What makes a good team and how to build one

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 September 2022 | Published 31 August 2021

Updated 28 September 2022

Published 31 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A good team is one that delivers strong solutions and creates a positive working environment. Having a good team can be very important in any business, as good teams typically lead to high levels of productivity. If you work on a team, it can be helpful to learn about the right tools and strategies you can use to make sure your team can collaborate well and deliver positive results. In this article, we explore what makes a good team and provide steps for how you can build one.

What makes a good team?

There are many characteristics that can make a team successful, such as having positive morale and being able to prioritise goals. Here are some key characteristics that make a good team:

Collaboration

One of the most important characteristics for a good team to have is the ability to collaborate. This is because working in a team typically involves sharing responsibilities and turning to each other for support and help. By developing strong collaboration skills, a team can highlight each member's value and establish processes for working together successfully to achieve positive results. Having a collaborative environment can also help build a supportive atmosphere that promotes sharing successes and goals.

Related: Collaboration Skills: Definitions and Examples

Diversity

Diversity can refer to having team members with different cultural and professional backgrounds and varying unique skill sets. Having a range of preferences, opinions, backgrounds and views can be vital in making a good team. This is because their presence of these can encourage team members to learn about each other and identify the people who might be most successful at certain tasks.

Related: Learning About Diversity and Inclusion: 10 Free Virtual Courses

Respect

Another key characteristic of a good team is collective respect. When people feel respected and comfortable being themselves, they're typically better equipped to do their best work. Having a culture of respect usually means that people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and experiences. To cultivate an environment of respect, you can emphasise the importance of being kind and considerate to each other during any project or task.

Communication

Promoting regular communication can ensure that everyone on a team knows what their responsibilities are and who they can turn to for help. Because teams often take part in projects that require multiple people to work on different tasks at the same time, establishing strong communication can help a team stay organised and aware of what other team members are doing. You can encourage communication within your team by collectively determining which method of communication works best for the specific team and implementing it, such as in-person conversation, email messaging or phone calls.

Camaraderie

Having a team that enjoys where they work can increase engagement levels and build a sense of camaraderie. This can result in a team being good because when people enjoy themselves, they are more likely to produce work they're proud of. You can build camaraderie by engaging in team-building activities and hosting casual events that promote fun, such as happy hours or game nights.

How to build a good team

Here are some ideas you might consider using to build a successful team:

1. Implement team-building activities

Team-building activities can be a great opportunity for staff members to get to know each other better. Managers can set up special events, activities or ice breaker questions to encourage camaraderie among team members. Here are a few team-building activities you can try:

  • Team lunches

  • Team-building games

  • Questionnaires

  • After-work happy hours

  • Office sports teams

  • Company picnics

  • Holiday parties

  • Volunteer days

Related: Team Building Skills: Definition and Examples

2. Give everyone a turn to speak

During team meetings, it can be important to give each person a chance to share their ideas in order to foster a collaborative environment. To do this, you can monitor the conversation during a meeting and encourage members to share their thoughts. Likewise, you can make an effort to let each person finish their thoughts before interjecting with your own ideas. By encouraging everyone to listen while others are speaking, every employee can feel like their ideas are valuable. This can help facilitate an environment where people are eager to participate, which can lead a team to success.

3. Have brainstorming sessions

Although your team might already feel comfortable sharing their ideas, having a formal brainstorming session can encourage even more collaboration. This is because brainstorming sessions can offer casual ways to share and assess ideas, which works best when the entire team takes part. Before each session, you can offer your team some background information about the task or problem you want to discuss. You can also tell them to come to the meeting prepared to share a few ideas that you can expand on together as a team. There are several methods for brainstorming, such as:

  • mind mapping

  • rapid ideation

  • brain netting

  • the step-ladder technique

  • free writing

4. Get to know each other's roles

Each time a new employee joins your team, you can welcome them by teaching them about what each team member does. You can also create a document that outlines the general responsibilities of each team member that your team can reference whenever they have a question, as this can direct them to who might be able to offer the best answer. Having a document that describes each member's role can help team members develop a better understanding of what their coworkers do and can also increase the chances that a team can remember all the members' names.

5. Recognise each member's talents

A good team is typically made up of people who have their own individual talents. Rather than trying to ensure that every member of a team can complete every necessary task, it can be helpful to focus on helping each person develop their unique skills. When someone uses their skills and talents to help the team, you can also provide positive feedback to recognise their efforts. This can identify abilities that are particularly valuable to the team and make every member feel appreciated.

6. Offer each other support and encouragement

Especially during busy times at work, it can be crucial to remember to offer your team words of encouragement. When encouraging a team, you can be specific about what each person is doing well and offer advice about how the team can collectively improve their efforts. You can also inspire your team members to do the same for each other by inviting everyone to offer support when needed. When one person is especially in need of support, it can be particularly helpful to ask the rest of the team to offer help, as this can maintain productivity and camaraderie.

7. Celebrate successes and achievements

It's typically important to celebrate the achievements of a team, as this can boost morale and establish a sense of community within the group. You can do this through individual and public praise, as it can be beneficial to share more personalised praise privately but to give your team company-wide recognition to show how well they're performing. Giving a team special rewards is another way to show recognition, such as buying each other lunch or giving each other small gifts.

8. Be sensitive to each other's backgrounds

Encouraging and accepting diversity can make everyone on a team feel comfortable working together and help all members of a team support each other. You can remind your team that you're all individuals with different backgrounds in cases where tension arises or when a particular team member might be best-suited to a particular task. For example, if you have to complete a project that requires coding, you might ask someone on your team who has background in technology or computers rather than someone with expertise in business or finance.

It's also be important to be sensitive to different cultural customs and traditions in the workplace so that everyone feels recognised and respected.

9. Set team goals

Along with setting individual goals for each team member, you can set collective goals together as a team. To do this, you can consider what your team wants to achieve and determine how you might accomplish these efforts through teamwork and collaboration. When setting goals, it can be helpful to make sure they're realistic for your team to achieve while still being ambitious enough to help each person grow in their role.

10. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition

Peer-to-peer recognition refers to the process of identifying people who perform exceptionally well and offering them praise. Most peer-to-peer recognition takes place publicly in a workplace so that other employees can join and offer praise themselves. Using peer-to-peer recognition can strengthen a team by continuously highlighting the successes and abilities of each team member. It can also promote success by allowing team members to take part in offering praise, which encourages collective recognition of each other.

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