I’m a hiker. I love hiking the Berkshires, the White Mountains, the Green Mountains (I’ve even hiked a few larger mountains along the way). What I’ve discovered over the years is that while I do appreciate solitude on occasion, nothing gives me greater satisfaction than leading a team of hikers. I like to work with a group so they learn together, support each, and grow their skills. Obviously, I was a human resources leader for most of my career – I like teams. (I don’t think you can be an HR leader if you don’t like teams…)
I’ve seen how some leaders struggle to build cohesive teams. Here’s what I’ve seen work on the trails and in places of business.
- Create a common purpose and goal. The more defined you make the purpose, the greater the collaboration will be. A successful culture is almost always built around shared values because they provide direction for individual and team actions.
- Recognize employees and celebrate achievements. Team members possess different skills and varied experiences and it is up to the leader to recognize, encourage and reinforce strengths and provide individuals with the confidence that they can succeed. Celebrate accomplishments whether small or significant as this recognizes and rewards the team’s success path.
- Encourage open communication and provide feedback. Communication builds trust at all levels within an organization. Therefore, create a speak freely environment. Employees want to have a voice on how best to accomplish the objective. Hear them out and thank them for their input. Provide timely feedback as it is critical for individual and team development. Describe areas which require improvement and conclude with those items which were successfully accomplished.
Do you agree with me? What’s been your experience with building strong and cohesive teams? Where have you struggled? Let’s talk.