How do you structure a successful team? (+7 methods explained)

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In this post, we will be explaining how you can structure a successful team. We will be discussing the importance of a successful team and defining its characteristics. Since teamwork is crucial for productivity and the success of an organization, it is important for managers to know how to create a collaborative team.

How do you structure a successful team?

You can structure a successful team by using methods such as:

  • Proper planning and goal-setting
  • Setting ground-rules and values
  • Understanding and accepting roles
  •  Focusing on solutions rather than problems
  •   Creating an environment of trust and support
  •   Opening up communication
  •   Positively accepting criticism and feedback
  •   Acknowledging accomplishments
  • Celebrating successes and learning from failures

Let’s go over these methods in detail.

  • Proper planning and goal-setting

Creating a proper road-map for your team helps them coordinate and collaborate better. When employees are not clear as to what they are working towards, they tend to be less productive and less motivated. It can also lead to trust and accountability issues. The better you plan and set goals for your team, the more ownership your team members will have. This will help your team in its process as well as creating markers for keeping track of progress.

  • Setting ground-rules and values

A successful team is created not just by great communication and planning. It needs a set of ground-rules that everyone abides by. When a team has a shared vision and a set of values, it becomes their constitution. It helps them proceed cautiously and creates a secure environment to work in. While going ahead with the project, reminding team members to keep their actions aligned with the shared values can be beneficial both to team-cohesion as well as productivity.

  • Understanding and accepting roles

Before we assign roles to different team members, it is essential that we reflect whether they’ll be the best fit for that particular task. It makes no sense to assign a role to a worker who has no ability or capacity to fulfill the task. It also leads to bad collaboration and mismanagement of the project.

Once the role has been assigned after careful consideration, it is essential that the team members understand them and accept them. Along with roles and titles come a set of duties and responsibilities. Misunderstanding roles can also lead to internal conflicts. A better understanding of roles can also help your team keep track of its progress and project success.

  • Focusing on solutions rather than problems

While problems and challenges are bound to arise in an organization, focusing on the solutions is crucial. Giving importance to the problems and ruminating over past issues can never be fruitful. A positive way to look at the problem is to see what can be done better. In this situation, it is important that the blame game is avoided. Blaming someone will only lead to further upheavals, creating disharmony.

When a team is more solution-focused rather than problem-focused, it helps them become more effective in their work. It also helps the members become less afraid of difficulties and failing in a task. This improves their ability to take risks and work harder. Additionally, such a mindset creates an environment of positivity and productivity.

  • Creating an environment of trust and support

When managers strive to create an environment of trust and support, team members automatically become more transparent and accountable in their tasks. High trust between members is a sign of an effective collaboration, which leads to effective task completion. When the team members feel they can trust one another, there is less risk of blame games and internal politics. It also leads to a positive communication style between the team members.

  • Opening up communication

Teams that communicate and interact better tend to work better together. When there is open communication, there is better trust in the team. Open communication should be present not only between the team-members, but also between the team-members and leaders or management. This is common in flatter organizational hierarchies. Open communication involves regular voicing out of opinions, feelings, and feedback. It also involves stating positive criticisms.

While implementing open communication, an important part to remember is active listening. Active listening is more than just hearing. It involves practicing the right body language, eye-contact, gesturing, and empathizing, In active listening, the receiver sums up or summarizes the conversation before moving on to the next topic. This states clarity and avoids misunderstandings.

  • Positively accepting criticism and feedback

In a successful team, criticism and feedback is always taken in a positive light. Accepting criticism does not only depend on the receiver. It highly depends on how the giver dispenses it. Here, the right communication skills, body language and other soft skills are required. Emotional intelligence is also a big part of this process. When feedback or criticism is given in an empathetic manner, it is better received and acted upon.

While receiving feedback, it is essential that we leave personal biases and judgements out. The more we bring personal bias into the picture, the higher the risk of internal conflicts. Many conflicts might not be so overt, but can be subconsciously deep-rooted as well. Accepting feedback is a sign of maturity and growth. Emotional maturity and personality type are important deciding factors in this.

  • Acknowledging accomplishments

While the project moves and goals are being achieved, recognizing accomplishments, even small ones can be helpful in improving the work atmosphere. Acknowledging accomplishments motivates employees to do further while also giving a healthy ego boost. It also encourages other members in the team to achieve their individual goals as well.

While acknowledging accomplishments, it is essential that we focus on real accomplishments and not trivial ones. With the motive of encouraging someone, leaders might try to acknowledge accomplishments that may not be genuine or recognition-worthy. This might have a negative impact on the team. The members might feel the leader is not being honest and might not trust them. While recognizing successes, honor genuine ones.

  • Celebrating successes and learning from failures

When the project has been completed and the goals have been achieved, take time to celebrate the success. Leaders often don’t take enough time to celebrate and reward accomplishments and sometimes move on to the next project too quickly. Celebrating is not just about rewarding. It also helps your team-members process the entire project and get ready for the next one in a stronger way.

Sometimes things might not go our way and plans may fail. Take this opportunity to learn. In this situation, internal conflicts might also occur, leading to blame-games. But in an environment of trust and open communication, a failure can be easily welcomed as learning, leading to a stronger team.

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Importance of a successful team

While team-work is very important for success, many workplaces still don’t make great efforts to instill this practice. Three reasons why a successful team is important are listed below:

·   We always need someone else’s help, especially to do the work better

·   In an organization, high workload is a common situation and teamwork helps to reduce it

·   Team-work can bring various skill-sets together to achieve a common goal

Characteristics of a successful team

Successful teams have many characteristics in common. To understand team-work better, let’s look at these characteristics a little more closely.

  • Everyone has the same goal and vision

Having a shared goal and vision is crucial for team-work. When everyone works towards the same goal, the process is smoother and more efficient.

  • All the team-members understand their roles

In a successful team, the members have great clarity about their roles. They also understand the scope and the limitations of the roles. Since they understand their responsibilities well, they have more ownership and are accountable for their tasks,

  • The entire team is on the same page

A successful team moves forward together as a unit. All the members share the progress together with none of them moving too fast or lagging too far behind at the same time. This can only happen when there is regular and proper communication within the team.

  • They support each other

When team members support and encourage each other, it leads to a better collaboration. In a positive and uplifting environment, work gets done faster and better since the team members know they can rely on each other.

  • They have a sense of belonging in the group

In a successful team environment, team members have a high sense of belonging. It becomes more like a familial environment rather than a workplace. When employees know they belong in the team and are valued members, they tend to work harder to achieve the team’s goals. They also tend to put the team first before their own individual priorities.


In this post, we have explained how you can structure a successful team. We also have discussed the importance of a successful team and defined its characteristics.

Frequently asked questions:

How do you create a good team structure?

A great team structure can be created be implementing the following methods:

  • Creating a vision and a mission

Creating a vision for the team can help in guiding them. It also encourages them to focus on the bigger picture rather than the present. This creates a stronger bond in the team.

  • Set clear goals

Setting goals that align with your vision and mission will help the team in effectiveness. It also creates a helpful perspective while facing challenges. While setting goals, it is important to create both team and individual goals for motivation and better productivity.

  • Make group decisions

Decisions should not be made by the leader alone. Though they may be practically implemented by management, it is important to take suggestions from all the team members. Since they are part of the decision-making process, team members might feel more inclined to go through with them and stick to the decisions made.

What are the four main elements of a successful team?

A successful team can be characterized by four main elements, and they are:

  • Effective communication

A successful team not only communicates regularly but is also effective. Non-productive communication matters are left out while positive and productive communication tactics are enforced.

  • Proper goal-setting

The team members know the goals that they are working toward and the plan they need to know. Since everyone is occupied with their own goals and processes, there tends to be fewer conflicts and misunderstandings.

  • Clear roles & responsibilities

The members of a successful team understand their roles clearly and thus perform them well. They also know the capabilities and limitations of their roles, enabling them to make informed decisions and be more accountable in their work.

  • Task management

A successful team moves together as one. Due to better communication processes, there tends to be effective completion of tasks.

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