You can have the best people in the world working for you, but if you can’t bring them together in a team, you won’t get very far. Here are tips for laying the groundwork for effective business teams.

Have a Plan

Business teams need to know where they’re going. Determine your goal and set priorities. Then, know how you’ll measure success. You need a metric, or a scoreboard, to keep people focused on the goals. Remind your team of the priorities.

Create a Team Culture

Along with shared goals, you’ll need to have team values. These are like rules of the road on how your team operates. Leaders may set some values, while employees may develop a culture of their own, too.

Show Respect

Leaders set the tone for respectful interactions in business teams. A bad leader can destroy a team of efficient, experienced and productive members. Leaders don’t necessarily need to be BFFs with every team member, but there should be a level of respect and allowing the benefit of the doubt before making accusations. People need to feel safe to raise issues and give ideas.

Maintain Accountability

Leaders need to hold team members accountable to meet goals and get work done. But even more importantly, leaders need to be accountable to team members for what they are doing. If you say you’re going to do something, then you need to do it. Responsibility goes both ways.

Have Difficult Conversations

Many adults would rather sweep small problems under the rug than confront the problem. Business teams will have conflict, but leaders cannot ignore it. Instead of making assumptions and accusations, state what you’re observing and how it’s affecting you or the team. Give the person a chance to explain what’s going on.

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