While a great manager can carry a lot on their shoulders, in reality very little can be achieved without a high performing team to help them achieve project success. To paraphrase the saying: no manager is an island. But what does a high performing team look like and what are the team characteristics that you should be looking out for in your team members.
If you’re going about building a team for an upcoming project or desire a greater understanding of team dynamics in general, here are six of the main team characteristics to look out for.
- Unified Goal
A project in motion combines many different moving parts, such that disparate sections of a team can become siloed and unaware of what others in the team are working towards. Building a team with a unified goal means that everyone is aware of what you are all trying to achieve together. This involves being open to collaboration and assisting other team members as well as focusing on individual tasks, as the overall objective is to achieve the team goal.
- Solid Communication and Feedback
Respectful communication is a must for any team but be wary that this doesn’t verge into apathy or people fearing voicing their opinion. A strong team is based on transparency and constructive feedback. This requires trust and an acceptance of vulnerability, but by leading the way as manager this can be gradually fostered within a group.
- Respect for Individual Abilities
A team is put together because they have different abilities which are necessary for a project to be completed. These talents complement each other rather than compete with each other, thus it is necessary for each team section to appreciate others and feel appreciated themselves. While disagreements can be positive and deliver creative solutions, it should always be underpinned by a healthy mutual respect for different ways of viewing things.
Unforeseen issues arise throughout the course of many projects. It could be the project scope, budget or stakeholder expectations or a thousand other problems. What defines a high performing team is their ability to take unexpected events in their stride and adapt to the new circumstances around them. It may mean pausing or cancelling task strands and shifting people outside of their comfort zone, but a good team will recognize the importance of supporting the changes that have to be made.
Being recognized for the good work they are doing is key for employee engagement. 75% of employees whose work was recognized at least once a month reported being satisfied in their job. To keep your team members motivated to achieve project success, take the time to appreciate them when important milestones are hit or on an individual basis for their own task strands.
- Desire to Improve
With the speed of changing technologies a desire to adopt the latest improvements can greatly increase both the speed and quality of your team’s output. Not everyone wants to put themselves in a situation of constantly learning new processes however. A high performing team should combine both a desire to get better with a clear pathway laid out by their project manager.
Building a team that has the ability to consistently produce results to a high level is not easy. However, if you focus on the finding those with the right team characteristics and nurture them through your management style you can create a group that is ready for any challenge.