Supporting teamwork through HR strategy
With a mandate to develop successful team-working within your organisation, you might first address the high-level HR strategy that will guide it. Your approach to the following HR areas can all influence teamwork.
- Recruitment and retention: There’s a reason top football clubs spend millions on transfers — successful teams are made up of self-motivated employees with excellent communication skills. Identify the qualities your teams require and design your recruitment drives accordingly.
- Learning and development: Specific skills are required to work collaboratively, and to lead a team. More effective team-working can be achieved by developing staff in areas such as project management, communication, and leadership.
- Pay and reward: Employee incentive programmes can promote effective team-working by rewarding team achievement. Examples might include performance-related team bonuses and rewards such as group social events for top-performing teams.
How HR can guide teams
HR can directly support better team-working by getting involved in how teams are organised.
- Define a clear purpose and goals for each team — To be effective, a team must know its overall purpose and current goals. Involve team members in goal-setting, since they’ll likely feel more engaged with goals they helped create.
- Measure team performance — What’s measured improves. Establish effective metrics and reporting from team leaders. If team performance is sub-par, you’ll know why and how to fix it.
- Reward team excellence — Variable pay and rewards linked to team objectives can help galvanise teams and motivate them to achieve team goals.Using team-building activities
Finally, while team-building activities might seem clichÃ©, they’re still a very popular and effective way to improve interpersonal relations, define team roles, and encourage collaboration and cooperation among your employees.
Types of team-building activity to consider include:
- Problem-solving activities— Your team is set a challenge, such as to build a survival shelter from limited resources, and must work together to develop a plan and achieve the goal together.
- Goal-setting activities — Team members are asked to plan a project, including defining the outcomes and measures of success, to promote the importance of clear team goals.
- Role-based activities — Employees are each given a clearly-defined role within a team-based challenge, to emphasise the importance of focusing on one’s own role in achieving a team goal.
- Communication-based activities — Employees are challenged to achieve a team goal through communication, such as designing and delivering a group presentation, to emphasis the importance of interpersonal skills.