The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Characteristics of Effective Teams


We all remember the dreaded group project in school. There was always the one person that didn’t show up, and another that wanted to argue about everything. But maybe there is really a purpose to having those experiences early in life. The importance of running great teams is not a secret to HR or leadership, so why do teams fail so often?

We are always looking for the next great way to kick off a team meeting. A format that will prove successful and ensure our project is completed on time and under budget. According to research recently completed at the University of Central Florida, there are 7 C’s to great teams. While these may not be surprising, it is an interesting way to communicate expectations with new groups that are forming. The C’s include:

  • Cooperation
  • Conditions
  • Coordination
  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • Coaching
  • Cognition

The study goes on to highlight that we are just starting to include the one generation in time that has been groomed for group success – the Millennials. They have been raised on a positive dose of collaboration and team cohesion. As they enter your workforce, they will expect that the leaders not only participate in, but foster healthy and productive teams.

But do we take time to teach team members how to be effective? Generally not. In an article from the popular “Dummies” series, there are 10 key qualities in an effective team member. Primarily the list focuses on being an active participant who communicates effectively. Team members must also be committed to solve problems and flexibly work with the group dynamics.

Given the work-life balance employees require today, the smaller works spaces and allowances for telecommuting we must address the successes of collaboration head on. Even when not working in a team, our employees must embody these characteristics in the new diverse and technologically advanced workplace we have today. This is just another place we can turn to the Millennial generation for positive infusion on new characteristics into the workforce.

Photo used under the following license.

HR Critical Dates

Never Miss a Critical HR Date Again!

Grab our FREE download that lists all the critical HR dates throughout the year that you don't want to miss!

Thanks! Watch your email - we are ending your Critical HR Dates download!