As the saying goes, teamwork makes the dream work. A business is only successful if its employees can work together. While companies naturally break down into different groups – the marketing department, the sales department and so on – these structures aren’t always as productive as they could be. By designing teams haphazardly, leaders inadvertently prevent their companies from innovating and reaching their full potential.
The question, then, is how does one create a successful team? After all, the conventional method of grouping people with similar skills together is still important. A company doesn’t want an engineering department full of salespeople, HR representatives and account managers, for example. Still, it’s important to consider whether these engineers and other employees work well together, or if they should be split further into different projects. Here’s how leaders can design teams and groups for maximum productivity:
Use the Most Inspiring Employees to Motivate the Rest
In the book “How Habits Work,” best-selling author and New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg describes a neurological loop that forms the base of every habit. First discovered by researchers at MIT, the loop consists of three distinct parts: cue, routine and reward. Duhigg theorized understanding the cues that trigger a certain behavior allows a person to consciously alter their own habits.
Elaborating on that theory, Entrepreneur suggested people themselves can be these cues. By working hard themselves and setting a good example, these employees motivate their peers to pursue their goals. Leaders should have a look around the office for individuals like this, then structure teams accordingly.
Create Teams Based on Shared Goals, not Skills
Group members often end up sharing certain characteristics such as age, work style and skill level. However, according to the Harvard Business Review, the strongest groups are those made of individuals who share objectives and key results. The HBR called these communities of aspiration and noted they’re more forward-thinking than groups of people who share likes, dislikes or a particular demographic attribute. Communities of aspiration utilize their differences to achieve goals better than any others. Not only does this mean they’re more likely to think outside the box, but they also make it easier for different individuals to work together and find common ground.
Design Collaborative OKRs
OKRs are more than simple goals.They’re specific, measurable ambitions aligned with time-bound benchmarks to determine how one will succeed. While, every employee has their own OKRs, strong companies instill this goal-setting technique at the team and company levels as well. An individual employee’s OKRs should supplement those of his or her team, which then support the goals of the business.
With an integrated goal-setting structure, everyone knows they are contributing to the success of the company as a whole. Seeing how their work supports their peers and the business inspires them to achieve their individual OKRs.