Seven Steps to Building an Effective Team

team building | Seven Steps to Building an Effective Team | Whether you’re starting a new company or want to re-energize an old one, it is ideal to have a strong team behind you. It does not even matter if you are a small start-up or a giant conglomerate; an effective team stands behind every company’s success. 

That is why it is crucial that you invest in smart team development to ensure that every member of your company is impassioned and ready to claim victory.

A Well-Oiled Machine 

For a company to run well, you need to have people working well individually and together. There needs to be a symbiotic relationship among all the members of your group to achieve your business objectives. This synergy is vital to the company’s growth and will spell the difference between failure and success. If the foundation is weak, then how can you build your tower of triumph? 

Why do you need to ensure that you have an effective team? You may think that just because you have a brilliant business concept, it will be enough to drive you to fame and profitability. However, no man is an island. As cliché as this quote may be, there is truth to it, especially when applied to your entrepreneurial ventures. 

Remember that your competitors are also composed of a team and if you go at it alone, then the chances of you getting the short end of the stick are highly probable. Spreading yourself too thin thinking that you can do everything by yourself is most often counterproductive and may lead to the early demise of your business. 

On the other hand, if you have a reliable and effective team that can support you and your business objectives, then your vision and mission will be carried out better. There is a higher chance of you achieving your targets when you can focus on the things that require your attention rather than spreading yourself thin dealing with every little issue involving your enterprise. 

Choosing a team is not a walk in the park, however. You must put in the time, effort, and resources to organize a team of individuals who can greatly contribute to the success of your business. From ensuring that you have open communication lines within the group to rewarding good performance with company dinners, a private massage, or some other feel-good perks, here are key steps to building an effective team:

1. Set the Ground Rules 

From the onset, you need to establish your expectations. Everyone must be aligned in terms of what you and the company expect from your team members. 

New employees tend to be a blank slate when they first come to your company’s doorstep. Take this opportunity to brief them about the company rules and regulations as well as provide them an overview of the company culture. This way, you can underline the importance of their responsibilities and how they can best contribute to the betterment of the group.

2. Foster a Mindful Environment 

Mindfulness is being aware of your environment and how your actions can affect the people and situations around you. If you foster mindfulness in the workplace, then you can expect that people will be more respectful of others. This value will lead to other positive attributes that will be helpful to your organization. 

You need to be able to plant and nourish this respect and care within the team. It will be especially helpful as well if you can invest in team coaching. Team coaching brings forth numerous benefits such as breaking down silos, building a support system through collaboration, increasing accountability, and improving internal relationships, among others. It also helps grow emerging leaders by inspiring creative, strategic, and independent thinking among members.

3. Encourage Positivity 

As a leader, you should also take the chance to encourage positivity within the workplace. While a high intelligence quotient (IQ) is very much welcome, an elevated level of emotional intelligence is equally valuable. This means treating your team members as individuals who have their own character and unique personalities. They are not just warm bodies who are there to robotically do their jobs. 

When you think this way, then you can tailor your responses in a way that will motivate each member to give their best. For example, opt to give constructive comments instead of harsh criticism for a worker’s mistake. Mention specific instances wherein they displayed their strengths and encourage them to practice this more diligently.

4. Open Communication Lines 

Communication is key in every office setting. Strive to ensure that the lines of communication are open between you and your team and amongst themselves. This will help ensure that misunderstandings are avoided. The clarity in both work and internal relationships is also enhanced when people clearly understand each other.

Maintaining good communication means striking a balance between listening well and giving relevant feedback. This healthy exchange will not only promote a more harmonious environment but will also be instrumental in enabling people to carry on with tasks. In addition, this will help in cultivating higher productivity and a more conducive work environment.

5. Reward Good Work 

While you are not expected to splurge for treats (especially when you’re still only starting out), it is good practice to reward good work. This does not necessarily translate to cash incentives or opulent gifts only. It can be giving an employee the power to decide on things that you would normally do or entrusting the company credit card to a deserving steward. 

Rewarding good work can come in different forms. It can be a simple but heartfelt “thank you,” a handwritten card congratulating a job well done, or a glowing commendation on the company’s bulletin board. If you have the resources, then you can go for a company dinner, give out gift certificates to a restaurant or spa, or go all out and hold an annual recognition party for all your employees.

6. Support Diversity 

You should also be open to hiring people from different backgrounds, fields of expertise, ethnicities, religions, and age brackets. Promoting diversity can be a productive step towards achieving your goals because you are surrounded by people who have varied experiences and expertise. This will also help you in addressing any blind spots you may have.

7. Look for Trustworthy Partners 

From the get-go, set out to hire people whom you think are trustworthy. If you have a partner or an HR Manager, make it a team effort to screen individuals and see if they are a good fit with your company. Take the time to really evaluate your applicants and do not just rely on written exams. Set up an interview and converse as candidly (but still as professionally) as you can to get an honest feel of the person. 

Being surrounded by people you can rely on is a strength that you will need as your company moves forward. 

In the Company of Winners 

When you put in the effort to build a strong and effective team, then you can look forward to reaping the rewards down the line. Ideally, the people you have selected will choose to remain with your company because you have created a wonderful environment for them to thrive and succeed in. 

Through your conscious effort to develop a healthy working environment, you can produce winners that will carry your company to great success.


Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.