Above a rooftop garden, workers traipse along timber beams many meters in the air. They make up a specialized team of rock climbers and mountain climbers—people accustomed to high-level focus at mind-boggling heights—necessary to wrap up the final days of construction at the London tube’s Canary Wharf station. A few kilometers away at the Royal Docks, an experienced, international engineering team is tasked with updating the 135-year-old Connaught Tunnel, an underwater Victorian-era steam train tunnel, to make it fit for today’s trains—their size and speed.
Zooming out and looking toward the London Underground’s Tottenham Court Road Station, we find the tunneling team, a group of engineers who drive immense tunnel-boring machines (T.B.M.s) to create new rails for the trains. These machines eat through earth like worms, leaving behind a long, circular tube in which other members of the team quickly assemble rings to secure a working tunnel.
This is just a snapshot of the many projects involved in Europe’s largest modern-day engineering project, the London Crossrail. Costing almost £15 billion and adding nearly 42 kilometers of rails, the entire project could not have begun without strong teams. In fact, altogether it’s taken more than 55,000 people who must not only understand how their individual missions contribute to the overall vision, but also work together and trust one another to achieve their shared goal.
So, how do teams big and small foster collaboration all while staying true to their overall mission? By building trust and maintaining open communication, factors that stem from strong team building.
How is team building critical to success?
Team building is “the process of encouraging members of a group to work well together.” Effective teams establish trust amongst members and make it clear that, much like an army of ants, the group will accomplish better and greater things when its members work together toward their collective goal.
“Growing the awareness that teams are stronger than individuals is just the beginning,” says Luca Semeraro, Head of Badenoch + Clark Switzerland. “You must then unite team members around shared values and objectives.”
How can you build productive, connected teams?
Effective teams first identify the various types of hard and soft skills needed and then uncover which members can best fill each type of role. Great teams respect, appreciate and effectively use each member’s strengths which makes the team stronger as a whole.
Once a productive team has been built, it’s time for the real team building to begin. Team members can connect and bond by:
- Sharing concerns and successes. Give one another credit where credit is due. And when a team member raises a concern, give their thoughts appropriate attention. Honesty and respect grease the gears for efficient, drama-free teamwork.
- Keeping open communication. Great teams regularly touch base to share urgent priorities, short-term objectives and long-term goals. When communication isn’t transparent and a collective vision isn’t shared, then teams not only risk distraction but also wasted efforts, wasted time and perpetual frustration—teamwork killers.
- Celebrating together. “The greatest satisfaction for teams is celebrating success together,” says Semeraro. Doing so boosts team morale and keeps everyone focused on moving forward with positivity.
At Badenoch + Clark we know that joining a good team and helping to make it great can be the turning point in your career. You may see that our brand has a new look and feel, but there’s something much bigger at play. We’re also taking a whole new look at how we can build better teams, matching people like you with your next great opportunity in the process. If you’re ready to speak with someone about growing your career, then there’s no time like the present to reach out. We look forward to working with you.