Designing Team Working Standards – Who Is Best Involved?

March 26, 2010 | By

Agreeing the standards by which your team will work is an invaluable piece of work to do. Your people need to know what’s in and what’s not, so clarifying this early is remarkably important.

But who decides these important standards best?

Many managers fail to recognize the opportunity to agree a set way of working with their people. individuals coming together in teams often have different ways of working and some sort of understanding needs to be in place for everyone to get on.

The challenge is to appreciate just who will add best value when the decisions are being made.

The thing is, decisions about who to include when designing team standards can be quite simple. Usually, the more members of the team who are involved the better, here’s why…

•    Involving a wide range of individuals will bring synergy to the decision making processes. Creating a safe place for team members to contribute is a role that any manager needs to focus on if they want to ensure that the most valuable ideas are shared and then developed.

•    You may well have people on your team who are more reluctant to get involved in group discussions and if you facilitate any such meeting appropriately, you will both benefit from their input, as well as encouraging them to be more prepared to get involved in the future.

•    By using a good number of your people, it will be possible to build credibility in this democratic process that you have decided upon, to create team ownership and harmony. This will mean that your management style becomes much more appreciated by those who might otherwise have been critical.

•    The more employees that get involved, will mean that you will have perspectives not only of individuals, but also of levels. Sometimes it’s useful to have experienced individuals help you out and create solutions.

Where you can, by using all levels of experience, you will get questions that are much more varied and naive even. This is more likely to give you a rounded solution, which will be much more valuable.

Depending perhaps on the size of your team, amongst other things, you may not be able to include everybody.

It’s valuable to encourage a cross-section to be involved and then to ensure where you have repeat activities that involve team contributions, others get their chance later on.

When you work remotely, you have the opportunity to capture input by e-mail or conference call. Distance and remoteness need not be a reason for lack of inclusiveness.

It will just be different and yet a positive approach to an issue that cannot be easily resolved in the usual way.

(c) 2010 Martin Haworth. This is a short excerpt from one of 52 lessons in management development at Super Successful Manager!, an easy to use, step-by-step weekly development program for managers of EVERY skill level. Find out more at

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