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5 Steps to Make a Winning Team

You can employ the best individuals, but if they're not working well as a team, your business is in trouble.

It's a common misconception that you only need to prioritise your teamwork when your business reaches a certain size. This myth trips people up time and time again. If you're aiming for growth, prepare now. Establishing a positive and engaging work culture early is key. Just because you have fewer moving parts, doesn't mean you don't need synergy between them.

Even for solopreneurs with part-time help, these steps will help make sure you're getting the best out of the people you work with.

So what can you do?

Take a look at the winning teams out there. What do they have in common?

A great example is the GB 400m relay team in 1991. A relay demands the very best teamwork. Every member has their part to play and the transfer must be seamless. Kriss Akabusi, now a motivational speaker, has spoken in length about the principles behind their team that led to their success.

Follow our 5 steps we identified to build your own winning team...

GB Winning Relay Team 1991

1. You All Need the Same goal

A common goal is important. A communicated goal is essential.

Every team needs a direction, but without proper communication throughout the team, it's unlikely to gain full support. Your team need to understand and believe in what they are trying to achieve.

By sharing your knowledge and being transparent, you give your team the opportunity to be invested and maximise motivation.

2. Everyone Knows their Part

To keep your team engaged, every role and part to play needs to be clearly defined. Without this, things easily fall through the cracks. Inevitably, unpopular tasks are avoided if they're not owned. Ambiguity means no one is held accountable.

Communicating clear boundaries and defined roles also encourages responsibility. Feeling responsible for a task is motivating. Not only does it limit avoidance, you can take pride in your success.

It's vital that everyone in the team is familiar with all the roles, not just their own. Knowing who is responsible for what provides the big picture. You know exactly what's going and where to go for support when it's needed.

3. Have a Plan

When you know where you want your business to be and who is going to help you get there, you need to decide the route.

Establish your plan in conversation with your team. You'll get perspectives you might have otherwise missed and make your team feel included. When their opinion is valued, their investment is greater.

It's not always feasible for every team member to be involved in the planning. This is where your communication is key. Relaying and informing every member of the plan means they know all the information in advance. Understanding the timescale, resource, budget and limitations before you get started minimise mistakes.

4. Avoid Distractions

Once you have your plan, stick to it. Of course, things change and you need to be dynamic. There's no point stubbornly sticking to a plan that no longer works. However, identify when this is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, avoid distractions.

Especially when you're running your own business and finding your direction, it can be tempting to try every suggestion. The problem is it only creates confusion. Constant redirection will undo any clarity and progress your team have made to become a unit.

5. Encourage Psychological Safety

Even the best teams will face hurdles. Nurturing an open environment allows these challenges to be overcome swiftly.

According to Amy Edmondson, a Harvard Business School Professor, psychological safety is 'a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.' It creates a work culture that encourages openness, honesty and freedom to make mistakes without fear.

Freedom for errors fosters innovation. If you're always scared of going wrong, you'll never take any risks. It also means, when things do go wrong, your team feels comfortable to be honest. It's better to have all the information than be blindsided at a critical moment.


If you find yourself struggling to engage and unite your team, we can help. It's not always easy to make change internally. Our outside perspective and expertise can identify the actions with you to drive you forwards.

Visit our website to find out more or pick up the phone on 020 3286 2866. We'd love to chat. There's no pressure - let's see if we're the right fit!

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