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What are the five most important elements to building a successful team? Although this advice may seem simple, many managers either think they are providing these things when they aren’t or employees just don’t see it.

If you ask a group of managers what they think is needed to build a successful team, you’re likely to get a wide array of answers. However, Dan Bobinski, Workplace Learning Strategist at Leadership Development, Inc., says teams are constantly telling him they want the same things from their supervisors. Although the five keys he discusses are simple, he says it’s very likely supervisors believe they are providing these things, but they are either not doing so, or their teams aren’t seeing it. These are the five key ideas he provides:

1. Honesty

Honesty should be automatic, but Bobinski says it is the number one thing employees tell him they want from their supervisors. It is important to be up front with your employees. If you don’t know the answer to something, tell them. Even if a conversation is difficult, never be dishonest to them, or you will lose all credibility.

2. Trust

Bobinski writes that employees often complain to him that their supervisors don’t trust them. For example, many employees say they go through a great deal of training, but when it comes time to use that training, their supervisors won’t let them do what they’ve been trained to do. Giving them autonomy to showcase their skills and expertise will validate their commitment to the company.

3. Mutual Respect

It is no secret that to receive respect, we must give it. Simply because someone is in a “lower” position doesn’t mean they should be talked down to. Be polite, listen attentively, and honestly take into consideration what your employees are telling you. David Ogilvy once said, “If we treat people like dwarfs we become a company of dwarfs. If we treat people like giants, we become a company of giants.”

4. Recognition

Everyone likes to be recognized for their accomplishments, but the key is to balance individual recognition with team recognition. When an individual does well, acknowledge them publicly, and when a team does something well, recognize the teamwork it took to make it happen.

5. Support

Without support, a team will crumble. They need to feel confident that when they are given a task, they will have moral and financial support to complete it successfully. Without this support, it is very difficult for a team to remain solid, and they may question the company’s investment in the overall goals.
If you manage teams, look internally and see if your employees could benefit from improving any of these five things. If so, put a plan into action and you, and your employees, are sure to see a difference.