I’ve worked with, and been in, some pretty darn awful teams in my time. Regardless of the outcome, they suck the life right out of you (and each other). In those teams are some amazing, talented and passionate individuals but collectively, they are nothing short of average.
And I’ve worked with and been in some pretty darn fabulous teams in my time. Regardless of the outcome, they energise, motivate, encourage and drive you (and each other).
In those teams are some amazing, talented and passionate individuals who, collectively, are nothing short of hey, sjoe, wow!
Fabulous teams are more than just fabulous people!
What makes a productive team?
A productive team is one that meets and/or surpasses their pre-determined deliverables. They play to their strengths (i.e. what they both enjoy and are good at).
A productive team works collectively towards the greater good of the organisation. They operate as a ‘we’ and not as a ‘me’.
While members of a happy, healthy and productive team need to respect one another, they don’t necessarily need to like each other.
Here’s how to build and nurture a productive team:
I once worked for an autocratic boss. Her “my way or the highway” approach meant we got things done, but seldom felt fulfilled. Staff turnaround was high, blame was rife, and creativity was low.
Built on the premise that you aren’t the only one with the great ideas, laying a foundation that nurtures an environment for your team to think freely and make suggestions which are heard, (even if not always used), builds trust.
In another blog post I shared how flexible work hours can boost productivity, but there is more to flexibility than core office hours (or any office hours for that matter) and the physical work environment.
You’ve probably heard the saying ‘you’ve got to give in order to get’.
Well, when you provide a flexible working environment, you open up the opportunity for your teams to work in a way that suits them and supports their lifestyle.This maximises their output (think: work/life balance) and enhances their loyalty.
A good argument (no fists involved) shifts perspective, gets things out in the open and generally leads to a team moving forward.
While it might feel uncomfortable while in the thick of things, if your team never fights/argues/disagrees, then take it as a sign that something is wrong.
Sometimes, regardless of your advanced hiring skills or the quality of the individual, things don’t ‘gel’ quite as well as they should.
For whatever reason, if someone on your team is not a good fit they can send everyone else’s productivity off track. If these people don’t leave of their own accord, I’d recommend some creative shifting before it’s too late.
Fulfilment is the super glue that holds great teams together. Boosting productivity with a nurturing environment provides that ‘touch-feely’ sense of community.
When you feel you belong, that you contribute and are heard, appreciated and loved (yes, you can love your work colleagues), you are more than willing to ‘bend over backwards’ to deliver your absolute best, for the greater good of the organisation; every time, without compromise.
Tell us about your team; what makes you work well together?