Forming and Maintaining a Healthy Team

See also: Group Dynamics

People can do many tasks yet are often limited by time and energy. Leaders should strive to create a team where people can lean on one another for support. That way, they can face overwhelming projects and grow together.

Fostering a healthy dynamic can take time. However, it’s important to be well-intentioned when forming and maintaining a team. Know the core values that contribute to a well-rounded set of members.

Strong Determination

Everyone has their own motivations for working, whether for self-interest, family or other reasons. Get a team on the same page by creating a unified goal. A clear objective lets employees know what they should strive for and how to contribute.

When managing a team’s determination, develop short- and long-term goals. Short-term objectives should see results in a couple of months, while long-term ones take a few years or more. Set expectations by providing a timeline of when their efforts will come to fruition.

Remember to keep the goals measurable, as well. Reviewing certain metrics is a great way to see whether the team is heading in the right direction. If the results say otherwise, you can switch gears and direct determination in another way.

Encouragement for Input

A healthy team should not hesitate to share ideas in the workplace. Growing together requires everyone’s input, so encourage everybody to be proactive and speak up in the office. Set up meetings where people are free to speak their minds.

Some employees will need more than a nudge. They might be too shy, while others fear their ideas won’t be recognized as valuable by their peers. Leaders should affirm that everyone’s input matters.

You can also take a more passive approach when asking for input. For example, add a suggestion box in the office. It allows reserved workers to relay their ideas without the instant pressure of facing you or other people.

Effective Communication

The ideal work team should effectively share information and communicate with one another. Every person is different, but members should aim for concise content and delivery when expressing an idea.

Keep things simple and straightforward. Check words to avoid sounding pretentious. Direct language can prevent future misunderstandings in the workplace.

Always consider your tone when delivering information. How you say a message matters. Proofread written communications carefully and consider word choice. When speaking, pay attention to your body language and other nonverbal cues.

Remember to listen and build emotional intelligence. Team members may focus on speaking up too much and fail to be attentive to other people’s ideas. Everyone should have room to participate. 

Collaborative Environment

A collaborative environment is essential in a healthy team. Most members try to compete with one another to get an edge when promotions come. While you can applaud the tenacity, such a spirit can bring down other people.

Most projects may require more than one person, depending on their complexity and deadline. Team members who can trust and communicate are much more likely to recognize each other’s strengths.

A collaborative environment can still be beneficial for individual projects. For instance, one person may need to catch up on their workload. Others ahead of theirs can offer advice on how to speed up or provide assistance.

Team Appreciation

A healthy team puts in plenty of effort to accomplish what they should do. Leaders should strive to acknowledge each member’s contribution to maintain morale. After all, it validates their efforts and highlights their milestones.

Bring that positivity when discussing the collective effort the team brings. Stating how the whole group reached a certain accomplishment builds a strong sense of belonging and confidence in the long run.

One of the best ways to show appreciation for your team is by putting effort into optimizing their well-being. Rewarding employees with extra PTO or the means to break up particularly stressful periods at work can go a long way toward avoiding burnout and improving your team’s mental health.

Similarly, look for ways to keep their physical health up as well. Foods high in vitamin A can enhance their immune systems, while B-complex vitamins can boost their energy and concentration. Providing company meals and healthy snacks both serves to help your team perform better while also making them feel cared for.

You can also organize team outings where people can take a break from work and bond. A hotel stay or amusement park trip can eliminate stress while serving as a great reward.

Conflict Resolution

A healthy team is not immune to workplace conflict. Issues will always come up, whether they like it or not. What matters is they can talk about the disagreement and handle it carefully. Respect is important to avoid toxic discourse.

For example, some people may oppose how a project should be handled. Avoid bad-talking one another. Colleagues should have a level-headed discussion so they can see eye-to-eye. Navigating a problem together can help them grow closer in the future.

If the team is dealing with a conflict against one person, plan a one-on-one to discuss the matter. This approach prevents them from feeling like they’re being swarmed while addressing the concern.

Understanding and Compassion

A healthy team should recognize there’s life beyond work. Members should be empathetic if people are struggling with personal matters. Leaders can even be lenient when delegating tasks.

Even if someone isn’t dealing with a personal problem, be sensitive toward them. All colleagues are humans, so prioritizing compassion can go a long way in building connections.

Set check-ins with members and ask how they’re doing. Give them the space to open up or even vent about a situation. You don’t know just how much they need it, and they will remember you for your thoughtfulness.

Commitment to Improvement

A healthy team should celebrate its progress and strive to become even better than before. Improvement is a gateway to boosting productivity and reaching success. Gaining new knowledge and skills can also be refreshing.

Provide your team with resources. For example, taking online courses and downloading apps is a great way to learn something new. Sending an article on mindfulness or life hobbies can also be fruitful, even if it leans more toward non-workplace topics. 

Sometimes, a person will make mistakes on their journey to improvement. Know you can learn from it instead of feeling guilty. Accept the setback and assess what you could do better next time to avoid the same outcome.

Mutual Trust and Respect

Team members should trust one another enough to know each other's capabilities. At the same time, each person should have a good level of respect for others to keep things polite and professional at the workplace.

Trust and respect may seem like a given, but many teams fail to provide this. About 57% of U.S. workers left jobs because they felt disrespected at the office. When you start a team, establish that skepticism and rudeness are off the table.

Have ground rules and setups to maintain mutual trust and respect. A streamlined digital communication space can promote a culture of transparency within the team. You can also advocate for inclusivity in the workplace verbally.

Create a Cohesive Team

There’s strength in numbers, but there’s also power in a healthy dynamic when completing projects. Strive to boost productivity and raise morale in the office. In time, the whole workspace will operate like clockwork.

About the Author

Jack Shaw is a freelance writer who has spent the last five years writing about improving oneself through health, education and reworked mindsets. He’s served as senior writer for Modded, and since then has contributed to Tiny Buddha, Small Business Currents and Big Ideas for Small Business among many other publications.