So, how do you keep two different teams functioning as separate entities working together?
In our work with companies and teams, we’ve found the following best practices to be helpful:
- Create shared goals – if the teams have common objectives against which their success will be judged, it creates an incentive to stay aligned. Many companies tie variable compensation/bonuses to the shared goals as well, so that everyone operates for the greater good of the company instead of focusing only on what’s best for their team.
- Create connections between the teams – – put folks from each area on the same project as co-owners and members.
- Create clear communication points – ask for team readouts at meetings where both teams are present. Ask that the readout specifically include information about the impacts to the other areas of the business.
You can tell if your team is dysfunctional by asking one very simple question: does it achieve the purpose for which is was created?
By definition, a team should have common goals and objectives. The different members play different roles but they are dependent upon each other for success. Some questions to ask:
1. Why does this team exist?
2. What are the defined roles, responsibilities and deliverables for each member?
3. How do we measure success?
4. How well are we hitting those success metrics?
5. What’s enabling our success?
6. What’s getting in the way of our success?
7. How well is each team member fulfilling their duties of their position?
8. What does each team member need to be successful?
The fix for a dysfunctional team really depends on the cause. Sometimes, it’s the leader who has created the dysfunction by not establishing the basics outlined above. Sometimes, it’s a lack of resources making it impossible to succeed – whether those are financial, human, technical or time. Sometimes there are barriers due to a lack of trust, empathy, emotional intelligence or communication skills.
If you’d like more information on solutions for different challenges, please let me know.