What Is an Effective Team in Organizations: Characteristics, Definition & Qualities

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  • 0:01 Effective Teams Defined
  • 0:56 Characteristics of…
  • 2:19 Other Important Team Qualities
  • 3:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Donna Swarthout
Companies that organize their workers in teams can improve their productivity and identify new approaches to achieving company goals. In this lesson, learn about the characteristics and qualities of effective teams.

Effective Teams Defined

One of the many ways for a business to organize employees is in teams. A team is made up of two or more people who work together to achieve a common goal. Teams offer an alternative to a vertical chain-of-command and are a much more inclusive approach to business organization. Teams are becoming more common in the business world today. Effective teams can lead to increased employee motivation and business productivity.

You may wonder how a team is different from an ordinary work group. Work groups are mainly for members to share information and make decisions so that each member can achieve his or her individual work goals. On a team, the members not only share information but also share responsibility for the team's work. The idea behind teams is synergy. With synergy members can accomplish more together than they could on their own.

Characteristics of Effective Teams

Not all teams are successful at what they do. Perhaps you have worked on a team that spent too much time debating decisions or included members who did not take on a fair share of the work. Such teams would be ineffective. Let's look at some of the key characteristics of effective teams:

  1. Ideal size and membership - The team should be the minimum size needed to achieve the team's goals, and include members with the right mix of skills and talents to get the job done.
  2. Clear purpose - Everyone needs to understand and accept the team's goal and their role on the team.
  3. Open communication - The team should value diverse points of view and encourage open and honest discussion. All members should feel that their ideas are welcome.
  4. Fairness in decision-making - Ideally, teams will make decisions by consensus. When consensus is not feasible, teams will use fair decision-making procedures that everyone agrees on.
  5. Creativity - Effective teams value original thinking and will produce new and unique approaches to organizational problems.
  6. Accountability - Members must be accountable to each other for getting their work done on schedule and following the group's rules and procedures.

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