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What makes a great team?

It’s one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when looking to hire new recruits and take your business to the next level – what really makes a great team? And how can you implement that in teams within your organisation?

This is a complex question – there’s so many different elements and moving parts that contribute to an effective, great team – but we believe that the best teams in business often have the following 5 attributes:

A common goal

It’s impossible to measure how well a team is working if they don’t have a common goal that they’re working towards. Not only will having a clear vision make it easier for the team to see where they’re succeeding and where they need to improve, but knowing they’re all aiming for the same thing can be a strong motivator too, and boosts team spirit.

When a team has an overall goal, each member can also then see as an individual how they can contribute to that goal with their own unique skills and abilities. Everyone can see the value of what their reaching for, as well as the value of what they’re giving to move the team towards that goal.

A strong leader

Once a team knows what they’re aiming for, it’s vital that they have a leader who is strong enough to get them there. We’ve blogged about the benefits of investing in future leaders before – and the positive impact they have on the teams within your business is another huge one.

Leadership qualities like clear communication, the ability to give and receive feedback, allowing and encouraging personal development amongst team members and also being able to delegate the right tasks to the right people to move the team forward are crucial for success both in terms of team morale and their overall goal.

You can have a great group of people that work together well, but without a clear, strong leader to set the tone, keep them on track and push them forward, they’ll struggle to be a truly great team.

The right mix of people and skills

One of the key parts to putting together a really great team is getting a strong mix of people – and that’s with regards to their skills, personalities, how they communicate, and how they work too. Everyone is unique, everyone is good at some things and not others, and everyone works in a different way. A diverse mix of people in a team brings varying perspectives, ideas and more importantly, a wide enough range of skills and talents to help you reach your overall goal.

Using psychometric tests such as Clarity 4D or the Myers-Briggs test is not only a fascinating way to find out more about yourself and other members of your team, but can give you a clear view of the different ‘types’ of people in your team, and areas where you might be lacking or overcompensating. The Strengths Finder test in particular allows you to map skills across your team and the whole business, and NEO-PIR is a favourite for measuring both personality as well as giving insights into someone’s working behaviour. The better the spread of ‘types’ of people in your team, the better the team will be.

According to Glen Newton, Learning & Development Manage here at Gradvert, “Psychometric profiling can be extremely powerful when introduced into the business in the right way. Tools that focus on strengths profiling allow you to take a holistic look at the core strengths across the business; this is particularly useful for activities like strengths mapping – where you can see at a glance the different strengths across departments within the business and use this information to inform both recruitment and training decisions.

“Having a team that offers a diverse but complementary skill set is crucial to business success; these teams promote collaboration, innovation and engagement – all of which allow business to more effectively reach and exceed their goals.”

Respect for each other

A challenge that can sometimes arise from lots of different types of people working together is that those personalities can clash. When people who work and communicate very differently are put together, they can sometimes find it hard to understand each other’s perspective and this can lead to conflict.

That’s why it’s so important to instil a culture of deep mutual respect within your team, both for management/leadership and for each other. If everyone can respect other team members’ needs, they will deal with any challenges so much more effectively, be able to cheer on each other’s wins and ultimately reach their goal so much faster.

Quality communication

Communication is often the key to success in many elements of business, but especially when trying to build a great team. You need to ensure they have a platform to effectively communicate with each other – project management tools like Basecamp can be really useful for this – as well as any tasks given to the team being communicated clearly.

Creating a culture where team members can openly communicate with each other too will have a hugely positive impact; teams are always a work in progress, and by being able to constructively feedback and criticise each other work, they will produce a higher standard overall and work much better as a team too.


To find out more about how Gradvert can help you create great teams within your business, get in touch!

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