5 Ways to Optimise a Team Environment
5 Ways to Optimise a Team Environment
Many of us currently work in a team environment. When defining the term team environment many will automatically think of an office where meetings and collaborations regularly occur. However the team environment enhancement concept can be applied to nearly all situations. Especially where two or more people collaborate to achieve a goal.
As well as in the office, the team environment can apply to sports, volunteer clubs. Even the family environment where the goal may be the preparation, serving and cleaning up after a meal. Whatever the circumstance, the principles of enhancement will in all cases, increase efficiency. Also helping achieve the desired result whilst allowing people to assess their strengths and weaknesses through empowering and being empowered.
Here are 5 guidelines to enable you to fully optimise the capacity to achieve within a team environment. Therefore achieve the desired outcome of every team goal.
Dependent upon the familiarity of the participants, the defining of roles within a team environment can range from a difficult to a fairly simple task.
In some cases the participants are chosen for their skill in preparation for the task in hand. This may mean that the team have never worked together before yet they have been hand-picked on merit to achieve the required goal.
In other cases the team will naturally fit into their defined roles having already worked together before. Already gained an understanding of the skill sets contained within each team member. Dependant on the importance of the required outcome, this type of team may even feel comfortable swapping roles to allow the others to experiment with new skill sets.
A non-pressured example of this is, again, the meal preparation, where it may be an enjoyable opportunity to allow an untrained person to try their hand at testing their culinary skills! You would not attempt this in a work environment when, for example, a client’s budget was at stake!
There may be occasions or situations where the team members have never worked together before and are unsure of where they fit within the team dynamic. This is where some of the other guidance points may come in to play where debate and discussion is key. Eeach member needs to give voice to communicating their strengths within the team environment and their contribution to the final objective.
A competent project manager, a skilled sports coach or a family elder will no doubt have a good grasp of where they envisage the team member fits within the dynamic of the situation.
Assign tasks and objectives
Once a team member has an understanding of their role within a group, they then need to understand the objective. They need to achieve. These objectives must be SMART.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
For example: In soccer you would not give the goalkeeper the objective of scoring a goal. Their role is to save the ball from the goal. They may score a goal. However this would be classed as an enhancement to their core objective which is to keep the ball out of the net.
Likewise, in a project management role, you would not expect a web developer to manage the budget. That role would be assigned to the account executive or project manager.
The objectives need to be realistic and attainable. The members of the team environment need to be fully aware of the steps required to achieve the goal. Communication is the key. Clearly define the timescales and parameters to the team. When utilised well, this framework will ensure success.
Listen and support
The benefits to working in a team environment is that the pressure to achieve can be shared. Along with a motivational focus that allows for transparent encouragement and support.
Applaud and reward those who succeed in their tasks and support and help those wo may run into difficulty.
Maintain an open and transparent environment. This enables those who may be struggling to signal it early, Difficulties can then be identified and remedied at an early stage. Deal with problems early rather than leaving it where it becomes an obstacle. The aim is to achieve the end goal.
Listen to the problems that other team members may have and note them down for discussion in the evaluation stage. When solutions are found ensure they are noted. These will have a long term benefit for future projects that may have similar tasks and goals.
When one member has completed their task then encourage them to turn to the other team members and provide support. This creates a team environment of all working together, not just in the individual tasks, but the wider team goal.
Debate and discussion
Throughout the process of working within the team environment, healthy debate and discussion can be a productive commodity if managed well.
Brainstorming allows for the formulation of ideas. If done correctly a positive idea may come from another tea member within the group. The role of the manager is not to have the answers in his head. It is to ensure that he gets the best from the team. Then he can manage those ideas and pull the best together. It allows people to ‘think outside the box’, be challenged on their theories and pushed to examine the reasons for their task actions.
The deterrent to the team environment with this situation, can be the time management aspect. The project manager needs to ensure that this is factored into the overall timeline.
Evaluate and improve
Once the project or task has been completed then it is imperative that the team evaluate their, and each other’s performance. This is a crucial aspect in determining improvement processes and re-assessing the skill requirements that;
- The team possess
- The project requires
This information is valuable for the long term good of any team environment situation, whether it be a sport’s match, a work project or a family goal. It is also a great time to give recognition and thanks for a job well done!
There are many other way to enhance the team environment. However these core guidelines will add to the efficiency. Along with results and fun that can be had when working together on any type of activity.
Is your Team Environment the right colour to enhance results