One of the more challenging tasks for a business owner is to mold a group of individuals into a cohesive and effective team. Effective teams are critical for business success, so here are four tips to help you create stronger teams in your workplace.

1) Define expectations.  It’s important that each member of your team has a clear understanding of your expectations – expectations for the team as a whole, and expectations for each member of the team.  It’s important that each individual has defined expectations, otherwise, individuals tend to relax and not take the job as seriously, because the whole team will have to answer for any failure.  By holding each member accountable, you ensure that they’ll stay engaged.

2) Encourage communication.  Communication is critical, both between team members and with leadership.  Maintain an ‘open door’ policy if you can—team members should feel like they can come to you with questions and concerns.  Stress communication often, and make sure that team members are actively communicating with one another as much as possible.

3) Provide support.  As the leader of a team, it is your job to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed.  Whether that means providing smart phones, computing power or something else altogether, make sure that your team has the resources they need to excel.  In addition to enabling them to do their best work, your support will send them the message that their work is important.

4) Don’t micromanage.  Nothing squelches ingenuity and creativity like micromanaging.  Make sure that your team knows what is expected of them, that they have what they need to do their jobs well, and that they know they can ask you questions when they need your input.  But resist the urge to meddle with the details of how they accomplish their tasks.  Give them space to work and use their creativity, and you can be sure you’ll get their best effort.

I’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses over the years, and I can tell you that strong teams almost always lead to business success. Are you getting the most out of your teams?