Most leaders in the workplace know that diversity can be a source of strength, but when this talent is disconnected, it can be a weakness and negatively impact team performance. We are trained as individuals with unique specialties and strengths, so creating a cohesive work environment is essential.

Here’s how you can maximize team effectiveness and establish good teamwork in any business.

Use communication to improve team performance

Companies with 100 employees lose an average of $420,000 per year due to poor communication. Although it’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount on the cost of poor communication, it carries significant consequences.

Effective teamwork and communication is more challenging in the age of remote work with communication apps like Zoom, Slack, or Twist. But this doesn’t mean you can’t practice effective communication. You can still connect with your team and establish trust to achieve a personal connection.

Tips for good workplace communication

Have regular and short meetings with your team. Leave room for open group communication, either in person or via a video call.

Fit one-on-ones into the routine. This can make some people more comfortable voicing their opinions, ideas, and providing more information.

Ask, listen, then act. This helps delegate the sense of responsibility in the decision-making process and makes everyone feel included.

Diversify your communication. Use video calls, phone calls, emails, in-person communication, and change your group dynamics.

No meetings without a purpose. It’s essential to meet with your team regularly and stay up to date on progress and events, but you don’t want to hold meetings that don’t need to happen—this only wastes valuable time and resources.

Good teamwork needs a purpose

What holds a team together, guides their efforts, and gives them a way to measure their success? A shared purpose and common values.

Your purpose and goals are the “why” behind your team. When these are defined, your employees will understand where they fit into the bigger picture and why their work matters. When you use goals to measure team performance, it provides direction on where and how to improve.

Common values are the glue that holds a team together, setting you apart from others and giving everyone a clear picture of who the group is. It also gives everyone on the team a way to understand what takes priority, like quality or customer satisfaction.

Operating norms for maximum team effectiveness

Establish operating norms that align with your team’s values and goals. This provides structure, expectations, and routine for the group, creating an environment of trust and reliability.

According to an extensive study by Google, which looked at 180 teams, who is on your team is not the most important factor. What matters most is how the team works together. The study found that an environment with trust and open communication was the common factor for the best team effectiveness.

Team norms cover what is or isn’t acceptable and what behaviors are encouraged. Some examples include taking responsibility for mistakes, always being prepared for meetings, or clearly defining roles in the group dynamic.

Communicate, organize, and thrive

A good leader seeks to understand their team on a personal level, establish trust, and inspire everyone’s best. Prioritize communication, organize your plan of action, and success will follow.

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