Why Is My Team Not Working Together?
We all want our staff teams to work collaboratively. To work together, work as a whole unit and work together to meet set objectives. If your team does not work in this way you have to ask yourself why that is – before someone higher in the organisational structure begins to wonder if it is all down to you!
Look at the following pointers to see if some, or all, of them apply to what your team is doing and how they are behaving:
- What is in it for them? The staff in the team will need to think about and be clear on the benefits of being part of an effective team and why the additional effort and work is going to be worth it. As mentioned above through the vision, mission and goals for the collaboration the benefits to all those involved need to be clear and communicated.
- Previous competition or friction – if there has been previous history of competition or friction between staff this will need to be addressed early on in the process. Any animosity will only get in the way of what you want to achieve.
- Accountabilities and responsibilities are unevenly allocated – should there be any sense that the allocation of tasks lacks balance or is unclear between staff, barriers may form and any trust is eroded. Should one party start to sense the other ‘is not pulling their weight’ this barrier will affect the functioning of the team.
- Lack of progress – in order to show that the team is working and progressing towards its objectives, information about success will need to be communicated regularly to those that need to know. If people sense the team is stalling, not working, out of control, unfair, or not achieving its objectives questions will be asked. Setting milestones as part of the project plan and communicating progress are key in avoiding perception about lack of progress becoming a barrier.
- Lack of or poor planning – confidence in the team will be eroded if there appears to be a lack of a plan, a plan that is not working or ineffective processes that govern the planning and work being done.
- Critical information not shared – where data has to be shared there is clearly a potential for people to resist sharing it or for the systems that hold the data from the different staff groups being incompatible in some way. Basic or complex technical difficulties that are disrupting the work and frustrating the people trying to do it, will create barriers to effective teamwork if not addressed quickly. Anticipating and working on potential technical challenges from the start is clearly highly important.
- Different people and personality clashes – the vision, mission and goals for the team or staff group need to be properly communicated and repeated often to the right key people so that they understand the part they need to play. However, there may still be people who will not work together, and may actively resist and find ways to obstruct the collaboration. People may do this even if the benefits of the collaboration are obvious.
Look carefully and objectively at team performance and do this systematically and regularly.
For more details about our services visit the website www.davidsummeertonconsulting.co.uk