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How to Build a Successful Team

A unified team is a well-oiled machine that drives a profitable business. A dysfunctional team is easy to recognise with its suffering morale, poor productivity and lack of cohesion. But what about a successful team? Your work seems to be on track, but are they operating at that coveted level of par excellence?

These ten signs of a successful team will help you discern whether your team has attained an optimal state of coherence. If your team hits all ten marks, then congratulations! Keep them moving in the same direction. If on the other hand, a team is missing a few points, don't worry! These can be improved to propel them to new heights.

people working together

1. Having Transparent Communications

One of the key signs of a successful team is communication. Communication is seamless within an effective working group. People readily share their ideas, solutions, opinions and insights with one another. They actively listen to each other. They take into account each others’ considerations in an impartial, unbiased way.

The team also updates one another on the progress of projects and tasks. They ask and answer questions for guidance. This open communication is encouraged and understood as a method for avoiding conflict and facilitating efficient collaboration.

2. Keeping Goals in Mind

goal achieved

The entire team understands their collective goals. They work day in and out towards meeting these objectives. It is not about keeping a score of who is doing what; it’s about getting the job done together. A clear path has been laid out before them by management so they appreciate where they are going and how they will get there via each worker’s contribution.

3. Being Supportive and Encouraging

When someone needs a hand, the team is there to lend it. The group recognises that they excel together and are only as strong as their weakest link. They work with the best interest of all in mind.

When a team member performs well, hits a deliverable or goes out of their way to help, the effort is celebrated. Achievements are routinely recognised. Constructive advice or criticism is also afforded, at the right time and in a polite way, with the aim to improve performance.

4. Giving the Benefit of the Doubt
woman playing jenga

The team operates in good faith. They trust each other and give one another the benefit of the doubt if something goes wrong, an oversight is made or a difference of opinion arises. They are not looking for a reason to lack confidence in each other. In fact, it is just the opposite.

If something does not go as intended due to another person’s efforts, they assume that it happened for a good reason. When mistakes are made, it is viewed as a learning lesson for everyone, not a finger-pointing activity at someone.

5. Keeping Enthusiastic

You can feel this key sign of a successful team: enthusiasm. Whether your office is in person or virtual, the space is alive with concentrated excitement. There is plenty of good energy expended between team mates as they enthusiastically discuss shared tasks, collaborate on solving problems, elicit perspectives from each other and generally enjoy each other’s company.

5. They Are All for One and One for All

peoples' hands together

Each individual acts for the prosperity of the group, and conversely, the group acts for the advantage of every person. The team sees the collective good flow down to each employee, thereby strengthening group and individual work. While there is friendly competition, there are no self-serving agendas that undermine group effort.

7. Finding Solutions and Accepting Changes

Even the most prepared teams will face unforeseen challenges. It’s a fact of life and business. When the group encounters problems, the ground under them does not fall. They maintain focus and work together to find the solution. Sound tactics are developed to mitigate the issues, without a cascade of adverse reactions.

One of the most underappreciated signs of a successful team is how they respond to change. A group of high performers realise that even the most well-developed strategies need adjustment occasionally, and receive these changes as a matter of course.

8. Being Organised
organised calendar

It goes without saying that an effective team is an organised one. Systems are established for efficiencies at the unit level, while each worker has the responsibility of organising their own workload. Again, the team - and especially management - are there to assist employees to optimise organisational skills, including:

  • Time management

  • Task prioritisation

  • Information sharing

  • Email management

  • Goal setting

  • Productivity Tracking

Manager Tip: Have regular meetings with the team to review project timetables and deliverables - this may be a weekly “stand-up” meeting. Also, frequent one-on-one performance meetings with team members create an opportunity to learn about workload management and to offer resources, such as training, if the employee needs guidance.

9. Everyone is Aligned

When each team member is playing their role, things go off without a hitch. If there is an out-of-sync employee - whether due to lagging productivity, flagging enthusiasm or simply not fitting in - the misalignment is obvious. With a well-run team, the divergent part is usually more apparent than when everything is aligned and humming along as it should.

10. Having Fun

coffee shop

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This proverb was true when it originated hundreds of years ago and is just as relevant today. One of the biggest indicators of burnout and reduced productivity is when there is no joy in the work place.

As their team leader, make employee well-being a centrepiece of your management techniques. Ensure that your reports not only get stress-reducing breaks and time off, but that fun is injected into their work routines.

There are plenty of entertaining and meaningful ways for the team to build good relationships and get to know each other. Find some fun activities and incentivise everyone to take part - because a team that laughs loudly together also works well together.


Priority Management is a worldwide training company with 55 offices in 15 countries. We have successfully trained more than two million graduates in Priority workshops. Our programs help companies and people be more effective and manage their workflow in and out of the office by providing tools, processes and discipline. Simply put - A Better Way To Work! Clients range from Fortune 500 companies, small-to-medium businesses and government/military employees.

Click Here to learn more about how Priority can help you and your team Work Smart, develop essential management skills and the competencies to....make life and work better and happier!

This blog has been sourced by Priority Management International and edited by Priority Management London.


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