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How to Strengthen Team Effectiveness in 3 Easy Steps

by The Leadership Development Group

As employees reboard and return to work they are demanding better company culture, supportive leadership, and enhanced opportunities to collaborate. As we know through our work with companies across various sectors, poor company culture leads to inefficient communication, unsatisfied employees, high turnover, and poor team effectiveness. Now, more than ever, leadership teams need to prioritize strengthening their team dynamics to improve the overall success of the organization. In this article, we’re revealing the top 3 steps you can use to bolster your team’s effectiveness and achieve impactful business outcomes as a result.

1. Celebrate Successes, Big or Small to Boost Positive Team Effectiveness

According to recent research, teams perform better when they believe that their team can succeed in any given condition. When all members believe their team is capable of handling issues and unique challenges — based on past experiences — communication and collaboration are enhanced ensuring the team is better able to accomplish their goals.

One way to quickly establish positive team dynamics is to create an environment that celebrates wins, big or small. In doing so, positive outcomes are reinforced and the team’s confidence is raised.

As an example, consider how one health system celebrated its clinical staff in the midst of the pandemic. As a patient was discharged from a hospital as a survivor of COVID, leadership announced this and celebrated the unit with an organization-wide “clap-out” honoring the staff and the patient. This small act of appreciation and celebration during a time of great loss lifted the spirits of the staff and patients alike.

The key takeaway is that leaders should place an emphasis on the celebration of accomplishments, reminding the team of their successes and progress.

2. Create Psychological Safety

Leaders can strengthen team effectiveness by prioritizing psychological safety — the extent to which employees feel comfortable admitting a mistake, speaking up, and sharing ideas and questions without facing ridicule. When employees feel safe in the workplace without fear of retaliation, team performance improves as do business outcomes. 

Take this New York Times article as one example of how having psychological safety practices in your organization can make a huge impact on your team and your patients/customers. In the example, a nurse challenges a doctor at a critical moment in the ICU. If the nurse didn’t share their thoughts on the matter, the patient may have fallen into a critical condition. It is important that all team members, regardless of their level and position, feel comfortable when sharing their ideas and questions. 

In general, all teams that prioritize psychological safety, experience increased growth, better collaboration, and enhanced trust. In fact, a McKinsey survey found that ensuring a team’s psychological safety is best accomplished when team members:

  • Value one another’s contributions
  • Care about each other’s well being
  • Are able to share their input

3. Encourage Honest Communication Among Employees

86% of employees and executives report poor communication as one of the main causes of team failures. Meanwhile, teams that prioritize honest communication increase their productivity by 25%. It all starts at the top. Honest communication brought forth from leadership trickles down among team members.

One way to support better communication is to have regular check-ins with team members to confirm their understanding of priorities and expectations. These check-ins help to identify strategies that are not working and determine areas for improvement on an individual and team level. From here, leaders can take these innovative ideas, share them with the team, and implement them where possible. 

According to Pumble, when organizations prioritize effective communication, their employee retention rate increases by 4.5 times. 

Final Thoughts

Strengthening the effectiveness of your team is a journey. The important thing to remember is that creating a healthy company culture can be accomplished with focused attention. The impact on business outcomes is worth the effort. After all, 88% of employees report that healthy company culture is critical to their team effectiveness and organization’s success. 

If you’re ready to begin your journey towards strengthening your team, get in touch with our leadership development experts today. We’re here to help. 

Topics: Leadership Development, Leadership, Leadership Resources, Diversity and Inclusion, Team Development, Collaboration