Working on teams is the way of the world these days with the belief that together we can achieve more. However, this proposition does come with its own set of challenges. The team may not be made up of the right mix of skills and experience or could be understaffed to meet its goals and objectives. Even worse, there may be members that are not as dedicated as others on the team, therefore not pulling their proverbial weight. This is where individual accountability and team accountability collide, and sometimes the results fall short of where things need to be.
There are all kinds of tools and methods used to bring about improved accountability in teams. There can be daily standup meetings where each member of the team reports on their progress, or a mentor approach where two team members are paired together to reach better accountability. There are metrics, dashboards, and even team compensation plans to help facilitate the level of accountability needed. All of these are good and can have varying degrees of effectiveness.
However, the best and most effective teams are those which have found that key ingredient allowing them to take their individual accountability to a very special place. This bond is strong and centered around an incredible sense of selflessness. The members of these teams will absolutely walk through walls for each other, and their greatest concern is letting their team members down. Their love of the team outweighs all personal needs and wants, leading to an incredible thing of beauty in team dynamics, or as I like to call it, the “sweet spot” of team accountability.
Team accountability has taken on a whole new dynamic now that we are working to a significant degree in a remote world. Staying in the “sweet spot” of team accountability may require extra effort to communicate due to the lack of in-person interaction; however, established teams should not have trouble maintaining this team dynamic. The challenge is with new team members as they are trying to learn from a distance without the daily interactions of working in the office. It is important to set expectations around the culture and discuss team accountability openly and on a regular basis so these new members can contribute and enjoy working on a highly effective team.
So, as we enter the second half of the year, see if you can help lead your team to this wonderful place. If you are already on a team that works this way, then help spread this message of joy and productivity to others in your organization.
Bruce is the Regional Manager for Aureus Group and has been in the information technology field for 25 years. As a graduate of Iowa State University with a BBA in management and information systems, Bruce began his career as a programmer for Mutual of Omaha. For the past 19 years he has been a leader in the IT staffing and consulting business in Nebraska and the Midwest. He has been in various leadership roles ranging from talent recruitment and sales to human resources and operational management.
At Aureus Group he leads the information systems and technology team, which is highly skilled in providing top talent to their clients under staff augmentation consulting or direct hire placement services.