Confident Work Teams

How To Build Confident Work Teams

Watch this short video introduction to find out more…


There are many pathways to building confident work teams.

Whether you are working with a new team, or an established already well-functioning team, the guidelines included in this article can support you in building an even stronger, focused, more cohesive team.

Building confident, cohesive, well-functioning teams is an ongoing focus for managers.

Although often managers “inherit” the teams with which they work, rather than start them from scratch, the same rules apply:

Know that teams go through various stages

Any change—be it to responsibilities, addition of staff, loss of staff, or new ways of operating—may mean that already established, well-functioning teams sometimes revert to a period, as when first formed, where roles, mission and process need to be revisited and re-clarified.

  • Action – Define your teams roles and responsibilities early on. Make sure you to take the lead in this.
  • Have a clear mission – Teams without a clear mission are like boats without a rudder.

The resulting feeling of aimlessness leads to lack of clarity and fuel for productivity.  Expectations for individual responsibilities remain unclear if not linked to the bigger picture—or team role.

You may be surprised to find your team may not have a clear understanding of the guiding mission.

  • Action – Provide direction and purpose to the team. Say what your objectives are and where you want the team to go.
  • Have clear roles and hire for fit

Ensure your staff understands where how roles connect and may be interdependent.  Explore the handoffs and how current processes help or hinder their success.

Hire additions to staff whose values mirror those of your group (e.g. if teamwork is critical, hire those who flourish in team environments rather than those who prefer to work independently).

  • Clarify what they bring to the team and how they will contribute.
  • Establish your team-specific “ground rules”

These are the unwritten norms that guide how work gets done in your team. Do you have an open door policy?  How are suggestions for improvements to be made?  How does communication work amongst team members?

  • Action – Do this as soon as you can so people know what to expect and what your standards are.
  • Provide a vehicle for team building

Whether at a fixed period during monthly staff meetings, or at annual retreats, allow some time for your team to bond and reconnect with one another as well as with you. Listen for their concerns and frustrations, and to the extent possible, empower them to own solutions.

  • Action – As well as taking this on yourself delegate the “Team building” responsibilities to some people in your time also. Like a “social secretary” for organising team night outs.
  • Lead your group

Effective teams have a clear leader, with a clear role.  Consistently communicate and play your part on the team.

Pro actively address potential concerns and issues, and build a collaborative environment where every member’s strengths and talents are utilized and appreciated.

  • Action – You don’t need to start this, you should be doing this ALL of the time!
  • List down all of the things that you can do to make sure that this happens.

These are the pathways to building confident teams.

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