,  |  3 February 2017

The Perfect Team: How to Build One (MagicWebSolutions experience)

Have you ever felt apprehensive when assigned to a particular team? You know you can contribute to a project, but somehow on some teams, the collaborative effort to move the project forward just doesn’t get traction. Does this lack of productivity reside with the team?

Creating and building the perfect team or an environment where all members can thrive can be a challenge within a business. If the corporate culture does not enable an environment for an individual to thrive and flourish, it hinders the team’s development and productivity.

Some organizations rely on “Employee performance optimization” as an effective way to engage employees with their work. There are many tools available to measure and evaluate an individual’s performance. But the tools used to gauge employee performance optimization isn’t always the best way to motivate employees to be productive in their jobs or enable a team to succeed.

If team members struggle to be heard, talk over each other vying for a leadership position or criticize ideas, this creates an environment of distrust. Building an environment that creates the feeling of psychological safety will help members to open up, communicate and share.

The psychological safety created within a team allows the members to open up and share ideas. They feel listened to and that their feelings are respected. They feel comfortable discussing business-related matters or sharing personal information about their lives.

Victoria is a key member of the Magic Web Solutions (MWS) web application development team. At a previous web development company, she always felt uncomfortable speaking up and sharing ideas. It was a source of stress. The team lead never created that psychological safety environment that was necessary for them. It wasn’t because the team lacked in experience and skills, they just felt that their ideas would be laughed at or dismissed.

At MWS, a web development company UK, psychological safety is a high priority. We wanted to foster a safe environment for risk-taking and making mistakes. Some of the best ideas ever implemented within the company were presented during discussions. No one criticized or laughed.

Victoria, like most engineers, didn’t go into this profession expecting to talk a lot among her colleagues. She didn’t talk too much about her personal life at work. But feeling psychologically safe, the team members, even the quietest ones, began to interact and take part in the discussions.

With each meeting, Victoria gained more confidence in her ability to create winning proposals for product promotions. She felt valued and has learned how to appreciate her colleagues’ individuality. She sees the results of their collective efforts and how they have gained success as a team.

Not only has team members opened up in meetings but has resulted in them spending time together during lunch breaks. At MWS, there is a small kitchen where meals are served by the cook. Team members enjoy their time together chit chatting about activities outside of work and what is going on in their lives. They would laugh and share silly jokes. The MWS team includes both developers and marketing specialists. They may not interact every day due to the different projects they work on, but during lunch they all have the opportunity to get to know each other better.

Feeling comfortable sharing ideas and having open communication helps to build a strong foundation for the company and circumvent issues before they escalate. Raising concerns and catching mistakes early can save the company money and keep team members focused on development rather dealing with issues. In many companies, more than three-quarters of a day is spent communicating in one form or another.

The quality of web development services offered at MWS is a result of the efforts pushed forth by the team. They have a deep sense of pride in their work and with each web application delivered, the level of customer satisfaction achieved has surpassed its competition.
With globalization and a complex e-commerce network, working in teams has now become the norm. Understanding what is required to make the team work well together is critical to its productivity.

MWS is focused on building and developing the perfect team. It is typically composed of twelve developers and UI designers, and three marketing strategists. Most of the team is located in Russia, but some work remotely from Europe. During meetings, team members are sensitive to each other’s needs, and there is an ambiance that has allowed everyone to feel relaxed and comfortable with each other.

Building the perfect team is really about feeling safe to be accepted for who you are, surrounded by supporting colleagues, creating an environment that encourages open communication and sensitivity to other people’s feelings. This is what you will find at MWS.

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