Principles of a Strong Team
Team work makes the dream work, right? At least that’s what they say. But it takes effort and intentionality to get to that point.Yet a strong team is essential to good client service and a growing company.
Let’s look at four principles of a successful team, shall we?
Technical capacity is when team members have the understanding of how to perform their role with some autonomy. When leadership is taking their time to micromanage or “stay in the weeds” doing the day-to-day tasks, this is robbing the agency of its technical capacity. Yes, training is necessary, but there should be a training period with defined milestones until finally, the training period is over. If management is still having to handhold after that training period, then you’re losing valuable capacity that could be scoped for client work. So what should companies do to reach maximum capacity?
- Relay your expectations to your team.
- Give a time frame for training.
- Once the training period is over, let the team do their work. Occasionally, management may need to come alongside for a period of time, but it should not be an indefinite thing.
Cultural Adherence is when team members are “all in.” They are transparent with where they truly are…asking for assistance or giving assistance to other coworkers. It’s leadership leaving room for that openness and asking questions. It’s relationships within the company that are more than just work-based. How does a leader encourage cultural adherence?
- By having one-on-one conversations with each individual team member.
- With regular check-ins, either monthly, quarterly, or whatever rhythm works best for you and your team size.
- Have regular team activities or meetings that do not include any work or project updates. Make them fun by playing games or themed gatherings such as happy hours, etc.
Future Focus is embracing the leader’s vision of the future for the organization. It’s “drinking the kool-aid” so to speak. When a team has the same focus and same goals, the company as a whole will grow stronger and healthier. How does a leader get the team on board with the company’s vision?
- Share the vision as part of the new team onboarding process.
- Repeat the vision regularly (yearly, quarterly, etc).
- Give regular updates on progress made.
When processes and policies are in place to guide a team and their work, employees have the opportunity to abandon their own past methods of working. This gives more accurate work and helps keep rhythms in place for regular work. What areas of the company should there be processes for?
- Operations – team should know who to go to and where to go for every area of the company. While each department has their own procedures, job descriptions can be helpful for team in other departments to know who does what.
- Routine work – we all have regular work we do on a daily basis, right? Well, that process should be documented. That will help with training when onboarding new team (because of course, every company does things just a little bit differently) as well as helping with consistency among work throughout the agency.
- Special projects – these projects are sometimes sold as “one-off” projects, but if the process is documented, it can be sold again and again without reinventing the wheel each time.
When you have a strong team, everyone works together. Even though the team works fiercely, everyone is fired up and excited about the work you are doing. To the client, it looks like leadership just got lucky with these amazing hires, but we know that it takes teamwork to MAKE the dream work.