technology these days? The answer is not much. With the rate of technological change, people need to be up to date with the latest developments in computer technology. Now, more than ever, your skills and ability to be tech savvy and feel confident in using computers and technology is critical to success in the business environment.
  7. Ability to adapt to change: Great things never came from remaining in our comfort zone! There is no question that businesses need to change to remain competitive in the marketplace. To remain competitive means to change, evolve and grow to maintain and achieve success. Individuals who take initiative and invest in their professional development are highly sort after because it means as a staff member you can hit the ground running with updated skills and knowledge that businesses can draw upon to remain competitive.

More and more these days’ employers expect potential employees to come equipped with tertiary qualifications. They expect potential candidates to have the skills and knowledge so that they can be job ready and hit the ground running.

You can easily develop the skills listed above by investing in your own professional development. Why not do something today that your future self will thank you for!

TrainSmart Australia offer many nationally recognised courses online in the Business Management and IT

Will there ever be a perfect time to study? The answer is unfortunately no. Tomorrow is too late, yesterday is over and now is exactly the right moment. You won’t regret it!

Why Study Business?

I remember being a 17-year-old in year 12 wondering what I would do after I finished school. I naturally had doubts not being able to see into the future, and I always asked myself the question – ‘what if?’

I didn’t want to just leave it to chance, I wanted to control my own destiny on what my future would bring. I wanted to make an informed decision.

I asked myself questions such as:

I was blessed to have so much choice and the freedom to choose, but it also made the decision a lot harder. After doing a lot of research I decided to enrol into a course in Business and many years later, I have no regrets.

Why Business?

The Business services industry is one of the largest and most transferrable industries that exist. Many other industries rely on Business to be able to operate, achieve their goals and take them to greater heights. Let’s take these industries for example –  IT, Education, Beauty, Health services, Mining, Construction, Agriculture to name a few, can they operate without Business? The answer is No. They need Business Administration staff, they need Leaders and Managers, they need Human Resource Managers, they need Project Managers and other Business specialists.

Every industry needs skilled, educated and trained business staff to help them function and operate so that may achieve their business goals. Now, can you see just how much opportunity there is in Business? The possibilities and opportunities in the Business services industry can be limitless. It provides you with a lot of choice, opportunity and scope. However, you must play your cards right, prepare and plan your career carefully. Part of this is investing in the development of your skills, knowledge and competence. This will enable you to gain a competitive edge when seeking employment.

Turn dreams into reality

TrainSmart Australia offer many courses online in the Business Services Industry.

Individuals who complete these courses walk away with a strong business acumen focused in business process and operations, together with knowledge and skills in working with and managing people.

Knowledge is something no one can take from you; it is a treasure that will grow your competitive edge and make you stand out from the rest. Don’t leave your future to chance, take control of your future and take steps to achieve a successful career in Business now.

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