How to Build a Team: 6 Steps to Success

Rashi Jaitly
June 26, 2023
September 27, 2023
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Scale your business with a strong team. Discover the importance of teamwork, characteristics of a good team and steps to build an effective team.
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If you're here, you are probably looking to scale your business and build a strong team of veterans who know exactly what they're doing.

But, it's not easy to find a group of people with the right mix of professional skills. 

The people you choose to work with have the ability to make or break your business. If you look at recent research on why startups fail in 2022, choosing the wrong team is one of the top reasons. 

But, with the right ones, you can:

  • Achieve your business goals.
  • Help employees LOVE what they do.
  • Create limitless opportunities for growth.
  • And... lower employee burnout.

Let's get this out of the way: there's no "perfect" team waiting to be found. But with the right tools, processes and effort, you can build one.

Let's start with understanding how successful teams look and how you can set one up.

What is the importance of teamwork? 

Great teamwork is the secret behind most success. From completing a big project, communicating across channels or working on more teams with more people, good teamwork uses everyone's unique skills to get things done.

And when you have a team collaborating as they should, that synergy can feel like magic.  

Here are a few reasons that teamwork is important at work.

1. Increased productivity 

Working as a team reduces the employee workload.

While individuals may perform simple tasks better alone, a team can accomplish complex tasks faster.

By sharing ideas and responsibilities, teamwork helps reduce stress and make space for new ideas and creative solutions.

2. Better decision-making 

Good teamwork is not about keeping your head down, focusing on your work and committing to decisions you disagree with.

Successful team members trust and are vulnerable with one another. They can engage in healthy conflict and hold each other accountable for achieving the best results.

3. Improved communication 

Today, employees spend 60 percent of their work time on collaboration—in meetings, phone calls or chat platforms.

Without teamwork, the office will become a chaotic experience for employees.

Good communication builds healthy working relationships, fosters trust and enables transparency.

And with remote and hybrid teams becoming the norm, you need to work even harder to set a foundation of teamwork and communication between colleagues.

4. Fosters a positive work environment

Your workplace should feel like a community where each employee knows they belong.

Teamwork's impact on the work environment can increase employee tenure, reduce burnout and encourage productivity.

If your employees care about the work they do, and who they work with, they will carry this enthusiasm into their job performance.

Creating this type of environment in a hybrid work world is one of the biggest team management challenges. You can't force your employees to feel like a team, but you CAN give them opportunities to:

What are the characteristics of a good team?

According to the Octanner Global Culture report, six core elements of workplace culture determine an employee's decision to join, engage, and remain at any place of work.

They are called talent magnets because they have the power to attract and connect people to their team and organization. 

1. A defined purpose

Why should your employees give 110 percent? They need to understand the intrinsic value of work— beyond just a profit. Help your employees feel connected to a larger purpose: whether it be their own professional growth, a great cause or mission they believe in.

When your team feels aligned with a common goal, they'll feel motivated to work together.

📌 Scribe Tip: Host a session with your department and ask them to share what matters most to them, then collaborate to document a mission and vision you all believe in!

2. Ample opportunities

Without room for growth, your team can easily fall into stagnation and demotivation. Think about how working together can help them:

  • Develop new skills and learn new technologies.
  • Contribute to meaningful work that aligns with their values.
  • Have a voice and the chance to own something.
  • Feel challenged in what they do.
  • Find a growth path that guides them to the position (and salary) they want!

Empower your employees to take chances, make decisions for their future and expand their skillset on new projects.

3. Shared successes

Who doesn't love a big win!

That adrenaline rush of accomplishment, innovation and victory is unforgettable. Employees should find success at the organizational, team or individual level to feel motivated to continue in an organization. 

Make sure to publicly praise employees when they do something well, and encourage them to give credit and thank each other. Think of it like this: if one of us wins, we ALL win.

4. Commitment to personal well-being 

Show your employees that you care about their physical, emotional and financial health. This ensures they can be their strongest and most authentic selves at work.

The goal is to create an environment of inclusivity, work-life balance and connection. 

📌 Scribe Tip: Show your commitment to well-being through action, more than words. Regularly check in on how your team is doing, make recommendations for their growth and give them plenty of opportunities to decompress and hang out.

5. Team appreciation 

Motivation is the top trait of an effective team member.

Make sure that everyone feels recognized for their efforts and contributions. Appreciation is the most effective way to retain an employee when delivered in timely, personal and meaningful ways. 

6. Leadership 

You're more than a boss: you're also a coach and a mentor. Work with your team on individual plans to get them where they want to go, and make sure they all know you're on their side.

Great leaders co-create a shared purpose that empowers team members to do great work. They celebrate wins together and avoid blaming individuals for any problem.

🎓 Related Reading: Team Management Best Practices to Unlock Your Team's Potential 

Steps to building a successful & effective team

Teams in today's workplace are more complex, fluid and dispersed than ever before.

People are working on more than one type of team with at least one member collaborating virtually. If managers fail can't bring the group together, individual team members can suffer from critical skill gaps. 

Here are six steps to help you find and maximize the talent available, whether local or remote. 

1. Establish a company culture 

Company culture is like a collective personality — it's the way your employees are expected to show up, behave and even dress.

These are written and unwritten rules that everyone in an organization follows. Great company culture fosters increased:

  • Engagement.
  • Creativity.
  • Innovation.
  • Productivity

... and greater interest from top talents. 

No two cultures are the same-it's a result of a unique combination of many factors, such as the organization's mission, values, leadership, goals and position in the market. 

Research by Harvard Business Review has identified eight unique cultural styles:

  • Caring, collaborative and supportive. 
  • Purposeful, idealistic and altruistic.
  • Learning, inventive and creativity.
  • Joyful, fun and exciting.
  • Results-oriented, achievable and motivational.
  • Authoritative, competitive and bold.
  • Safe, risk-averse and predictable.
  • Orderly, respectful and cooperative.

Every organization adapts one of these styles or is a combination of them. Based on recent research, an ideal workplace culture should create a fair workplace for all employees, focus on improving employees' skills and a deeper sense of purpose.

A new team member should know what's expected of them from the beginning. This will help your team members understand how to behave and approach their work. 

2. Defining roles & responsibilities 

Role clarity refers to the extent to which employees clearly understand their duties, responsibilities and processes within the workplace. This clarity is not just limited to their role but also their colleagues. 

Employees with high role clarity show a high level of effectiveness, intention to stay, productivity, and satisfaction with leadership.  

Research shows that half of employees in all sectors lack role clarity in the workplace.

Here's how you can develop the roles and responsibilities of your teammates:

  • Create a team charter document that defines your team's purpose, goals, expectations and member roles. This will give you an idea of the total tasks and how many you have to delegate. 
  • Use an AI-powered process documentation tool to quickly document the tools and workflows every team member needs.
  • Understand the unique and individual strengths and weaknesses of your team members to help them assign tasks accordingly. 
  • Define different job descriptions and add tasks that match their skill set and what they are hired for in the first place. 
  • Give your team members complete ownership of specific areas to show that you believe in them. 
  • Meet and discuss priorities on a weekly basis. Get feedback on role clarity and task progress. 
  • Lastly, measure their performance through short and long-term goals. 

People aren't looking for endless freedom — they want a framework of what's expected of them so they can perform as needed.

3. Foster respect, inclusivity & diversity

Diversity in the workplace includes individuals that are unique, come from distinct backgrounds, and believe in different religions, castes, genders, sexual orientations, ages, beliefs, and education. 

Whereas inclusion is about how well the presence, perspective, and contribution of different groups of people are valued in an environment. This kind of inclusivity in the workplace is what makes it diverse. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practices were the top priority for HR teams in 2022 because of their significant influence. 


Diversity and inclusion shouldn't be just a programmatic initiative or an add-on but instead incorporated throughout the organization. Here's how you can build a diverse team-

  • Give your employees the flexibility to be themselves, leveraging their unique strengths and sharing their perspectives. 
  • Build a cultural bond where everyone interacts with various people without judgment. Make sure that the thoughts and new ideas of every employee (especially newcomers) are valued and not belittled. 
  • Acknowledge and respect every religion and cultural practice. You can do this by celebrating holidays and festivities together and learning more about each other's traditions. 
  • Hire leaders that understand the importance of inclusivity and diversity to make it a safe place for everyone from all walks of life. 
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is a continuous process to ensure teams constantly evolve and adapt to new dynamics. 

Businesses that have promoted diversity have seen 25 percent higher profitability than companies that don't. Diverse teams are most likely to make better decisions, promote higher work engagement, and outperform less-diverse peers. 

🎓 Related Resource: How to Write a User Guide for Diverse Users

4. Leadership skills for effective team management 

To build a successful team, you must first have a strong leader. 

Traditionally, leadership was called "management," providing technical assistance and direction. Today, leadership is sometimes described as "servant leadership", where leaders focus on making employee’s lives easier rather than controlling them. 

Modern leaders practice compassion, vulnerability, self-awareness, empathy, and gratitude. Based on a survey, leadership teams typically display four kinds of behaviors that account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness. These are-

  • Problem solver: Leadership goes hand-in-hand with decision-making and problem-solving. Great leaders employ analytical thinking, strategic planning, and decision-making skills to identify the root causes of problems, develop viable solutions, and guide their teams toward successful outcomes.
  • Operate with a strong result orientation: Leadership isn't just about setting a vision and following through to achieve desired results. Leaders with strong orientation skills emphasize productivity and efficiency to produce the highest quality work. 
  • Seeking different perspectives: A good leader is always open to continuous learning. They constantly monitor changes, encourage employees to contribute ideas, and keep an open mind while communicating. 
  • Supporting others: Leaders who are supportive of other employees tend to build trust and inspire colleagues to do better. There is no need to boss around, allaying unwarranted fears among employees. 

Leaders aren't born ready; they learn over time. Businesses can set up leadership development programs to adjust a leader's mindset, assumptions, or feelings that lead to failure to achieve results. 

5. Encouraging & motivating team members

People need more than a warm-fuzzy feeling and a good paycheck to stay in a company. According to the Harvard Business Review, reasons for job satisfaction include recognition, achievement, responsibility, growth, and all other factors that drive employee motivation. 

Motivated employees account for 40 percent of the success of team projects. Now, to create a team of motivated and engaged employees, make sure to:

  • Acknowledge employee's achievement.
  • Reward employees consistently.
  • Allow honest criticism and complaints.
  • Ensure a healthy work-life balance.
  • Create a solid company culture.
  • Notice signs of burnout.

Think of recognition as a tool to celebrate people for who they are. It's crucial to understand that your employee's personality is not just their work output. They are human beings with different perspectives, backgrounds, interests, and experiences, all of which make your team unique. 

6. Continuous learning & improvement 

According to McKinsey, 87 percent of companies already face a skill shortage or will develop one in a few years. The need for upskilling and reskilling is clear. The rise of robots and automation is reinventing work- but the ultimate differentiator will be people. 

When building a new team, you must understand that learning is a continuous process. Upskilling existing employees could save your business up to £36,084 per person compared to replacing them with new hires.

Here are some steps organizations can take for effective upskilling:

  • Understand the existing business strategy and the skills needed to achieve the desired results. This way, your organization can articulate its future vision and conduct a skill and learning assessment to ensure it has the skills and capabilities to thrive in the future. 
  • Invest in, develop, and deliver effective training to your employees. It can be in academic courses, mentoring, or real-life situations. As a rule of thumb, a company should spend 1–5 percent of an employee's total salary on training. 
  • An organization's structure should be designed to provide necessary support to employees so they can revisit to ensure their learning sticks. You can look for top team management software to document team processes and maximize the team's efficiency. 

A strong learning culture in an organization leads to increased profits, productivity, efficiency and a continuous learning mindset. 

Document employee learning with Scribe 

Visual content is the best way to make your documents engaging and fun to read. Studies show that people only remember 10-20 percent of what they read but 65 percent of what they see because the human brain processes images faster than text. 

If you want your employee's learning to stick, use Scribe- your secret documentation tool. Scribe lets you document processes by capturing your clicks and keystrokes as you work. It turns them into step-by-step guides embedded with gifs, videos, annotated screenshots, and links in seconds. 

Here's a Scribe on ‘how to post images on Twitter’ (that only took 15 seconds to make)!

Scribe's Page feature is a game-changer if you want to create comprehensive process documents and training manuals by combining multiple Scribes. 

Here's a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) template page where you can add multiple Scribes, text, images and videos. 

Great documentation doesn't have to take hours. Create unlimited Scribes and document as many processes as possible, saving your organization tons of time.

Sign up for Scribe and start building a better, stronger team!

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