At a glance
By Nina Hendy
1. Set specific goals for the team.
Employees need a clear sense of what the team is trying to accomplish and what success will look like in order to become a great team. They also need clarity of roles, good workflows and sufficient resources, explains Rose Bryant-Smith of Worklogic, a workplace investigations firm that works with employers to triage problems.
“Good leadership is crucial. There’s no one right way to lead and manage, but the leadership must be authentic and a good match for the team, its goal and the context in which it’s working,” Bryant-Smith says.
The leader must hold everyone accountable for what they’re achieving, how they go about it, the culture and the values of the team, she adds.
2. On-board new team members carefully.
The successful introduction of a new team member can set them up for success. Clear information is essential, so they know what to expect and they have the resources and information they need to hit the ground running, Bryant-Smith says.
“Position the team for the newcomer’s arrival and make sure that IT, payroll and other internal functions are prepared and have good systems in place for on-boarding new employees.
“It’s hard to claw back a good impression with a new team member if it takes weeks for their email address to be set up.”
3. Nip toxic behaviour in the bud.
Dysfunctional teams, conflict and toxic behaviour are relatively common. What’s important is to catch problems at an early stage and address conflict and bad behaviour before it spirals out of control or becomes entrenched in the team’s culture.
Employers know that they can’t afford to ignore apparently low-level breaches of the organisation’s rules and values, Bryant-Smith says.
“Social media means that reputational damage can be swift and brutal. Consumers do expect companies to practise what they preach.”
4. Don’t be afraid of different viewpoints.
Working in a diverse team makes people more likely to prepare thoroughly, anticipate alternative viewpoints and work actively to solve complex problems.
“Group thinking is a real danger when everyone in the team is the same demographic, so if your team has a variety of ages, cultural backgrounds, professional experience or other demographics, see this diversity as a strength,” Bryant-Smith says.