Building a Strong Work Team

June 25, 2018

You are only as good as your team. Even if you have heard this before, for the high achiever the focus is still “me”, but, a leader’s focus is “them”.

Just as every business is at least slightly different, there is no project team cookie cutter template that defines exactly who makes up a project team or responsibilities. Building a great team takes planning and effort.

The efforts of a great team not only produces superior results, they build a stronger organization. Consider the suggested factors below if you have the opportunity to build your own team.

Type of Project

Before forming a team, keep in mind the customer and project scope. Which personalities will mesh well with the customer? What knowledge areas are needed? Is there a tight deadline? A quick turnaround may require team members that work well under pressure or senior staff that do not need coaching.

Clearly define the team’s mission, rules and all team member rolls and responsibilities before considering any of the following factors.

Balanced Skill Set

Smart leaders understand for their team to work well, they must identify employees’ skill sets and assign them tasks that are well suited to their abilities. A jack of all trades is a master of none. Spend energy developing strengths instead of correcting weaknesses.

Soft skills are just as important as hard skills. They are at times not as easy to identify. This is where a self-assessment can be useful. For example, Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. Try it out for yourself. Understanding your skills will assist in building a well rounded team.


A mix of genders, age, experience and capabilities generate diverse solutions. When all types of employees feel included in an organization or team, engagement, commitment and loyalty increases.

Aligning diversity intelligence with leadership values, strategies and communication practices ensures a truly collaborative and engaging work culture environment that inspires high performance teams.

Fit for the Team

Each team member should be compatible with other team members and be committed to the project. Look for results-oriented people who voice different perspectives and are truly willing to hear others’ opinions. A fresh point of view could be just what the team needs.

A habitual negative team member is not a good fit for any team. Pessimism is not only frustrating, but time-consuming. An optimistic view- negativity can be useful. Optimism 24/7 is unrealistic. Dissenting voices are needed to confirm assumptions and push for new ideas.

On a final note, when your team accomplishes or exceeds its goals, recognize the win and celebrate. At minimum, schedule a final team meeting to thank the group collectively and describe the positive impact their work will have on your organization and your customers. This builds camaraderie and your team and organization will be better for it.

There has been an increasing emphasis given to developing new ways to select project teams. The aim is to minimize conflicts and deliver the highest quality final product/service, in such a way to obtain the customers satisfaction.

What factors do you consider to build a strong work team?