7 Ways to Build a Winning Team

teamPosted by Ty Hall  Teamwork is probably one of the most crucial drivers of success in an organization. Of course, hiring the right group of people is important, but once you have the right people in the right positions, building a winning team doesn’t just happen organically. Like in any relationship, it takes work. These seven recommendations from Inc.com can help build a winning team.

  1. Create a Culture of “We”

Swapping out “I” for “we” is a major first step to build a winning team. Everyone will feel included, supported, and equal. This also can boost innovation, because employees won’t be afraid to voice their ideas. Make sure everyone feels involved and connected—free to contribute. It may be as simple as making a conscious effort to reduce first-person pronouns in your vocabulary. Learn about each other’s work style and consider team building training to fully help people appreciate and value their differences. In so doing, your teams will become cohesive rather than dysfunctional.

Learn more about building a cohesive team here.

  1. Define Employees’ Roles

When employees know their roles—their work identity—there will be less competition inside the team. This way, managers can build a team that comes together collaboratively, and employees will only work against themselves for personal betterment and advancement.  Basically, create comprehensive job descriptions and development plans.

  1. Recognize Success

Most of the time, the really stellar ideas don’t come from a single person. It’s especially bad to assume only senior level management can generate good ideas. The most successful organizations encourage creative thinking from everyone, and recognize everyone for the company’s success. Recognition is perhaps the most important aspect in building a winning team. You can do this by publicly praising team members for their individual ideas, or mentioning them in a newsletter or pin-board flyer. Be sure to continue to recognize the team as a whole for its contributions to the organization.

  1. Educate and Train

When managing teams, almost any situation can be turned into a learning experience. Effective managers keep their ear to the ground for such occasions, and use them to train their employees and build a winning team. Instruct your employees of your business’s best practices, and even role play scenarios to teach how different situations can and should be handled.

  1. Win and Lose as a Team

Major success and failure should equally be shared by the team. Just as often times one single person can’t be credited with success, no one person should be blamed for failure. Blaming individuals breeds contempt and demotivates quickly. It can even hurt an organization’s credibility if others hear of a bad situation being handled that way.

  1. Get Together

When employees know each other on a personal level, they are much more likely to feel attached to the organization. You should encourage social outings with team members, but keep it organic. There’s a difference between supporting and sponsoring—don’t make employees feel forced to attend. They should want to because of their personal, friendly team relationship.

  1. Develop Team-Building Exercises

It’s a good idea to keep employees informed about the goings on in their organization by bringing the team together to learn, celebrate achievements, and develop their teamwork through team-building exercises.

When managing teams, leadership needs to keep in mind that there is no quick fix or overnight miracle elixir to build a winning team. It takes time, effort, and the right people in the right positions. The preceding seven tips are an easy first step in the right direction.