How to Turn a Work Group Into an Effective Team

Your work group may be missing an important element if employees haven’t yet learned to work together as a team. Both motivation and productivity increase when employees support each other and understand the importance of each of their roles on the team. Building an effective team is a gradual process and can’t be accomplished in just one day or week. Although it will take hard work, your group will become more cohesive, cooperative and effective when they embrace the principles of teamwork.

  1. 1.

    Meet with the group and explain that working as a team will benefit all members by increasing motivation, satisfaction and productivity. Ask team members for input regarding improving group performance.

  2. 2.

    Explain to the group how the work you do benefits the company. Describe each person’s role in the group. While that might seem like obvious information, some members of the group may not realize the scope of another team member’s responsibilities or the importance of your work to the company.

  3. 3.

    Develop several goals as a group. Goals might be to complete an important project before deadline, increase communication between members or increase sales by a certain percentage. Establish metrics to determine success and provide them to all team members. The Free Management Library website suggests creating goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  4. 4.

    Decide how the group can accomplish the goals. If you are concerned about meeting a deadline, take a look at workflow and redesign the process with team input. Plan weekly meetings, use the company intranet to post updates on projects or hold informal lunch-and-learn sessions to improve communications.

  5. 5.

    Keep team members informed of the group’s progress in meeting goals. Provide regular feedback and ask team members to keep you informed of problems or concerns. Offer solutions to difficult problems and serve as an intermediary if conflicts arise with other departments or employees.

  6. 6.

    Encourage team members to work together to accomplish goals. Pair team members who have strengths in different areas to allow them to benefit from the other’s expertise and experience.

  7. 7.

    Celebrate reaching goals and describe the way each team member contributed to the success. Thank each team member. Take the group out to lunch or give them gift cards in appreciation for their work.