The pandemic has truly hit harder and lasted longer than anyone expected. If you are working in a medical environment, you are no doubt concerned about the emotional toll this is taking on your staff.
You may be trying to help some prevent burnout. Others may simply want to regain focus and continue to produce quality work.
How can you use team development techniques to reduce pressure and encourage cooperation? Read on to see how to do this and what benefits it could bring your team.
Teams vs Work Groups
To be able to plan and build strong team dynamics, it is important to understand the difference between a team and a work group. Not all groups are teams, nor do they need to be. Teams are unified around a shared goal and purpose. The members have put their own agendas aside for the benefit of the outcome.
Work groups are just want they sound, they come together to solve a problem. This is usually a short-term assignment based on a specific goal.
In both teams and work groups they likely have different soft and technical skills. They may have different levels of education and experience. However, they collaborate to reach their goal. In a team, collaboration is critical to their success, whereas in a work group, they may use compromise and negotiation more often to reach agreement.
To bring your team together with healthy interaction and cooperation, you also want to recognize what each person brings to the table. While the leader has the expertise, it is important to learn as much as possible about individuals to see what qualities they have and how to leverage them.
When creating or improving a team dynamic, it is important to remember there are stages a team goes through in its development.
Initially, members may have a theoretical understanding of their personal role, but no idea about the personalities and skill sets that others possess. And in working together, it is natural to move in and out of conflict as team members may not understand why tasks are assigned in a certain way. There is more conflict when aspects of the team members roles are not clear and expectations are vague.
As communication clarifies the uncertainty, teams find their stride, so to speak and barriers are broken down. As communication improves and morale rises, the team is able to focus on achieving their goals vs on their interactions with each other. They unite their distinguishing features rather than focus on personal achievement.
5 Strategies to Promote Great Teamwork
There are a number of strategies that you can employ in order to unite a team to accomplish a common goal. In order to develop an atmosphere of teamwork and group action, the following strategies are extremely helpful:
1. Shared Specific Goals
The goal of too many workplaces, and even healthcare environments, is simply to get to the end of the workday. This happens when the focus is on fighting fires rather than providing quality and making a difference.
Team leaders who set clear and relevant goals for their team engage optimism as a tool to build morale and momentum. This has the end result of encouraging the team to work together to achieve a goal which will provide a sense of satisfaction for the members personally and also as a group.
Specific, measurable, and relevant goals help teams to focus on a single target and work together to achieve it.
2. Clear roles
Teamwork involves uniting individual skill sets to achieve a common goal. Removing any ambiguity regarding each member’s role means that they are able to focus on their job. They can then contribute their increased experience and skill level to the team.
Rather than dividing the team, this will unite their efforts further. As the team progresses, mutual respect develops, and confidence increases in the ability to work together and accomplish their objectives.
As barriers break down trust develops. The team begins to function at a higher level and accomplish more than the sum of its parts.
3. Effective Communication
Communication is the lifeblood of the team process. Unfortunately, it breaks down because people assume things are understood, or that it is not necessary to say certain things. Just because something has been said, does not mean it is understood. Clear, effective communication allows people to overcome obstacles and personal differences by finding common solutions rather than ignoring issues.
The team leader should instill the value of communication and the need to build good communication habits consistently.
4. Measurable Processes and Outcomes
As the team works together, you want to make sure a flow is set up to communicate progress, bottlenecks and issues that compromises quality and outcomes. You want a system that allows everyone to learn from mistakes and to revise as they move forward.
The improved performance that this will provide contributes to group progression and enhances the team spirit.
Leadership is not about being the boss, it is about taking the team in the right direction by means of example and inspiration. This requires you to communicate purpose and help everyone recognize the shared goals. This is accomplished through strategic communication and your presence where the work takes place.
Effective team leaders understand their destination. They then work with their team members to facilitate the team member’s progress. They take both a top-down approach and a bottom-up approach at the same time.
By doing this you will prioritize the greater good of the team. This, in turn, creates a productive team which reflects well on the leader in the long run.
Team Development for Morale and Momentum
If you are working in the healthcare sector, you will know just how important it is to care for the morale and momentum of your staff.
Use the strategies that we have discussed today. You may find that they increase your impact as a manager or team leader in moving toward your objectives.
If you are interested in learning more about team morale and how to improve it, then we are here to help. We leverage our experience in the workplace to provide guidance that genuinely helps individuals and groups. Schedule a complimentary consultation and let’s talk about how to develop your team!
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