Last Friday night we all saw what successful team building can accomplish for an organization. By now, you all may know that RMK Management had quite a triumphant evening at the Chicagoland Apartment Association’s CAMME Awards. The company brought home a bucketful of awards, spanning almost every awards category – awards that acknowledged the hard work of both the properties and the people who work there every day. So before we say anything else – we’d first like to say “CONGRATULATIONS” to the entire RMK team for a job well done!
In light of such a successful evening, it seemed an appropriate time for a short summary of what it takes to build such successful teams. So, while we won’t cover every aspect of team building, we can at least touch on several of the most important aspects.
Define your team members – Then select them.
First of all, some of the most important work in the process comes when you’re selecting the right mix of talents and expertise in the team leaders. Most of that initial work falls on the shoulders of the organization leaders who must bring together the right mixture of individuals to aid them. This can easily be the “make or break” phase for any organization and no choice should be taken lightly. Once the choices have been made however, the second phase immediately vies for attention – keeping everyone singular in focus and motivated to accomplish the tasks at hand.
Find out what motivates team members
It sometimes takes some real digging to find out what motivates your team members. Never forget that they each have individual needs and desires. What is important to one is not necessarily of any significant value to the others. So ask them: What do they want to achieve at work? Ask them on a regular basis and once you feel you truly understand their professional needs and goals, you’ll also have a better idea of how to keep them motivated. If your team members feel that you’re concerned about their needs, they’re more likely to help you meet the company’s goals.
Define the goals and challenges.
Set achievable goals with them and share your vision with all team members in order to drive initial teamwork motivation. With all of the distractions that come up each day, it’s often difficult to keep the final goals in mind. Part of being a good leader is to find ways to keep the focus clear on specific, reasonable, and achievable goals. Give everyone reasons for the challenges and you might even let them set the goals for themselves. When individuals feel they are part of the decision making process, that feeling becomes a motivator in itself.
Delegate work – clarify expectations.
Motivation quite often starts from little things, like delegating work responsibilities. When you turn work over to your team members, you still maintain a certain degree of responsibility, but you have also shown your confidence in someone else. It’s still your responsibility to set clear expectations, but you’re also allowing a team member to find their own successful pathway to accomplish the tasks successfully. This can provide a whole host of new discoveries that could lead to unplanned routes to future success.
And – Let go!
While you as a team leader should always clarify your expectations, coach the team, and monitor their activity, don’t expect the team to always (or even sometimes) carry it out exactly as you see it happening. Teamwork very seldom works properly when it is motivated by force. You must let go, allowing them the right to do the job through their own skills and styles. Don’t try to control each and every task they do. Let them inject their individual style and even appreciate that uniqueness. Let them grow in the teamwork and assignments and you may even find they do the job even better than you had imagined.
Now why not be a good team member and take the time to add your congratulations to your fellow team members for their 2012 CAMME accomplishments? Then get busy making 2013 your year to shine!