You know those teams that run like a well-oiled machine? They work together effortlessly, are super productive, and have fun doing it. They walk into work and crush it every single day like the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls. So, how do they do it?

At the core of every successful team is one simple truth: they establish good habits and weed out the bad ones. Developing and keeping good habits is hard at first, especially as a team, but by sticking to them they’ll become second nature. Before long, you’ll see your team cruise past the competition – all by making small tweaks to your daily routines.

Set and Review Goals

The most important way to keep your teams aligned is to regularly set and review goals. This will help your teams to work together to meet their individual, team, and company goals. In order to put their best work forward, your teams need to see the big picture, and where they fit into it.

Make sure every member of your team knows what their goals are and how they tie to larger company initiatives. Roll your goals out with a company kickoff. You can do these annually, quarterly, or monthly. Find the cadence that works best for your company, and have fun with it!

“97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.”ClearCompany

You’ve set your goals, rolled them out to the team, and everyone is hard at work. Are you measuring your progress? It’s crucial to review the goals you set. Think about these questions to ask when reviewing goals:

  • What’s working? Why?
  • What’s straining our productivity? Why?
  • Were there any unique factors that resulted in success?
  • How are we managing the workload?
  • What obstacles did we overcome?
  • How can we do it better?

Pro tip: Competition awakens the spirit. Inspire some healthy competition in your company to supercharge your goals. Instead of setting the bar at “let’s make some sales,” why not offer up free coffee for the week to whoever can have the first contact with ten new customers? By gamifying the results, you could see an uptick of people surpassing long-term plans and strategies. People love friendly competition and having a clear goal to chase. Besides, who doesn’t want free coffee for a whole week?

Communication is Everything

If there’s one thing that all teams can benefit from, it’s more open communication. The best teams communicate regularly, keeping the lines of communication open so that everyone can get their best work done. Open communication is a useful way to let one another know what you’re working on to increase productivity. It’s also a great opportunity to increase collaboration with added insights or constructive advice. Constant and open communication ensures that the team stays on top of new developments, changes, and progress.  

Everyone on the team should be able to express:

  • Proposals
  • Ideas
  • Suggestions
  • Concerns
  • Problems

A truly communicative team culture encourages honesty and transparency. It’s important for teammates to share opinions and give feedback. Slack is a great way to communicate in community channels, project rooms, and one-on-one. If your team has an internal CRM like Confluence, encourage team members to write blogs about their projects and experiences.

Sharing is Caring

It seems obvious, but sharing resources is critical if your team wants to accomplish big things. Encourage the exchange of information and resources, because it will make a huge difference. Create avenues for your teams to easily share knowledge, tips and tricks, and shortcuts —  anything that could help the team get work done faster.

Implementing a daily standup is an easy and effective way to sync the team with what they’re working on, what’s planned for the rest of the week, and if they’re stuck on anything. This gives teammates a chance to chime in with feedback, advice, or see if they can help clear a roadblock.

Trust is everything

There’s more to the people on your team than the value they add and the tasks they complete. They have personalities, passions, and lives. Understanding individual quirks and personality traits go a long way. Take the time to establish real bonds, connect with each other as individuals – not just colleagues.

Schedule regular off-sites to build team rapport, work together in team-building activities, and discover commonalities like hobbies, life experiences, and hometowns. These interactions provide a starting point for continued dialogue and a mutual connection. Building relationships helps to ensure that people trust one another and are working toward the same goal.

Depending on how your team works, some of these habits could be a real game-changer in your overall productivity. Sure, creating processes to implement these principles might take work, but in the long run, you and your team will be better for it.

What principles help your teams thrive? We’d love to know what you found works for you, or what you found didn’t work. Hit us up on Twitter or LinkedIn. As always, for everything else, there’s the ScaleFactor blog. 

Derek Felderhoff &Derek Felderhoff
Director of People

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