An effective team will work together, be focused and supportive of each other to achieve and reach goals. For a team to be effective, each team member needs to be clear on their roles and responsibilities relating to their job. Team performance will be more effective if there is respect for the leader/manager and an understanding towards their job role and responsibility. The leader/manager should also be aware of the skills or weakness within the team and be able to provide support where necessary and also utilize their strengths.
Training and support will enable staff to improve performance, develop confidence and lift spirits within team. The characteristics of an effective team which separates it from other teams and makes it unique or effective is the ability of the team to perform at the highest level for an extended period of time and to complete its work in the most efficient and effective manner and to the best of its ability. The purpose, role and objectives of a team could change from team to team, but certain features will consistently be present in a team enable it achieve effective performance, some of which are:
- Develop goals and plans; an effective team should begin with a clearly defined mission that describes the specific purpose for the team, sets its goals and effectively develops and implements plan to achieve set goals. The team members should be clear about the goals and priorities and consistently act in ways that support the team’s overall mission goals.
- Enhance communication among members; team members should feel free to share information with each other, listen and provide each other with positive and constructive feedback. There should be a specific process to facilitate the distribution of information on a regular basis, such as team meetings, or a newsletter.
- Develop and maintain positive relationship among members, respect, and support, cooperate and trust each other. They should proactively work to build positive relationship by providing opportunities for social interaction.
- Solve problem and make decisions on a timely basis: when problems occur and decisions need to be taken, an effective team ensures that these are effectively identified and resolved promptly with the involvement of the team in the problem solving and decision making process.
- Successfully manage conflicts; there are bound to be conflicts in a team. An effective team identifies and resolves conflicts in a timely and mutually beneficial manner, and also minimizes the occurrences of conflicts by implementing, communicating, using conflict resolution strategies and training, by incorporating on going team building activities to encourage the active participation of all team members.
- Facilitate productive meetings: effective teams have productive, well managed meetings that efficiently use team member’s time. Teal meetings are focused, timely and necessary and used to solve problems, make decisions, distribute information, and enhance team members skills.
- Clarify roles for team members; team members should know their responsibilities and authority, understand the roles that are played by others and use everyone’s skills and abilities, and all team members understand and are clear about the connection between team goals and their day-to-day activities.
- Operate in a productive manner; an effective team has leaders that define team goals and priorities, facilitate collaboration among team members, manage team performance and generate opportunities for success. Successful team leaders encourage active participation, clarify priorities on a continuous basis, work in a supportive team environment and provide on-going development opportunities for team members in technical, interpersonal, and team building areas. This should include the application of a variety of developmental interventions such as on the job trainings, coaching, mentoring, development assignments, feed-back based activities and self-directed learning.