Building an effective team is difficult, but it’s the key to success. Great teams are made up of people who complement one another. They know their strengths and weaknesses, and they work harmoniously together to fill in the gaps. Here are some foundations to build an expert team that leverages each individual’s strength for the team’s performance and your organization’s benefit.
Understand the Importance of Building an Expert Team
There are many reasons why building an expert team is important. There are lots of ways to measure the success of a team, and by taking time to evaluate each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, you can create a winning team. The most obvious reason is that people with different strengths and interests will find different things interesting and stimulating than others. That means when one person gets bored with a project, another person might be eager to take it on. Building an expert team also helps people feel like they’re contributing in all aspects of the business—not just their own department or niche. It also sets your company apart from other organizations in the industry because you’ll have a more diverse group of people working for you who can offer different perspectives and ideas for improvement.
Understand Your Current Team’s Strengths
Before you start building your team, it’s important to understand what your current team is strong in. You should know the strengths of each individual on the team so you know where they can add value. This means highlighting their strengths and pinpointing what skills will likely improve or strengthen the overall performance of the organization. If you already have a good understanding of this, great! But if not, it might be time to conduct a skills assessment. A skills assessment will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of every person on your team. You can use a survey or a one-on-one interview to get an idea of what each individual excels at. Once you have that information compiled, you can use it to build a team that leverages each individual’s strength for the team’s performance and your organization’s benefit.
Identify Core Competencies
Successful teams identify the core competencies that they can support one another with. You may try to develop a team of people who are the best at every task, but this is not feasible and will lead to frustration as various team members become overwhelmed.
You should instead take time to identify what you’re looking for in a team member and take those qualities into account when choosing potential candidates for your organization.
This is also important because it ensures that you aren’t making compromises on talent by trying to find people who fill multiple roles and do it all well. It’s much more efficient and effective if you hire people who excel at one role and hire others who do the same thing but specialize in other areas.
Create a Core Competency Matrix
The first step to building an expert team is to identify each team members’ core competencies. This will help you understand what each person on the team excels at and will also allow you to assign tasks accordingly. You can create a core competency matrix that will serve as your guide in assigning tasks.
On one axis, list the skills that every member of the team needs to have, such as creativity, communication skills, and analytical skills. On the other axis, list the strengths that are unique to each individual. For example, if someone is great at analytics but bad at creativity, then they should be assigned analytics-related tasks while others work on creative projects.
This chart will also help you see where any gaps are – allowing you to fill them with another member who has those particular skills or abilities.
Build a Balanced Team
You need a team that has a balance of personality types and skillsets.
When you’re hiring new team members, make sure they have the necessary skills to do their job well. One way to achieve this is by using a test for identifying job-specific competencies and behavioral styles. This will help ensure that your employees not only have the skills to do their jobs, but also the right personality type to fit into your company culture.
Additionally, build a diverse team with varying levels of experience and skill sets. This way, there won’t be any gaps in your team. It will allow you to cover more ground as well as provide more opportunity for growth within your organization. A great example of this is having sales professionals who can sell different products or services so if one area isn’t doing so well, the other might be where you’ll find success.
Finally, don’t forget about building a team that has good relationships with one another and is able to work effectively together even when projects get stressful. These relationships don’t just happen; it takes time and effort on both sides of the equation to create this type of strong working environment.
Team Training for Expert Performance
Team training is essential for an effective team. It doesn’t matter how talented you are if you don’t know how to effectively collaborate with others on the team. A key part of successful teamwork is understanding that there are others on your team, and that each individual has important skills that can help them complete the task at hand. This is called developing a shared mental model. Expert teams not only have members who are experts in their fields, but they have expertise in collaborating with each other thanks to a shared mental model. Airplain crews, military units, and surgical teams are some of the common exemplars of such expert teams. Some organizations invest in professional coaching to train their staff members on how best become an expert team. This way, everyone knows how best to work together for success.
The first step to building an effective team is mentorship. You want to find people with skills that complement your own. If you’re an expert in customer service, for instance, you’ll want to bring on someone who has the skills and knowledge of marketing.
Mentoring allows you to take your company in a new direction or provide fresh perspectives on what’s working and what isn’t. It also helps establish your business as an authority in the industry by investing in experienced talent.
The ability to communicate is imperative for any team member. Your team has to be able to effectively communicate with each other, with your customers, and with your audience. You want people who are articulate, confident, and can get their point across effectively. Communication skills are essential for any task you ask of your team.
Diversity and Inclusion
One of the key foundations for building a successful team is diversity and inclusion. If you have a diverse team, it will be easier to find solutions to challenges. It’s also important to ensure that everyone feels included. Inclusion leads to higher productivity and better results.
Building an expert team is the key to achieving organizational excellence, but it’s not easy.
The good news is that you can learn from other organizations. The bad news is that it’s not always easy to know what types of expertise you need.
To make things easier, we’ve created this three-step guide to help you build a team that will help you achieve organizational excellence.
Step 1: Understand the importance of building an expert team
Step 2: Understand your current team
Step 3: Identify core competencies
Step 4: Train to Become an Expert Team
Once you’ve got a better understanding of where your organization is coming from, you can work on building an expert team to help you get where you want to go.
SOURCES Shirley C. Sonesh et al., “What Makes an Expert Team? A Decade of Research,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, ed. K. Anders Ericsson et al., 2nd ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2018), 21–32, https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316480748.002.
2 Michelle A. Marks et al., “The Impact of Cross-Training on Team Effectiveness.,” Journal of Applied Psychology 87, no. 1 (2002): 3–13, https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.87.1.3.
3 Stephen M. Fiore, “Interdisciplinarity as Teamwork: How the Science of Teams Can Inform Team Science,” Small Group Research 39, no. 3 (June 2008): 251–77, https://doi.org/10.1177/1046496408317797.