How would you love to learn how to build a winning team?
There’s a lot of information on building a good team, a strong team, and even a successful team.
However, a winning team is a bit different from all these.
A winning team is one that can achieve its objectives and even surpass expectations, especially related to profit generation and business growth.
While having a good team is essential, the main target of every business organization is to have a winning team.
One notable thing about winning teams is that they are always highly motivated, passionate, and have the necessary drive to achieve results.
They also do not settle for less or have self-limiting beliefs, thinking that keeping to the status quo is enough.
On the contrary, they have a common goal in mind and collaboratively work towards achieving that goal.
When you hear the word team, one of the set-ups that might come to mind is a sports team.
The goal of every sports team competing against another is to be the best and emerge a winner.
Building such a winning team requires a lot of effort from the team leader, such as imbibing the winning culture in the team.
Not only that but there are also certain qualities that each team member in the group needs to possess to contribute to this win.
These and many more are what we are going to discuss in this article.
You should be well equipped with the necessary information you need to build a winning team at the end of it all.
First, What is a Winning Team? Definition
Let us begin by first defining what a winning team is.
Understanding the concept behind a winning team is the first step towards building one.
Firstly, a team refers to a group of persons working or carrying out an activity together.
They usually have a common goal or objective which they are expected to work together to achieve.
On the other hand, Winning can be defined as excelling in a particular task or coming up top in a task or competition.
In the sports context, it’s easy to tell and identify what a winning team is.
For example, in football, a winning team would outscore the opponent at the end of the game.
However, given that we have teams in all organizations and not just the physical activity industry, we can equally describe a winning team as one that achieves all its set objectives and make great accomplishments.
With that said, why is a winning team such an essential concept in the corporate world?
What Makes Building a Winning Team Important at Work?
Like we said in the introduction to this article, it is one thing to have a good team and a completely different thing to have a winning team.
As an employer or a team leader, your target should be on the latter.
This is because the winning team is the one that achieves success and leaves their marks indelibly in the sands of time.
Also, it is possible to have a team that is not fancied or considered a “good enough” team on the surface but can still possess the ability to be a winning team.
That is why it comes as no surprise that sometimes the most unskillful and untalented teams still end up defeating teams that are considered better.
They have mastered the art of winning.
When you have a winning team, there is no shortage of morale and motivation among your employees in the workplace.
This is because winning in itself is an incentive for doing better and getting the best.
On the other hand, when the team is not winning, it can dampen the team’s morale.
Additionally, with winning comes success, and as such, building a winning team in the workplace will increase your chances of achieving business success along the way.
This is because a winning team will stop at nothing in achieving their set goals and objectives.
This is because the feeling that comes with winning drives them to be their best at all times.
A winning team is also usually a united team.
This comes naturally as a unity of purpose and goal is integral to achieving success.
Without unity, it would be difficult to win.
Hence, where you see a winning team, you will also find a united team.
Another benefit of having a winning team is that you are more likely to retain your employees better.
Every top professional’s goal is to work and thrive in an environment that makes them a winner.
When a team wins, it is also a win for each individual on the team.
Hence, when you build a winning team, you will have more people wanting to remain in the organization.
Consequently, increasing employee retention and reducing employee turnover.
Now the big question remains, what makes a winning team?
Let’s find out.
Characteristics of a Winning Team
When it comes to building a winning team, specific characteristics help you identify such teams.
Check all the winning teams in every industry, be it in sports or even in the business world, and these characteristics are present in them.
As you consider each of these characteristics, use the opportunity to think about your team and ask yourself if they have these inherent in them.
Here are some of the most popular qualities that winning teams have:
A Common Goal and Purpose
One of the main characteristics of a winning team is that they all share the same goal and purpose.
In fact, without this, it would be challenging to get the victory as a team.
This is because people might start working as individuals, and it would affect winning as a team.
Therefore, the best winning teams always share a common goal, and hence they can work together collaboratively towards achieving those goals.
Another recipe for success on a winning team is having individuals with differing talents, skills, expertise, and background.
This is because that is the only way they can work together and win as a team.
Putting together a team of purely similar-minded individuals might make you miss out on having that edge to win.
It is just like having a football team comprising of just defenders or just attackers.
The chances of winning will be slim.
Mutual trust is another quality or attribute that characterizes winning teams.
Team members should trust each other enough to share ideas, opinions, and suggestions among themselves freely.
Also, with trust, the individuals on the team can rely on their colleagues, confident that they will handle their responsibilities and meet deadlines.
The advantage of this is that they do not have to bother about the roles of others in addition to theirs.
This is because they trust themselves.
On a winning team, there is no “me-first” or “I know best.”
No one person on the team believes that he is more important or better than others.
On the contrary, every member of the team works together collaboratively and collectively towards their goals.
They work together, share ideas and contributions that will push the team towards success.
Passion and Commitment
No worthwhile endeavor has ever been achieved without passion and commitment.
And that is also essential on a winning team.
Individuals on a winning team are usually very committed to the vision and goals of the team.
This commitment is backed up by active contributions and work ethics.
Also, when the team faces challenges along the way, passion will help them push through.
Responsibility and Accountability
Another characteristic of a winning team is that the individuals on the team take responsibility for their actions.
This is true, especially when they make mistakes; they own up to it, apologize and seek to make amends.
This also shows accountability on their part.
When they do this, it helps the team figure out where problems are arising and provide solutions to those problems collectively.
Good Interpersonal Relationship
A winning team also consists of individuals who are not just colleagues working towards set goals but also the best friends.
When there is an excellent interpersonal relationship within a team, it’s hard for conflict to break them apart.
Even when the friction comes up, they quickly settle the issues and maintain a good relationship.
This relationship also makes the unity of purpose and mission possible, which in turn translates to winning.
On a winning team, the leader or those in top management positions do not micromanage.
Instead, they give a level of autonomy to the members of the team.
That means what when they’ve proven their worth and value on the team, you allow each member to make decisions and take on responsibilities.
This, in turn, can help drive the team towards sure success.
How to Build a Winning Team
Building a winning team doesn’t start in a day.
However, you can get there through concentrated efforts, dedication, and consistency.
If you are a business manager or a team lead, this section would be of particular interest.
Learn what measures you can take to build a winning team below:
Make Your Goals and Vision Clear
Nothing works against a team reaching their full potential and winning as much as having unclear goals.
That is why the first thing you need to do is make the goals crystal clear.
Hence, your goals should be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound).
When you apply these principles, you put the entire team on the same page.
Similarly, it would also help to make the goals a common one within the team.
Having team members working on different goals can confuse the team and affect their chances of winning.
Build a Team of Diverse Individuals
The best teams that usually get to win often comprise individuals of varying degrees of ability and capability.
This helps because the team’s challenges vary, and this diversity will help during those times.
Hence, be careful not to focus on building a team of like-minded individuals, especially in skills and experience.
This would be one-directional for your team and can limit your chances of success.
Therefore, when recruiting, especially in the workplace, focus on getting enough diversity and dynamism on the team, and you will be one step closer to building a winning team.
Give People Roles/Responsibilities They are Well Suited For
With diversity comes specialization and particular areas of expertise for your team members.
When it comes to team management, be careful not to force a square to become a pentagon”.
More often than not, this approach fails.
However, there is a bigger shot at winning as a team when you fit those on the team according to their abilities, skills, and talents.
That means you need first to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the team member.
Once you’ve done this, you can now know where each of them would fit in on the team.
This way, there’s is a greater chance of working together and winning as a team.
Appreciate Each Member of the Team
While teamwork and collaboration is the goal and the fuel for winning, it is essential to value and appreciate individuals on the team when necessary.
Due to the varying talent level and years of experience, some team members might seem to be giving in more input than others.
In some cases, these might even appear impulsive, and some might see them as more important.
This attitude is what you will want to take out of your team.
As a team leader, you should create an environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated.
You shouldn’t see one person as more important than another.
One way you can ensure this is by appreciating the individuals on the team.
Regardless of how little or seemingly insignificant their contributions are, show them that they are integral to the team’s success.
Thus preventing strife and helping you to build a winning team.
Choose Strong Leaders
The success of a team also depends mainly on the kind of leadership that exists on that team.
Whether you are the team leader or you’re assigned to appoint someone else in that position, you should pay careful attention to strong leadership.
The leader(s) of the team is responsible for inspiring the entire team and providing needed direction for success.
If the leaders are incompetent, winning as a team would be difficult.
However, with strong leaders, there is no limit to what the team can accomplish.
Give Allowance or Margin for Mistakes/Failures
Sometimes, a strive for perfectionism is the biggest enemy preventing a team from reaching its set goals and objectives and winning.
This is because not giving an allowance for mistakes puts a lot of pressure on the team and can be counterproductive.
On the other hand, a good team should understand that sometimes, failures are necessary on the path towards success.
That is why you need to encourage your team to take more calculated risks.
This would breed more innovation and creativity, which can drive them towards winning as a team.
Of course, you will want to ensure that some proper rules and guidelines direct such a team to carefully calculate risks before taking any.
Show your Team you Trust Them
A team is more eager to put in their best and drive towards victory when they feel empowered and trusted.
To do this, it would be wrong to micromanage your team.
Micromanaging would involve trying to control every of the team’s activities, actions, and decisions.
Hence, to build a winning team, you as a leader need to avoid being overbearing or too controlling.
You need to trust your team enough to carry out assigned tasks while only providing oversight.
This show of trust in your team can drive them towards sure success.
Celebrate Every Win; Even the Little Ones
Another way to build a winning team is always to celebrate every win of the team, regardless of how seemingly minor or insignificant they seem.
When you acknowledge and celebrate a win, it acts as a source of motivation and incentive to push the winner towards more success.
The winning feeling is so good, and once you have a taste of it, chances are you will always want a repeat of that feeling.
Therefore, make sure that you recognize every achievement your team makes, either as individuals or collectively, and celebrate it.
This can imbibe a winning culture in your team and help build a strong team.
Every successful and winning team comprises individuals who have high team spirit and work together collaboratively.
While there are individual tasks on such teams, many of the responsibilities are carried out as a team.
You can encourage teamwork by assigning two or more people to a task, enabling them to interact more with one another and appreciate their colleagues more.
With strong teamwork, engagement and participation, you stand a significant chance of making your team a winning one.
Provide Regular and Effective Training
Training is always essential on any team, as it helps the team members to keep improving their existing skills and talents.
When you train a team, they get better at what they do, and they also become stronger as a unit.
That is why even the best teams in sports regularly hold training sessions to improve the fitness of the team and the team chemistry.
This is because they understand that it is essential to success.
This same principle applies to every organization, as training will go a long way in increasing the chances of winning for the team.
Final Thoughts on How to Build a Winning Team
Whatever industry you belong to, and regardless of your role in the organization, the ultimate goal is always to win.
That is why every employer and team leader pays close attention to building a winning team.
The importance of a winning team can not be overstated.
It keeps the members of the team motivated and increases productivity.
Also, what about the increase in revenue and business growth it affords the organization?
The benefits are immense and numerous.
Why not take action right away by applying all the measures and strategies discussed so far to build a winning team that you will be proud of.