When you have a business, you will need to think about the team that you have – this is the heart of any company as you cannot achieve all of your goals alone. Therefore, you will need to rely on a group of individuals that will work with you to achieve this. However, creating the perfect team can be difficult as you will have to pick every single individual and ensure that they work well together, albeit it is not impossible.
This article will provide you with a step-by-step guide to creating a great and functional project team in an office so that you are surrounded by a positive team that will support you in achieving any goals you set for your company.
Have Clear Goals
An important factor to set before thinking about having a functional team around you is to set clear goals for the business. As a leader, you will need to consider the business’s needs and the goals, otherwise, you may get lost and have no sense of direction, which will be reflected on your team. You want to have realistic goals; goals that you know your team will be able to achieve without overworking. It can be tempting for managers and business owners to set high goals, as they want to achieve the best outcomes, but this may not be fair on your team and maybe set them and the company up to fail. Once you have clear goals, you must pass these on to the team. If they are clear in which direction to go, it will be much easier for everyone to get there.
Hire The Right People
If you want a great and functional project team in an office, you will need to start by hiring the right people. Every person is unique and they can bring a range of skills and qualities to the team. You will have to be cautious to ensure that you hire the right people to be part of your team. The hiring process should reflect this so make sure it is not rushed. Remember that you want someone who has the skills to perform their role and undertake the responsibilities, but also that will be a proactive member of the team to contribute to a positive culture. The hired individuals will also need to share their passion and be clear about their goals, as discussed above.
Assign Clear Roles
There is little point in hiring the right people and then not assigning them appropriate roles. It can be extremely confusing for individuals to perform effectively when they are not told what to do or if their responsibilities change constantly. This may subsequently lead to high levels of stress in the workplace and high staff turnover. When you design the roles, make sure that the tasks required by each person are clear and the employee is aware of what these are. This will stop any confusion and will make people feel more at ease. When staff knows what they are doing they will become much more effective and better at their job the longer they stay in the same position.
Train Your Staff
As part of the recruiting process, you should check all candidates’ qualifications and experience. You may find someone with all the right skills, qualities, and experience. However, this should not mean that you expect them to know how to do the job perfectly. Remember that other companies will have different goals and different ways of working, so you should implement the appropriate training schedules for your staff. Make sure that they are aware of their specific roles and how to perform these but also that they have appropriate knowledge of the business’s goals and story as well as any policies that have been put into place. Train your staff once they are successful in securing a position and offer continuous refresher training as part of their job.
Communication is key for any functional team. Achieving appropriate communication has become more difficult as many companies have taken remote working as a new way of working permanently. However, this should not mean that your staff should feel isolated and that they are working alone. The team spirit can take a hit and you will no longer have a functional team but rather will have a number of individuals working together. Technology has allowed most people to use smart devices to communicate, which makes working remotely much easier. Check that everyone has access to these tools to communicate with each other, which will make working easier but it will also maintain and increase team spirit.
Have Regular Team Events
There are so many ways that you can bring teams together – either at work or outside. Your team may not take charge of this as they may be overly focused on their job and may feel that they have little time to implement this so, as the leader, it will be up to you to organize and incentivize this. You can have a day of the week that everyone will need to come together and have lunch or even breakfast – if you want to go the extra mile, you can organize an event out of the office where everyone gets to know each other a bit more.
Lead by Example
You cannot expect to have a functional team if you are not an exemplary leader. ‘Lead by example’ may be a cliche for many, but nevertheless, it remains true. Those with higher roles dictate how functional their teams are, even if you do not realize it. Unfortunately, not everyone has the qualities required to be a positive leader. If you want to try something new, you may want to give servant leadership a try. This essentially means that you lead by example and with your actions, rather than with your words. These types of leaders are empathetic and value hard work and respect people for who they are. You may find that there are pros and cons to this leadership and you may assume that if you are not ‘bossy’ and arrogant you will not get the respect you need as a leader but this is not true. You can be both empathetic and assertive, which will not only get you the respect of your team as a leader but also as an individual. This will increase their effectiveness and even motivation to do well.
Set Appropriate Deadlines
Setting deadlines sounds stressful, especially when you have to let your team know that they must respect these. However, it can be stressful to work with no direction. As discussed above, setting appropriate goals is imperative and the same principle applies to deadlines. You will need to ensure that you assign a deadline to every goal, although these must be realistic so that everyone knows what they are doing. Putting this into place increases effectiveness and functionality within the team as everyone is working towards the same thing. It may add a sense of urgency to the way of working, which will only benefit your company and how productive the team is. If you are unsure about setting deadlines, check whether these are constantly being missed – if so, you may need to change them.
Resolve Any Ongoing Conflict
It is very common for conflicts to occur within office environments. Research studies suggest that around 85% of employees experience some sort of conflict in the workplace. This shows that your team will certainly experience this at some point. As a leader, you should be aware of what goes on with your team; do not be so oblivious to your surroundings that you fail to see that there are major issues with your team. If you hear anything concerning, make sure to tackle this as soon as possible. Find solutions for conflict and arrange for mediation between the parties to take place. You may even outsource a specialist to do this for you when there are issues so you know they will be resolved. It may be costly, but it will be worth it as your team becomes more resilient.
Create a Positive Work Atmosphere
A positive work atmosphere starts with you – if you ignore everyone or if you are constantly stressed you are essentially telling your employees that this is how everyone should act and feel. It can be challenging to have positive energy when you are feeling stressed but your feelings should be put aside so that you reflect a positive image to your team. Small things such as saying good morning to everyone or checking in on your team will do wonders towards a positive environment in the workplace. Another vital factor to take into consideration is to decorate the place properly. This may not seem like a big thing but it can certainly have an impact on how functional your team is. Studies suggest that a nice and clean working area is highly correlated with increased levels of happiness within an office. By having someone clean the space regularly and decorate it with a few plants and ensure that there is daylight coming in, you will instantly boost morale within the workplace, thus increasing functionality.
Acquire The Appropriate Equipment
Working without the appropriate equipment will be extremely difficult, no matter what job you do. Do not expect your team to function properly if you are not providing them with the necessary tools to perform successfully. Every member of staff should have access to smart devices, printers, appropriate software, and anything else that will help them. This will make them more functional and effective. Always invest in your staff and ensure that they have what they need – this should not just be based on what you think but also on what they are telling you. Checking with your staff may give you a better perspective as to their needs and will increase business growth.
Have Team Meetings
Team meetings are essential to bring everyone together and to ensure that everyone is on the same path. These should take place regularly, depending on the business’s needs. Schedule them in advance so that every member of the team ensures they are available. Moreover, these meetings should also have pre-arranged agendas so that you stay on track. Discuss your points and leave some space for your team to discuss any other business they may deem necessary.
Schedule Individual Supervisions
Meeting with your team is crucial but meeting on a one-to-one basis with your staff is just as crucial. As you may be aware, people have different personalities, and discussing things in a group may not feel comfortable for everyone. Meeting with people individually gives them the space to talk to you about any potential issues they may have but also for you to review their progress. These should take place monthly and should be a priority for any leader so that your team feels that they are receiving the attention they should.
Encourage Social Outings
Many people prefer to keep their work and personal life completely separate. However, this should not mean that individuals should never see each other out of the office. Getting to know each other outside of work may reduce levels of stress and strengthen the bond between individuals. Once again, it may be up to you to encourage people to do this, although you may want to sit this one out! Going out with the boss is the best recipe to make people feel uncomfortable so allow them to do this as a team without you.
It may be difficult to accept failure as a business owner who wants to achieve the goals that have been set. However, as any life coach will tell you, failure is part of the journey and this is how people learn. There are companies that embrace a negative culture that constantly shames people for their mistakes and blames individuals. This can put additional pressure on your team. You should create a culture that accepts failure as normal and supports individuals when this happens, rather than making them feel guilty or prosecuting them. You will note that your team will become more productive, they may become more creative and have better ideas and also trust you and the company more if you support them at all times.
Being a great leader can be challenging and you will have so many responsibilities, which include ensuring that your team is great and functional. Make sure to follow the steps discussed above to create a desirable project team in an office, which will benefit you and your goals.