Guide

How to build and manage an effective team

Steps to building an effective team in the workplace

Building a strong team doesn’t happen automatically. It takes planning and management. There are many factors that you should consider to help you build a team that can reach its full potential and benefit your business.

  • Recruitment - it can be easy to fall into the trap of recruiting like-minded individuals. Develop an interview process that identifies individuals who are comfortable working in teams in addition to those with varied skill sets. See recruiting staff and recruitment forms and templates.
  • Diversity of teams - teamwork is most effective whenever you promote a diverse mix of individuals with varying levels of skills, experience and different ways of approaching things. This can give your business a competitive advantage. See prevent discrimination and value diversity.
  • Build strong relationships - the relationships team members establish among themselves can be integral to the success of the team. Bring your staff together through informal team building activities that can help individuals learn about each other, break down barriers and establish trust. These steps can lay the foundations for effective teamwork whenever your staff collaborate to meet business goals.
  • Define team goals - ensure that your team has a purpose and clearly define what you want your team to achieve to give them focus. It will help team members to pull together toward shared goals. Establish clear time frames and ensure team members are aware of their responsibilities.
  • Managing your teams - to get the most out of teams, leaders need to be skilled in management and know how to respond if a conflict arises. They should aim to resolve disputes at an early stage and before tensions escalate. Also, trusting employees and involving them in decisions helps to strengthen the relationship between the manager and individual team members. See team management tips.
  • Culture and teams - create a business culture that encourages and rewards teamwork. Give equal importance to meeting collaborative targets and individual targets. The more your business operates with team-based approaches, the more natural this practice will be to your staff.
  • Training - enable your staff to access training that focuses on developing skills that are essential to effective teamwork such as communication and relationship management skills. By building teamworking exercises into other areas of staff training, this can help hone these skills even further. See training your staff.

See Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) guidance on how to help your team thrive at work (PDF, 73K).