Allen Woo discusses how to motivate teams to work together

The performance of a team will be good if the team achieves the results for which it was created and designed. Broadly speaking, there are four main variables that any team must consider. Objectives to be achieved, tasks to be carried out, functions to be performed and roles to be played. For the team to perform there must be a total alignment between these four variables. These variables are managed by people, so their attitude towards them will be fundamental. Based on this and on his experience as a group manager, Allen Woo provides some keys for teams to work together more adequately.

As is well known, the relationship between people is not easy and does not respond to rational criteria. Among other important aspects (motivation, level of training, etc.), much depends on the personality of each one of them. A good work climate has been proven to have a positive impact on results.

As different tasks, functions, and roles often require different personalities, it is necessary in many cases to have people with different ways of looking at life and approaching their work. If we want everyone to be able to give the best of themselves, we have to be willing to make different demands on each person and to live with different personalities. We then enter a phase of comparisons. In many organizations, there is a tendency not to want to compare because the differences do not coexist very well with each other.

“If we want to get the best out of each person, we have to ensure that each person does what he or she does best so that the possible shortcomings of each person are counterbalanced by the strengths of another member of the team,” suggests Woo. “In this way, the team will be enriched and the members will complement each other to function properly, always delivering the best results and best meeting the previously defined objectives.”

This variety makes the team richer and more powerful. Of course, the person in charge has to dedicate time and effort to his or her people. Woo has taken on the task of discussing the essential points for a group made up of different people to be a high-performance team.

“For technical environments in small companies where there are no sophisticated people management systems, it is very useful to rely on DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance) systems that help us to perfectly define the different personality profiles according to their work orientations,” explains Woo.

From the management of the four variables mentioned above, there are six major processes that must be controlled for the success of the teams. The first is based on having defined, agreed, and measured objectives.

Team members must know what tasks correspond to them and what their objectives are so that they can focus their time and effort on achieving success and the results set. It is important to measure and analyze the actions of the group, to know if the actions that are being carried out and the decisions that are taken are the right ones to achieve the objective.

The second point focuses on clarity in the definition of roles. “Even though the work is a team effort, each member must assume a specific role within the team,” says Woo. “All members must be clear about the objective so that they can work in the same direction. Also, defining roles will curb friction between members.”

Next comes defining the process correctly. The clarity in the process makes people know the path to success, which means faster learning and less resistance to change. A person who knows the process is a more productive person. The next process is good communication and a good climate.

A fast and agile exchange of communication facilitates making the right decisions. This communication is important both among employees, with management, and even externally. We must define “how we are going to communicate,” states Woo.

The fifth process is to have high levels of respect and trust. Members must help and support each other. It is important to reward individual and group progress by verbally expressing satisfaction with teamwork: “We are doing an excellent job”; “The results are better than expected”; “Let’s keep working in the same direction.

And finally, there is the importance of everyone’s participation. High performance and productivity are only achieved when commitment is individual, but team members have a global vision. The feeling of belonging to a team, of being valued, and of striving together for a goal, make workers motivated, will make them work happier and, therefore, more efficiently.