Teamwork and collaboration are essential aspects of a successful business. When teams work effectively together in a group, they can achieve goals that would be impossible for an individual. Team norms are group norms, which are a part of life.

Try Wrike for free

Understanding the importance of team norms

Team norms are the expectations and behaviors that guide team interactions and decision making. These norms can either support or hinder team performance. When norms are unclear or dysfunctional, team members may struggle with conflict, making decisions, or achieving goals.

Additionally, poor communication can lead to frustration, confusion, and a lack of motivation. Therefore, it is essential to establish effective and high-performing team norms.

Define team norms

Team norms provide the foundation for how team members work together. To establish these norms, the team must define their expectations and the behaviors that support those expectations. These should be agreed upon by everyone on the team and communicated clearly.

A team having a meeting around a table, illustrating team norms

An example could be that all team members are expected to arrive on time for meetings. This norm supports the team’s goal of being productive and respectful of each other’s time. All employees must join discussions and share opinions to make informed decisions based on different perspectives, which also supports the team’s goals.

The impact of norms on team performance

High-performance team norms establish a culture of teamwork and collaboration. When team members are working toward shared goals, they are better positioned to achieve them. Teams with strong norms are more productive, highly motivated, and better able to navigate challenges. Additionally, they have a lower risk of conflict since team members understand what is expected of them.

A team with a norm of open and honest communication is more likely to resolve conflicts quickly and effectively. This is because team members feel comfortable expressing their concerns and working together to find solutions. A conflict-avoidant team may struggle with problem solving, leading to anger and distrust among team members.

Benefits of establishing strong team norms

Strong team norms bring a host of benefits to the team, including:

  • Improved communication and collaboration so teams can work more effectively together
  • Increased motivation and productivity, which leads to a stronger sense of accomplishment
  • Better decision-making processes that yield better outcomes and a sense of shared ownership over the decision-making process
  • Greater accountability and trust among team members, leading to a greater sense of respect within the team
  • Increased job satisfaction in team members who feel supported and valued, meaning they are more likely to enjoy their work and feel satisfied with their job

Identify the key elements of high-performance team norms

When establishing effective team norms, several key elements need to be considered. Creating high-performance team norms requires clear communication, mutual accountability, and a shared commitment to the team’s goals.

These elements are crucial for establishing an effective team dynamic. Clear communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands their roles and responsibilities. Mutual accountability means that team members hold each other responsible for their actions and contribute to the team’s success. Lastly, a shared commitment to the team’s goals ensures that everyone is working toward a common objective.

These norms serve as the foundation for fostering collaboration, productivity, and trust among team members.

Clear communication when sharing information

Clear communication requires setting expectations for how team members communicate with one another. It needs to have agreed ways to share information, like when and how to give updates or feedback. An example could be sending emails for formal team meetings.

Use Wrike for sharing information

Using Wrike to share information has become a positive team norm, enhancing collaboration and productivity. The platform’s user-friendly interface enables teams to effortlessly communicate project updates, timelines, and tasks, fostering transparency among team members.

With Wrike, everyone stays informed and aligned, leading to more efficient workflows and successful project outcomes.

Screenshot of Wrike dashboard, illustrating an example of information sharing for better team norms

Team norms in team meetings

Try holding regular team meetings where everyone can share updates and discuss any challenges or roadblocks they are facing. This helps everyone know what’s happening in the team and they can offer help or input when necessary.

Trust and accountability

Trust is built over time through consistent actions that demonstrate reliability. Team members need to trust each other to keep their promises and fulfill their commitments.

Accountability involves committing to the goals and objectives of the team and holding each other accountable to these goals. This means being willing to take responsibility for mistakes or failures and working together to find solutions to problems.

Assign clear roles and responsibilities to team members so they know what is expected and can work toward their goals.

Goal alignment and information sharing

Teams with a common understanding of their goals and how they help the organization’s overall objectives can work together more effectively.

Involve team members in goal setting to show that everyone is important and working together for the team’s success. When sharing information, it is vital to have trust and goal alignment as a team norm.

Try Wrike for free

Adaptability and flexibility for better team experience

It is inevitable that teams will experience unexpected circumstances that can derail progress toward their goals. Teams must be adaptable and flexible, with an eagerness to pivot or make changes in the course of their work.

Remember to encourage open communication and a willingness to try new approaches so that the team is able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and can continue to make progress toward their goals.

Recognition and appreciation

Teams need to celebrate their successes and acknowledge the hard work that colleagues put in to achieve those successes. This can boost morale and increase motivation among team members.

Establish a culture of gratitude. This means recognizing team members’ efforts, celebrating achievements, and showing appreciation for everyone’s hard work and commitment.

5 steps to establish high-performance team norms

Follow these key steps as you begin to establish high-performance norms within your team:

1. Assess your team’s current norms

Assess your current norms and identify any areas of improvement by conducting surveys, interviews, or working sessions with your team members. Once you have gathered this information, you can identify areas where you need to focus your efforts.

2. Engage team members in the process

Verify that everyone is on the same page and has had an opportunity to contribute their ideas. This can be done through team meetings, workshops, or brainstorming sessions.

3. Set clear expectations and boundaries

Once the team has agreed on its norms, it is essential to communicate them clearly and set boundaries around them. This will help employees remember the norms and act in line with them in their work.

4. Develop a shared vision and goals

Check to make sure that the whole team shares the same vision and goals. This will ensure that everyone is aligned and working toward the same objectives.

5. Implement and monitor the new norms

Ensure that everyone understands their role in maintaining the focus on the team’s collective success. Monitoring team progress, assessing collaboration, giving feedback, and making adjustments are important for achieving goals and maintaining norms.

Closing thoughts

Establishing high-performance team norms takes time, patience, and a commitment to collaboration. The advantages, like better communication, more motivation and productivity, and improved decision making, can greatly affect team performance. 

Strengthen your team by instilling high-performance norms and promoting seamless collaboration with Wrike’s intuitive work management software. Begin your free trial now and empower your team to achieve greater levels of success.

Try Wrike for free

Note: This article was created with the assistance of an AI engine. It has been reviewed and revised by our team of experts to ensure accuracy and quality.

Remove barriers, find clarity, exceed goals

Anything is possible with the most powerful work management software at your fingertips

Please enter your email
Server error. We're really sorry. Wait a few minutes and try again.
Remove barriers, find clarity, exceed goals