Building an Effective Team in 2020

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. A team is as effective as its leader allows it to be.With the proportion of Millennials surging in today’s workforce at large, team building and leadership concepts are undergoing massive transformation. A leader is now seen as a facilitator with the prime responsibility of creating an ideal eco-system for productive outcomes.

To be effective, teams in 2020 need to take pause and be inspired. This falls squarely on the shoulders of the team’s leader. Here are four key aspects that the new age leader has to bring in to create an effective team.

Transparency & Purpose

Team members now look for purpose in every single task they perform. They need to know that their actions matter to the organization and impact the customer positively. Think about it—if you were not told how your actions help your company achieve its goals, you would not be motivated to go beyond just going through the motions.

This is where the new age leader comes in. As a leader, be transparent about the purpose of a project, and importantly, how each team member’s role is aligned to the overall goals of the organization. When every team member knows that the organization could be affected adversely if they do not perform their individual role well, a sense of ownership and accountability automatically gets instilled.

Trust & Collaborative Environment

Leaders have to find ways to build trust among team members. Team members look for a working environment that is devoid of negativity, encourages diversity of viewpoints, and fosters non-discriminative policies. Teams operating in such environments go on to build high levels of trust, collaboration, and proactivity beyond the stated responsibilities.

Unsurprisingly, a leader who is able to ring in such changes swings the needle of team dynamics all the way to the right. In a case study by Edith Cowan University, Perth – Australia, the research found that positive team dynamics helped the team to work towards a shared goal.

All for One & One for All

Recognition is always a double-edged sword. Recognize an individual and other team members may feel excluded. Recognize the entire team instead and individual motivations may dip. So, recognize and reward individual performance by all means, but also make it a point to acknowledge contributions of other team members who helped the individual perform. This will build an interconnected system of contribution and recognition.

Recognizing and appreciating performance at a team level will instill a sense of community, build positive work culture, and improve team dynamics. Progressive thinking companies have already made changes in their policy to this effect & have seen significant improvement in their productivity. Eg: ANZ Bank.

Don’t Micromanage

This cannot be overstated. This phenomenon is all the more prevalent in smaller companies and in certain personality types. Micro-management of your team’s tasks drains team morale and productivity.  Being constantly monitored can be extremely stressful and create a paralyzing work environment.The Journal of Experimental Psychology found that employees who believe that they are micromanaged and are under constant scrutiny perform at a significantly lower level.

Building an effective team takes time, patience, and effort. More importantly, it takes adaptive vision on the part of the leader. With changing business dynamics and work preferences, the role of the leader has never been more under the spotlight in building effective teams for tomorrow.