Ten tips to help teams thrive and keep thriving

Here are 10 ways to help your team grow into a highly productive, high-performing team. These tips can also get a team that’s in a slump back on track.

  1. Balance team membership with a range of backgrounds, experience, personalities and skills, and make the most of its diversity.
  2. Communicate: for example, hold monthly update meetings about the organisation’s activities and successes, customers, and new initiatives and keep the team abreast of events that will affect them. Nothing beats a steady flow of information.
  3. Invite participation in decisions that affect the team; for example, involve your team in deciding what equipment and materials it needs and the best way to complete a job.
  4. Keep innovating and improving the way you work. People get bored when they’re stuck in ruts and frustrated when hassles, bottlenecks and extra, unnecessary steps that make their jobs harder aren’t fixed. Plus, when you don’t keep improving, you end up sliding backwards.
  5. Publicise the team’s successes. Make sure the rest of the organisation hears about how well your team is doing.
  6. Revisit the team purpose and the way you all work together at least once every two years, depending on the turnover of team members. The team purpose may change in the light of changing organisational priorities and even when it doesn’t change, the review serves as a useful reminder. Set new goals to challenge the team so that members don’t become stale, and periodically review and update the team’s process guidelines–how we work together.
  7. Reward extra effort. When team members go ‘beyond the call of duty’ and put in extra time and effort, or achieve something special, make sure they benefit in some special way.
  8. Rotate assignments. When there’s a chance that people’s tasks could become monotonous once mastered, cross-train team members by rotating tasks to keep interest and morale high.
  9. Support the team. Clearly define the team’s goals and other expectations (keep your workspace tidy; offer a helping hand when your work is under control; and so on). Recognise and celebrate team success. Make sure team members have ways to evaluate the team’s progress in both its task achievement and they way they’re working together.
  10. Train team members. Involve the team in deciding their own training needs and how best to train new team members.