Building strong teams can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses. They foster creativity, collaboration, and good relationships in your workplace. Additionally, teams allow big projects to be completed quickly and efficiently without over-burdening one individual. However, there are times when teams can become counter-productive or even detrimental to work quality and culture. Here are three common pitfalls that you want to avoid happening in your teams: 

Unhealthy Competition 

Competition in your workplace can foster a fun atmosphere when playing games or in non-work related competition. However, it can be detrimental when competition becomes too prevalent in your workplace culture. Too much competition can lead to withholding critical information and unkind feelings or actions toward fellow co-workers. A good way to unite your teams and combat unhealthy competition is to have a main goal all your teams can work toward. Generally, this goal is intertwined with your company’s mission statement or the values you encourage as a company.  

Bad Rewards 

What you reward in your employees is the behavior you will see. Take time to make sure that you are only rewarding behavior that you want to see. This includes checking the focus of your rewards to see if they are encouraging short cuts or other behaviors you are hoping to preventIf there are any rewards that are creating poor behavior, adjust the reward’s focus or get rid of it altogether.  

Lacking Diversity 

Diversity involves employing individuals of different races, ages, genders, religions, backgrounds, etcBut, it also involves employing and encourages individuals with different opinions than your own. If your entire company thinks exactly like you or is too afraid to speak up, then you won’t be able to find creative solutions or overcome difficulties as effectively as if you had diversity of thought. To encourage diversity of thought, bring in employees from differing circumstances and provide a safe environment for your employees to share their real opinions.  

Teams can be a benefit to your company if you allow them to be. Use this advice to avoid accidentally leading your teams astray.