Many years of research have highlighted four essential qualities of great teams, say Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton on Forbes.com.
The authors explain: "For the past few decades we have buried ourselves in research into the drivers of human performance. Growing out of that research, our latest book, The Orange Revolution, includes the results of a 350,000-person study that measured the characteristics of extremely productive teams."
Gostick and Elton say their findings might change the way you lead or participate on your work teams. The four essential qualities are as follows:
1) Great teams always have a noble cause. They also have "extreme clarity" about their cause. Gostick and Elton say: "When we asked ten people on a great team to list their raison d'être, all ten would use the same language, i.e., "We make raving fans of our patients and their families," or "We treat our customers like heroes."
2) Effective teams drive engagement. If an employee is engaged, they genuinely care about the organisation and are willing to put in extra effort. The authors' research shows that you can increase the number of engaged employees by 11% when people feel they are part of a motivating team, get regular recognition from their peers and have an understanding of how their group's work affects the organisation at large.
3) performance is driven by team, not company, loyalty. Some CEOs might not like it but Gostick and Elton insist that people are more loyal to their teams than their companies. However, they say great leaders are aware of this and don't fight it, and keep teams together for longer.
4) Great teams simplify. The authors say: "We found that the best teams live by sets of simple rules and hold each member accountable for honouring those rules.
"In short, the members of great teams commit to being world-class with every interaction with clients and with one another; they believe in open communication with no surprises; and they agree to root and cheer for one another, with a healthy dose of recognition for great work."