You must know the business cliché – ‘There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. Cliché or not, this is so true. As your Accountancy Practice grows, you’ll be increasingly aware of the importance of building a team ethos. A team is ever-changing, a constantly evolving group of people – a combined group of individuals with different abilities, personalities, ambitions, goals and perspectives.
The future success of your Practice will depend as much on your own business and leadership skills as the calibre of the team that drives it.
There are dozens of factors that lead to successful team building. Here are just a handful –
- Make shared goals
A successful team must be built on solid foundations. A vital element is to create shared goals and to make sure every team member understands them and has personally invested in them.Examples could be a financial target, launching a new project or delivering a new service. A key factor is to set clear objectives and make sure that everyone taking part (no matter how small or big their role) believes in the goal and how to achieve it.
- Create personal roles
Each individual in your team must be clear about their own personal role and responsibilities. They need to understand what their job is and what’s expected of them. Setting clear job roles, with well-defined objectives will show each of them how they fit into the wider goals and into the team. They’ll be able to appreciate just how vital their individual contribution is to success and be fully invested and engaged in the bigger picture.
- Provide the tools
For your team to be successful, each member needs to be capable of working to the best of their abilities. You need to give them the best and most appropriate tools for the job – proper access to the systems, technologies and facilities they need; helping them to keep their skills up-to-date. This could be through group activities or training (external or internal) or mentoring.
- Encourage communication
Poor communication is one of the most common causes of team failure. Once people feel they’re working in isolation or that their own individual role has no impact, everything can start to go awry. Communication is the key to ensuring that people stay working together as a team.Keeping communication open and conversations flowing can entail
- holding team meetings to discuss key points
- one-to-one meetings between people working together
- regular announcements from team leaders outlining the team’s progress
- and re-iterating individual’s role within the team
- Keeping it fun
If your team members enjoy working together, it makes such a difference to the chances of team success. A simple way to support this is to create opportunities for fun outside of the work environment. Team building activities, away days and social events give everyone a chance to make connections and build relationships based on more than just the joint work project.Your people will get to know each other and understand each other’s personalities. Finding out more about each other could help improve how team members approach each other and how they work together to achieve their joint goals.
- Lead – don’t push
The success of your team will also rest on your qualities as a leader. As well as all of the team building ideas above, your people will need a leader they can trust, believe in and be committed to following.Your role will be to inspire your people and to encourage them to succeed. You must lead from the front and engage the team to buy into the shared goals.
- Show appreciation
Just simple stuff, such as saying ‘thank you’. Acknowledge each team member individually and their achievements. This will go a long way towards building a productive, positive and successful team. Plus as a group, celebrating accomplishments reinvigorates enthusiasm for the project and gives people a chance to take stock of all that they have achieved and to re-commit to team goals.
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