Today’s post is written by Kelly Smith. Kelly works at CourseFinder, an Australian online education resource. She is passionate about writing and innovations in the digital world.

Every organization needs a functional team to help it run the business effectively, and managers know that a great team can make a huge difference in reaching critical business objectives.

How to build and manage great teams

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Is there a secret recipe for choosing individuals and putting them together to make a productive team?

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Fortunately, managers don’t need to learn magic. They can rely on research studies which show how to build and manage a great business team.

Here are 4 critical ways to help you create an amazing team for your business.

1. Make Sure That Your Team Understands Your Vision

Every person in your team must have a purpose. And their purpose should directly relate to your vision. That’s why you need to provide them with a reason for coming together to deliver a project or work towards a goal.

Make sure that everyone is aware of their role in making this happen. Even if you’ve got the right people in your team – experts in their field, or professionals with plenty of relevant experience and knowledge – you’re not guaranteed to build a great team.

If the members of your team fail to understand what’s expected of them, they will also stop paying attention to the team’s common goal and focus on their individual objectives instead. And that could be a huge problem for team collaboration and productivity.

Appoint a team leader who communicates the team’s objective, and makes it clear to every single member what’s expected of them.

2. Have A Mix Of Introverts And Extroverts

The best teams are composed of both extroverts and introverts. That might come as a surprise to many managers who urge their employees to be more extroverted in teamwork. While introverts might not make as strong of a first impression as extroverts, they’re essential to the life of any team.

These quiet individuals contribute more to a team as the collaboration progresses, ensuring balanced teamwork with their extroverted colleagues.

3. Try Team-Building Exercises

Team-building exercises have recently received a lot of criticism from managers. Many people claim that employees simply can’t stand these activities. They feel pushed to collaborate in artificial settings and awkward scenarios, and grow more frustrated by the minute.

Still, a connected team is a motivated team. Does team-building work? This analysis of over 100 studies conducted during the last six decades shows that yes team-building activities do have a positive effect on team performance.

A recent research study from the American Psychological Association (APA) showed that team building exercises can motivate employees and help them feel valued.

It’s worth finding activities that help bring team members together without the experience feeling forced or awkward.

So, what kind of activities will help bring your team together without forcing them to complete seemingly useless tasks?

Here’s a selection of proven team building strategies:

  • Sports – if your employees like particular sports, you can organize group activities based on these sports. It can be hiking trips or weekly badminton sessions. Make sure that the activities are safe and no employee can be harmed.
  • Professional development activities – by organizing education workshops, you’re killing two birds with one stone. First, you help build professional relationships between employees. Second, you also make sure that they’ve got all the recent industry know-how.
  • Field trips – an occasional visit to a museum is a fantastic idea, especially if you’re in a relevant industry. Why not have a monthly lunch break in a park?
  • Community service – be it distributing clothes to the homeless or building a house for a family in need, a good cause is bound to bring your employees together.
  • Shared lunches – a weekly shared meal is a fantastic idea for having employees spend time together and discuss topics which aren’t related to work.

Not all team-building exercises are equally efficient. Check online courses in human resources on platforms like Career FAQs to pick a program that helps you learn which exercises work for your industry and organization.

4. Establish Νon-Work Communication Channels

A research study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory showed that communication between team members during informal meetings gives a solid indication of the team’s potential for success.

Communication is critical to building successful teams. That doesn’t mean you should strive for team members to become friends outside of work. But make sure that they don’t view each other as meaningless cogs in a machine.

You know you’ve built a good team if they have each other’s back. Make sure that everyone on a team takes their coffee break at the same time. It will give them an opportunity for spontaneous casual conversation.

Building and managing a great team isn’t a piece of cake. But it’s definitely worth the effort. With an amazing team, you’re bound to reach your business goals in no time and create an organizational culture that boosts the productivity of everyone involved in your projects.