How To Build Effective Small Business Teams

Building Effective Teams

While some people may say that it’s the luck of the draw on finding a great workforce, most SBOs will tell you it’s much more than that. Creating an effective team requires planning and fine-tuning – and yes – a tiny bit of luck, too.

Since your employees are the backbone of your company, it’s essential to find the right people (with the right skill sets) to bring your organizational goals to fruition. If you need some inspiration, let’s take a look at the leader in building effective teams – Google.

There Is No “I” In “Team”

We’ve all heard about Google’s drool-worthy office space (sprawling campus, great, free food, and a variety of perks including massages), but simply offering all these extras, does not create a perfect employee team.

In order to figure out how to build the most effective team, Google did what it does best – it researched the problem.

Based on data analysis, Google’s study found that “teams work best when their members feel like they can take risks, can count on each other, have clear goals and believe their work matters.”

And a recent study published in the Academy of Management Journal by Jasmine Hu, an assistant professor of management at Notre Dame University and Robert Liden, a management professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reinforced this finding. The study looked at 67 different teams working at six different companies. It found that “employees excel when they feel their work will help the colleagues, customers and community.”

Google employs 60,000 people. Each employee works on at least one team, while some people work two or more teams. Google’s teams are typically project-oriented and range in size from 3 to 70 people.

In addition, in 2014, after studying more than 200 teams over two years to better pinpoint what makes and motivates an effective group, Google researchers found that the best managers are coaches that empower instead of micromanage.

What About Your Team?

What role do you play in creating a good team? Employees look to their leaders for conflict resolution training, effective management, and an overall sense of safety and wellbeing.

Take a look at your own organization. Think of some key questions to better take a gauge of where you stand:

  • What tools do you give your teams to help them succeed? For example, do you provide critical project management software to make collaboration easy?
  • Have you clearly defined the structure of this team? Is there a project leader or is there a more specific hierarchy that everyone needs to follow?
  • What resolution solutions do you have in place if a team runs into trouble?
  • Are your teams well balanced for individual skill sets?
  • Do you nurture your teams on a regular basis? If not, what team retreats and workshops can you plan in the quarter ahead?

Collaboration and team projects are here to stay, and that’s why so many organizations embrace the open office concept. Modern day business requires insight from everyone – from marketing to IT to design to social media – and companies that rely on an individual, closed-door approach will undoubtedly be left behind in such a dynamic workforce.
If you had to share a tip for building the most effective team, what would it be? Let’s discuss!

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