What Makes A Successful Team?


What Makes A Successful Team

As businesses become more global, cross-functional and connected, teams are increasingly central to the success of organisations. But what makes a successful team? Besides the typical traits such as good communication, work ethic and innovative thinking, there are several preeminent factors that influence how a team performs and, ultimately, the outcomes they achieve for the business. 

A Clear Vision

One of the best practices of successful teams is the drive towards a big-picture vision that pinpoints exactly where they’re going, as well as how each individual member contributes to getting there. But it’s not just the end result that’s important; smaller team milestones should be communicated regularly, along with a detailed plan for how to achieve them. Having weekly WIP meetings is an effective approach orchestrating this, but you can also utilise online collaboration tools such as Slack, Trello and Asana to post goals and provide a space for people to discuss current issues.

The team needs to be regularly reminded of the impact of their work, as well as how their direct contribution affects the greater direction of the brand. Managing these in-between goals supports cohesion and minimises wasted time. Overall, a clear vision from start to finish provides a purpose and gets everyone engaged and working together to reach a single, broader target.

A Spirit of Appreciation and Conflict Resolution

One of the keys to successful teamwork is encouraging a spirit of appreciation. Showing regular appreciation is central to motivating team members. This acknowledgement is vital, both from management and from co-workers, as it brings meaning and positivity to everyday work. It could be in the form of a simple “thank you,” providing feedback, recognition or offering support.

By the same token, the team also needs to be able to accommodate healthy conflict when it arises: this means maintaining a professional attitude at all times and having strong strategies for resolution. Members need to feel free to be honest and express their opinions, whilst having the skills to deal appropriately and respectfully with disputes when they occur in order to identify the best way forward.

Psychological Safety

Finally, one of the most important elements that fosters team success is psychological safety. Having psychological safety is all about creating a judgement-free environment that allows team members to share their thoughts, make mistakes and ask questions, without fear of being punished or looked down upon by their peers. This is essential to enabling strategic thinking, as it ensures people can maintain analytical reasoning and perspective in uncertain or challenging situations.

It is one of the most fundamental characteristics of a highly-effective team, but also one of the most difficult to achieve. Psychological safety is driven from the top down, and management must model the appropriate behaviour in their approach to leadership in order to proliferate the mindset throughout the rest of the time team.


A great team is like a well-oiled machine, but that machine is also the sum of its parts. It’s the organisations that pay attention not only to the bottom line but to the dynamics and culture of their teams that gain an edge in today’s competitive market.

If you’re looking for support with your next executive recruitment drive or are in search of a new executive job opportunity, get in touch with the team at OnTalent today.

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