Prakash is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience in technology and IP research with a proven track record of managing large teams and growing business. He has strong analytical skills and capabilities in structuring complex problems, gathering client requirements, and developing customized solutions. Over the years, he has developed strong expertise in techno commercial analysis – the ability to draw insights by taking a holistic view of technology and market-related parameters, e.g., Scientific and Commercial CI. He can set up an entire process around building and scaling up teams – developing training plans, process manuals, defining career paths, budgeting, and compensation plans. Prakash has worked with varied industries and organizations across the globe. He completed his engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi, and received his executive management degree from Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
There are many factors that affect a company’s growth, including some that are beyond its control. Every organization has certain requirements to be successful. However, the one critical aspect that can help all companies reap bountiful results, if managed well, is human resources. So, how does a company foster the culture of productivity and build successful teams? While there is no set formula, there are certain steps every organization can take to coalesce an effective team. Here are a few:
- Optimal structure – How a company structures itself or its teams largely depends on the nature of the business, the core functions, location and mix of employees. Every unit needs to design the right team structure to achieve the desired outcomes. For instance, processes that involve creative and innovation-driven output, should ideally have a horizontal structure with roles defined by competencies rather than years of experience. This can facilitate exchange of ideas and efficient decision making. On the other hand, a hierarchical structure would be more situatable where processes are generally manual, and any decision-making can cause significant monetary impact on the upside or downside.
- Diversity – It is always advantageous to build a diverse team so that the varied range of experiences and skills can complement each other allow individuals to learn and expand their thought process. Diversity allows each team member to grow as professionals by delving into and benefiting from others’ experience and culture. Furthermore, it makes the workplace more enriching. On the business front, it helps people gain access to diverse perspectives and ideas that eventually result in unique solutions and business ideas.
- Consistent top-down communication – It is essential to establish expectations so that each employee is aware of his responsibilities, and also has a transparent view of the decision-making framework used by leaders. Information should frequently flow down from the leaders so that team members have a coherent view of the direction in which the organization is heading. Leaders should use communication tools to advocate values that are most important and facilitate two-way dialogues where everyone can voice their opinions, ideas and thoughts.
- Reward behavior too – Recognizing and rewarding good work is always motivating. However, this should not be based on performance alone. Leaders should celebrate situations where individuals have shown exemplary traits such as going out of the way to help others, adhering to values, showing empathy, or flagging critical issues in time. This helps set the right tone and encourages collaboration. It is also critical to appreciate these efforts regularly and not only at the time of appraisals.
- Discourage compartmentalization – High performing teams often tend to compartmentalize, which inadvertently curbs their growth and curtails the impetus to improve further. It is important for organizations to engineer activities that can challenge this mindset. Some of the ways in which these can be done are by designing impactful cross-functional projects, encouraging teams to attend workshops with peers in the industry, and by constantly upskilling them.
Creating a successful team is more than simply hiring the right people, though that is an important first step. Right management and development of talent is what leads to an effective and productive team. Leaders have to remain at the helm of the ship to make sure the team works as a cohesive unit and stays focused on the bigger picture. Companies must invest time and resources in their people, for they are the lifeblood of the firm. Empowered employees make a successful team, and these teams create world-class organizations.