From our previous discussions, we understand that, when teams fail to become high performing teams, the work environment will be vitiated, focus will be narrowed to one’s own work irrespective of whether the end goal is achieved or not. Members tend to disown accountability and may resort to blame game, throwing allegations at each other. every time a situation like this arises it is common for the team members to look at the leader to fix the situation.
Is it only the leader’s responsibility to keep the whole team together? Do teams have no owns towards the team performance? To answer these questions, let us see how each member of the team can make a meaningful contribution for the team to become high performing team. Here are the top 6 characteristics that bind a team together.
It is said that a commonly shared goal will act as a binding force and knits the members together. Now, who should spell out the unified goal? Is the onus on the leader alone?
Here while the leader needs to help the team understand the overall goals of the organization, each member can have a contributory role in clearly articulating the common goal.
Clarity of roles and responsibilities:
Here the onus is equally shared between the leader and the member; it is the leader who should fundamentally clarify while the team member should also make necessary efforts to seek clarity. Passively waiting for the leader to communicate is not going to help the team member.
Concern for the end goal:
Here the onus is greatly on the team member, it is not sufficient to say that “I have done my job” unless the end goal is achieved successfully. Team member needs to perform the specifically assigned responsibility while keeping an eye on how it is going to contribute to the bigger goal.
Once again, each team member needs to make efforts to understand who the end customer and who the immediate customer is. For example, for a procurement executive, production department may be the immediate customer; however, the procurement executive will be able to contribute to high performance of the team if he/she is equally concerned about the end consumer who may not be directly visible.
It is common sense, though difficult to measure in quantitative terms, the negative impact of poor relationships among the team members. Lack of positive relationships slows down the business process, hinders information sharing and creates unhealthy organizational dynamics. And these go completely against the spirit of high performance. Therefore, team members need to learn to build informal relationships with peers proactively which will create a healthy work environment and contribute to high performance.
This is almost an extension of earlier point; if there are healthy relationships, there will be seamless communication and better knowledge sharing and alignment among the team members. Each member can take initiative on fostering transparent communication rather than restricting oneself to transaction nature of communication.
Responsible and professional team members need to therefore understand that they have a very significant role in creating a team culture and in building a high performing team. While one cannot undermine the role of a leader, one should not trivialize the onus that lies on every team member. One must realize that self-management is more sustainable than relying on one single leader. The above characteristics effectively bind a team together.
The message to each team member – irrespective of level in the hierarchy is: “You will be the architect in co-creating a high performing team which makes it easy for you to professionally excel and contribute to higher business performance.”
This article was published in HR Mirror
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