4 min read

5 Team Synergy Secrets Every People Leader Should Know

5 Team Synergy Secrets Every People Leader Should Know

Henry Ford once famously said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success.” Most leaders would agree that it’s easy to form a team, but it’s a little more challenging to keep them together, but the real work and difference between a high and low-performing team is how a team works together to achieve success - that’s team synergy.


What Is Team Synergy?

Team synergy can be defined as how a team works together to complete its mandate by leveraging each member’s strengths and unique perspectives to produce more remarkable results than what could be achieved alone.

What Is Team Synergy?

Yet, many teams are formed and rush to complete their accountabilities before assessing each individual’s strengths and how they can produce team synergy in the workplace. Gallup, a thought leader on the topic of high-performance teams, said on the subject of team strengths, “Simply knowing your strengths, as well as the strengths of your partners, leads to higher engagement and performance.”

They go on to state, “When team members value each other's strengths, they more effectively relate to one another, avoid potential conflicts, boost group cohesion and create positive dialogue.” The value of understanding each member’s strength to produce team synergy cannot be overstated.

Therefore, how do you ensure employee strengths are recognized and utilized? How do you ensure you create the right team environment to foster teamwork synergy as a people leader? Here are five ways you can promote team synergy.


How to Create team synergy

  1. Understand the talents and strengths each individual brings
  2. Form the right team culture
  3. Be aligned on the team vision and goal
  4. Assign roles and accountabilities that maximize personal strengths
  5. Keep up team engagement by celebrating team milestones

Understand the talents and strengths each individual brings

In sports, each player has their position based on their abilities and focus on strengths, yet, we often do not think like this in the business world. To understand each individual on the team and the gifts they bring, try the following activities.


Facilitate a Discussion

In a team meeting, have individuals prepare answers to the following questions to share with the group. These could include:

  • What skills have you received positive feedback on? And why?
  • What tasks do you enjoy? What do you struggle with and would prefer it is off your to-do list?
  • What top three skills do you feel you can bring to the team to make it successful?

Take An Assessment

It may be difficult for team members to article their strengths. Using an assessment and having each team member share their results is another way to understand unique strengths. There are many different assessments available to understand your strengths, or if budget is an issue, Positive Psychology has created a list of nine free tests. But, again, be sure all team members share their results so everyone can understand what each member brings.


Download the Team Culture Toolkit to Better Understand Where Your Culture Is  and What You Want It To Be. >>


Form the right team culture

Most of us can relate to working on a team where we did not feel comfortable sharing ideas or suggestions for fear of ridicule, judgment, or being altogether dismissed. Depending on the team culture, which is the norms and behaviors of a team, it can create an environment where fresh perspectives are encouraged, embraced, or withdrawn.

To ensure your team leverages the best out of everyone to capitalize on team synergy, it is essential for leaders to intentionally set a team dynamic that is focused on psychological safety.

As found in a multi-year study Google conducted on what makes a perfect team; psychological safety was one of the most critical factors. The concept of psychological safety on a team was introduced by Amy Edmondson, an organizational behavior scientist at Harvard, who defined the concept as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking.”

So, how can leaders ensure they’re creating the right team environment? Google has created an excellent resource for leaders to foster psychological safety in their teams. The five behaviors effective team leaders should demonstrate to create the right environment and workplace culture that produces psychological safety includes:

  • Being present, engaged, and participative in team discussions
  • Showing understanding and openness to teammate's perspectives
  • Be inclusive, have a positive attitude, and be approachable in and outside of the team setting
  • Seek input on decision-making
  • Lead the team with confidence, but be open, agile, and supportive

When the workplace culture is one where team members feel safe sharing their unique perspectives, it can lead to greater creativity, better decision-making, and more effective problem-solving.


Be aligned on the team vision and goal

97% of employees believe a lack of alignment within a team impacts the project’s outcome. This statistic is not surprising, and it is pretty hard to have team synergy and optimal team performance when everyone is going off in different directions.

To ensure everyone on a team is working towards the same outcome, you must start by sharing your vision for the team and the goals you’re trying to achieve. When a team has a clear and compelling team vision statement and purpose, it acts as a focal point to move towards in unison, eliminates distractions and other activities that move you away, and ensures the advantages of team synergy are maximized.


Assign roles and accountabilities that maximize personal strengths

After talents are identified, the team vision statement and goals are set, and great team culture is established, it is time for you to assign roles and responsibilities that focus on the strengths of each team member.

When each individual is assigned a role that plays to their strengths and gets to apply their talents every day, they are six times more likely to be engaged at work and 8% more productive, thus creating an environment where team synergy can thrive.


Keep up Team engagement by celebrating team milestones

Typically, teams come together for an extended time to complete a project. Over time, the team that once was thriving and capitalizing on the benefits of team synergy may need a boost of energy so all team members see the project to completion. That’s why it is important to have milestones to celebrate along the way to help stay focused and motivated.

As you create the project plan, have the team contribute to the milestones and their respective completion dates. Then, when a milestone is achieved, ensure the team takes the time to celebrate their accomplishments. Doing so can help re-energize the team for the work yet to be done


Conclusion: it's up to you to Promote Synergy

As a people leader, you play a critical role in creating the right conditions for team success. It’s up to you to identify strengths and assign roles accordingly, intentionally develop a great team culture based on psychological safety, ensure each member shares your vision and goals, and when milestones are met, you’re the first to celebrate them.

Learning and developing the skills to lead a team successfully takes time. To accelerate the process, invest in a leadership development program that is designed to equip you with the team leadership skills you need, like Niagara Institute’s Leadership Fundamentals.

The Team Culture Toolkit Conains Resources That Will Help You Understand Where Your Culture Is Today and What You Want It to Be

Are You A Team-Oriented Leader?

5 min read

Are You A Team-Oriented Leader?

Leaders play a pivotal role in building and influencing their teams. They set the tone, behaviors, and expectations of how the team functions. Given...

Read More
Are You Experiencing High Turnover? Here’s Why and What To Do About It

7 min read

Are You Experiencing High Turnover? Here’s Why and What To Do About It

Did you know that 52% of voluntary resignations are avoidable? As the Gallup study that found this states, “People leave because of fixable issues.”...

Read More
Why It’s Time to Prioritize Team Dynamics

5 min read

Why It’s Time to Prioritize Team Dynamics

If the events of the last year have taught us anything, it’s that teamwork matters more than ever. If a team cannot be high-performing in the best of...

Read More