While it is important to hire the right people for the right job, a group of individuals doesn’t automatically translate to a positive, collaborative team, as one HR expert points out.
“When people collaborate, they work together to understand what needs to be done and how best to go about it. They make decisions together and listen to each other’s concerns and preferences. They offer their ideas and opinions while remaining open minded to one another’s point of view,” said Karen Gately, founder of HR management firm Ryan Gately.
“Even when one is in a position of authority, people who collaborate work with mutual trust and respect to achieve what each person needs to achieve," she added.
“The ways in which people interact unquestionably has a profound influence on the ability of any team to thrive.”
According to Ms Gately, there are a number of key points small business owners should employ to ensure that employees are all working towards the same goal – the advancement of the business.
She lists them as:
Building a healthy workplace culture
“Create an environment in which people want to work and are able to thrive. Value a culture in which people feel free to share their ideas, challenge one another and contribute to the organisation's thinking,” she said.
“Help people to understand that having and leveraging a diverse team will better allow the organisation to achieve its ambitious objectives. Expect people to appreciate that when they work collaboratively with their colleagues, particularly those who bring different insights and perspectives, better outcomes are enabled.”
“Great teams are built on the foundations of trust, respect and camaraderie. When they trust the other people on the team, they are entirely more likely to openly share their views and contribute. Lead by example by placing importance on quality relationships,” Ms Gately added.
“Choose carefully the people you invite to join your team. Place priority on ensuring their values are aligned to those of your organisation. Only ever promote to leadership roles those people who consistently demonstrate the values and behaviours you want to encourage.”
Setting clear behavioural expectations
“Clearly articulate your core values and the behaviours you expect from everyone. While individual objectives are important, ensuring people are committed to the team is essential to your organisation’s ability to thrive,” she said.
Holding people accountable
“There is little point setting expectations if you don’t follow through and hold people accountable to them. Lead by example and showcase what you expect. Take steps necessary to ensure behaviour matters as much as outcomes.”
“Even the best of friends can at times find themselves engaged in conflicts they find difficult to navigate through. Recognise when members of your team are struggling to relate to one another or move past disagreements. Encourage open, honest, respectful discussion about conflicts,” Ms Gately said.
“Expect all parties concerned to remain focused on reaching a resolution that allows for effective working relationships to be re-established.”
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