Just because your team gets along well outside the office doesn’t necessarily indicate that they’re working efficiently together for your project. In fact, if you believe their eagerness to socialize after work is the only indication you need to look at for cohesiveness, you have it all wrong.
Here are eight tell-tale signs that your project team is, in fact, as cohesive a unit as you would have hoped.
1. High levels of open communication
A cohesive team not only exhibits high levels of open communication but understands its inherent importance in regard to project management. This would include strong discourse and participation in group discussions from all members of the team with each and every individual afforded the opportunity to speak their mind.
2. Strong relationships within the team
Ineffective teams are characterized by poor collaboration, gossiping and low morale while strong teams are just the opposite, and are therefore characterized by friendship, support, and trust between members, along with enjoying themselves when working together. Moreover, strong teams share the collective workload and don’t look to rely upon certain members of the team more so than others.
3. A clear understanding of systems and procedures
For teams to function effectively it’s imperative that they possess a clear understanding of team structures and procedures. While certain protocol might already be in place, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be improved upon as part of a team effort to enhance functionality.
4. Constructive conflict
It wouldn’t be natural for teams to never disagree, however, when disagreements arise between members these disagreements should be dealt with constructively and openly with respect for each other as individuals and co-workers. Furthermore, cohesive teams exhibit few to no signs of avoiding or suppressing conflict between members.
5. Clear, shared measures
A tell-tale sign of a team lacking cohesiveness is a focus upon individual measurement and evaluation rather than group measurement and evaluation. Strong teams assess, on a regular basis, their collective performance and discuss measures to improve their performance and the progress they’ve made together.
6. Welcome feedback
Strong teams that work well together welcome feedback from their superiors because they recognize that feedback is essential for identifying areas that require improvement. Moreover, you, as a manager or team leader, must avoid signaling individual members out but rather address the team as a group.
7. Recognition and utilization of individual talent
Strong teams recognize that certain individuals are naturally better at certain roles due to the talents they possess. This doesn’t mean assigning an individual member the same role over and over again, but rather understanding everyone’s role in the team and, if necessary, sharing certain tasks so that members have more time to concentrate on areas of the project in which they excel.
8. Acknowledgment of success
Strong teams acknowledge their success and aren’t shy about celebrating it proudly as a group. You, as a manager or team leader, should also be quick to acknowledge your team’s success and congratulate them on a job well done. This develops better employee-management relations which are essential for strong employee engagement.
These are eight tell-tale signs that your team is an effective unit. If you need help in evaluating the cohesiveness of your team, get in touch with experts like Spectrum’s executive search firms who offer assessment solutions. They also provide advice on how to make the performance of your workforce better.