These 7 factors determine the success factor of a team!

Everyone wants them, some have them, others don't. We're not talking about M&Ms, but about successful teams. And it's not that difficult to form a high-performance team. At least if you know the right adjustments.

The Greek scholar Aristotle already knew: "The whole is more than the sum of its parts." This simple truth also applies to modern collaboration in project teams.

After all, without the oil in the gearbox, even the best clockwork made up of the most delicate cogwheels will only run smoothly. It is precisely this gear oil that is needed to turn outstanding specialists and managers into a successful team. The US company Google, which is not only known for its non-stop innovations but also for its very special working atmosphere, has set out in search of the emblematic gear oil.

"A clear vision, reliability, structure & clarity as well as the importance of the work are factors for successful teams."

What factors make a successful team?

The five factors identified by Google for successful teams include reliability, structure & clarity and a clear vision. The fourth factor is the importance of the work for the individual. Only if the work performed has meaning will each team member be motivated to perform at their best.

According to Google, however, the most important factor is the psychological security of being able to work openly and without fear with colleagues and superiors. With our following tips, you can work on all of these areas and turn your team into a successful team! And if it is already successful, it may become even more successful with these tips - give it a try!

Tip 1 - Work on a shared vision

"If you have visions, you should go to the doctor", said none other than former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. When it comes to successful teamwork, however, no statement is more wrong than this one.

Look at the great entrepreneurs in history who have changed the world with their ventures. Without the vision of a single figure that rubbed off on the entire team, many an innovation would never have happened. 

Without the visionary teamwork of Tesla's management team, electric cars with a range of several hundred kilometers would still belong to the realm of the "impossible" like cars, airplanes, the moon landing and touch-controlled telephones.

So have the courage to speak openly about your personal goals within the team, build a shared vision from your ideas and pursue this goal. This creates a sense of cohesion and increases both morale and work efficiency.

Tip 2 - Ensure clear individual responsibility

Have you ever wondered why magazines are always piled up in the hallway of a multi-party apartment building, why the sidewalk is only swept irregularly or why the communal areas look like "Hempels under the sofa"? This is due to a lack of role allocation and the resulting lack of responsibility. "It's not my responsibility, there are enough other people around." That's the classic explanation. But if everyone thinks like that, nothing works. 

This applies both to our rental building and to cooperation within the team. Ask your team to sign a joint commitment that is aligned with the shared vision. Put this individual responsibility in writing like a code and have each team member sign the collection of rules of conduct. It is not for nothing that secret societies and elite organizations have been successfully using this simple method for thousands of years. Form your own elite organization in which loyalty to the team takes precedence over individual sensitivities.

Tip 3 - Clear distribution of roles is the key

Do you still remember the group presentations in your school days? Wasn't it always the case that one or two people did everything and everyone else was just bored, didn't contribute anything to the research, couldn't do their text or stammered around during the presentation? If you were the "hard worker", the group grade of "three minus" must have really annoyed you. With a proper distribution of roles, this would not have happened.

And this is also the crux of the matter when it comes to teamwork. Whether at school, at university or when working in project teams. Following on from tip 2, assign clear roles according to the skills of your team members. This is the only way everyone can contribute their strengths optimally so that one gear meshes with the other like a Swiss watch. Forget rigid job profiles - be flexible. 

Tip 4 - Ruthless openness and honesty

Nobody likes to go it alone. Especially not when it comes to teamwork. A successful team thrives on open and honest communication at all levels. This applies above all to decision-making. In a team that works well together, decisions are made jointly as often as possible and never over the heads of the team members. 

In situations where decisions cannot be made jointly, they should at least be prepared and communicated in detail in good time. Going it alone is often perceived as patronizing and disrespectful. And this is exactly what drives a wedge through even a technically excellent team. So make sure that every team member always has all the necessary information at their disposal and is involved in decision-making processes wherever possible. 

Tip 5 - Heterogeneous teams are successful teams

"We've always done it this way" or "We've never done it this way before." These are by far the most common phrases when team members from outside come into an established specialist department. You know this? Good, because then you know where you need to start to build a successful team. Assemble your team not only according to professional qualifications, but also according to soft aspects and thus break up rusty structures! 

Different perspectives create a completely new view of problems and ensure creative solutions and the necessary conditions for innovation and disruption. At this point, we'll just say: Tesla - while the best engineers at VW and the like have long failed to design electric vehicles with a reasonable range, an interdisciplinary team at Tesla has broken down old structures and made the impossible possible. Dare to think outside the box!

Tip 6 - Regular constructive feedback

A successful team needs an open feedback culture. After all, the next step in the process is only as good as the foundation laid beforehand. So what is the point of not addressing problems constructively for fear of conflict? And the earlier the feedback is given, the better.

In this way, problems remain small and the effort required to correct them is minimal. In addition, constructive feedback plays an important role in helping each team member to improve as an individual and in their collaboration with the team. 

However, feedback should not be limited to criticism. Recognition for good work and even simple praise are extremely important for hygiene and team cohesion. This applies both to feedback from managers and to feedback at lower hierarchical levels.

Tip 7 - Celebrate successes

Celebrate celebrations as they fall. From a deep psychological perspective, nothing works better than the positive emotions associated with reaching a milestone, an intermediate goal or even the project goal. Shared experiences and the celebration of joint efforts bond people together and help them to successfully pursue the common vision despite obstacles.

Successful teams don't fall from the sky

You can't order a successful team at the push of a button. You have to shape it. However, this work is worthwhile, because simple measures can turn a group of highly qualified individuals into a real high-performance team. Conversely, this also means that an excellently functioning team without outstanding individualists is always superior to a poorly functioning team with outstanding individualists.

However, if a team does not work together successfully, its performance is usually only average. The result: innovations and efficient solutions fail to materialize and agile competitors overtake you with their high-performance teams. Reason enough to take action today.