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Team Dynamics in the Workplace

by Yvonne Nellums, PHR, SHRM-CP, on May 15, 2018
Successful companies recognize the benefits of dynamic teams working together toward a common goal.  Strong team dynamics produce higher-quality results and solve problems faster.  This is a result of having a diversity of knowledge and experience, resulting in better customer service and faster response times.
Within each team, critical elements surface that allow the team to thrive.  You must have the right people in the right roles sharing a common vision. 
  • Right People in the Right Roles - A strong team dynamic cannot exist without strong people.  Within the team, all members know the roles they play, when it is their time to shine, and when it is their time to serve the whole. 
  • Shared Vision – A strong team works toward a vision with a clear purpose.  This includes all team members working together toward the same goal, and it is larger than a single person’s contribution.
Here are some suggestions to help create strong team dynamics within your company:
  • Define the purpose – Clearly defining and communicating your company’s vision, mission and values is essential.  This allows for team member alignment, buy-in, and the ability to empower employees to make the right decisions. The team can vet solutions by answering the question, “Does this solution align with our purpose?”
  • Set goals – Discuss with your team the specific goals they need to meet.  Setting short and long-term goals allows the team to complete prioritized tasks each day.  Providing this roadmap will keep everyone focused and help your team members know why every task is necessary for achieving long-term goals.
  • Value each role – It is crucial to treat each role as an essential part of the operation.  All members should feel like their contribution matters.  Members should understand what they are responsible for and how it contributes to the team goal.  A sense of purpose will help guide team members’ performance.  When employees feel valued, they strive to exceed expectations.
  • Focus on team member strengths – One of the best team-building tips is to match your team members’ strengths to their job responsibilities.  You will find the satisfaction of the team will be higher and that productivity will soar. 
  • Communicate – Effective communication is a key ingredient in successful teamwork dynamic. One of the best ways to demonstrate value between team members is through communication.  An open line of communication helps team members share and create a more productive workflow. Transparency within the team helps each member to feel included.
  • Meet regularly – Schedule regular meetings to help each team member stay informed and allow members to discuss concerns.  If you have team members who work at different locations, these meetings are even more important to ensure everyone remains on the same page.
  • Seek feedback - It’s important to seek feedback on how things are going.  We all have our blind spots, and feedback is an important part of continuous improvement. 
  • Celebrate successes and failures – Celebrating  successes will help to bring your team together and showcase the progress that can be made when they work together.   It helps each person to recognize the impact his or her efforts on the team as a whole.  Public celebrations of team achievements encourage more success.  In contrast, a team failure can help all members learn, come together, and refocus their efforts onto something positive. It is important not to throw anyone under the bus or play the blame game.  This isn’t productive and can quickly tear the team dynamic apart.  Instead, coming together to tackle complex issues collaboratively can help a team bond and become stronger.
Creating a strong team can be a challenge.  Few skills are more valuable than the ability to put together and successfully direct a team.  Keeping these tips in mind, you can create more effective teams in the workplace and create an environment for success. 
Yvonne Nellums, PHR, SHRM-CP

Certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Society of Human Resources – Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), Yvonne serves as Director of Human Resources for LandrumHR. She has over 34 years of experience of comprehensive human resources management. She is responsible for a team of certified HR professionals who deliver human resources expertise and training to our client customers. Her experience in the field has been acquired through focus on labor and employee relations, employment law compliance, talent acquisition, and conflict resolution. Yvonne is a Past President of the Greater Pensacola Society for Human Resources Management, past Legislative Director on the HR Florida State Council of SHRM, and served in various leadership roles for SHRM.

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