The African proverb “it takes a village” can be applied to many things – from writing a book to winning a political campaign and even, as it was initially created for, raising a child.
But one of the aptest uses of the expression today is actually in business. The success of a startup or any company is only as strong as the team behind it. A well-motivated and enthused team can deliver results that they strive for and are proud of, while a lackluster team can merely just ensure that the job is completed to a bare minimum standard – if at all. So, what can be done to ensure that team dynamics are strong?
Understand Different Personality Types
The first aspect of building a strong team is understanding how people work. People skills aren’t just a way of communicating and assimilating in a group; they refer to the way in which we can understand other people. Everybody can be sorted into sixteen different personality types, using the Myers-Briggs personality score taking into account combinations of different ways of processing and analyzing in life. Team dynamics form based on ensuring that different personalities are allowed to gel well with one another, and that those personalities that consistently don’t get on have their differences mitigated. Not everyone will get on, so it’s important that there are measures in place for two staff members who keep butting heads. A way of airing grievances is important. Issues can be dealt with quickly this way to prevent them from lingering and infecting the morale of the other members of the team.
Treat the Team Well
Ensuring every member of the team individually as well as the entire group feels well nurtured in the workplace is another way to foster positive team dynamics, especially when it comes to a startup whose growth is dependent on how motivated the employees are. Benefits and perks can help a team bond. Regular away days, events and socials, drinks and food in the office, and other shared perks can help a team see one another in a more encouraging and sympathetic light. The team can also become friends outside of being colleagues, which is beneficial for any workplace. Ensuring that the simple things are covered, such as that the business has general liability insurance to cover most unfortunate incidents shows the team that they are valued and gives them peace of mind to not be worrying about third party issues. Where possible, other types of insurance such as health and dental could help a team feel like they are being cared for. The more a company shows they value their employees, the more likely the employees are to do a good job.
Team dynamics can make or break a business. Established firms struggle with teams that don’t gel together, but startups can be over before they begin with bad team dynamics. There are ways to improve team dynamics and to establish them early on. These include understanding the different personality types present in the business and ensuring the employees are cared for to allow them to worry about doing a good job.