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8 Tools for Building an Effective Team

8 Tools for Building an Effective Team

When it comes to getting projects completed, you need to have a great team working on them. Before you can work on projects, you need to put that team together.

There is a lot more to building an effective team than just getting a bunch of employees together to work on a project. You need to use the right tools that are going to help the team to be as productive and effective as possible.

Here are some of the tools that you should be using.

1. Work(etc)

work-etc

    Here is an all-in-one project management, CRM, and collaboration tool that is a must-have for effective teams. It is basically a software solution for your whole business, and then some.

    You can use the cloud-based mobile and web apps to manage your business from anywhere, so you don’t have to be tied to a desk in the office. This is going to mean a huge increase in productivity and efficiency, with the best practices in place.

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    2. Campfire

    campfire

      This is another messaging tool, but it is specifically for group usage. You can use it to share files, text, and code in real time, and of course, save transcripts so you don’t forget anything.

      This is a web-based group chat tool that lets users set up chatrooms that are password protected, in just a few seconds. There is nothing to install, and it is easy to use from any device.

      3. Six Disciplines

      six-disciplines

        Employees can use this tool to track and update the progress of everything they are doing, including plans, goals, and performance results.

        Performance management solutions by Six Disciplines can be used at any time, and from any device, and it makes setting up multi-rater feedback for employees easy for managers to do. With this tool, team management and coaching is team and employee oriented.

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        4. Bitrix24

        bitrix24

          Here is a free collaboration suite with more than 35 awesome tools. It is an all-in-one suite for collaboration, communication, and management tools, and in addition to the free plan, you can also upgrade to paid plans for even more benefits.

          You can even use the self-hosted version to run your server, and you have total control over data and source code access. There is even a help desk, as well as e-learning.

          5. Zoom

          zoom

            This is the number one video conferencing and web conferencing service, and you can sign up for free. It can be used on all devices, so you can use it while you are on the go and no one will ever miss an important meeting again.

            More than 350,000 companies all over the world use this tool. In addition to the free basic service, you can also choose from a variety of paid plans that offer even more great benefits, and none cost more than $20 per month.

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            6. Slack

            slack

              This is a messaging app that teams need in order to be able to stay in contact with each other whenever they need to be.

              You have various options for communicating, including open channels for team conversations, private channels for smaller or one-on-one conversations, and direct messages that let you reach colleagues directly.

              7. Redbooth

              redbooth

                Busy teams should be using this tool for tasks and project management. You can manage all projects, as well as day-to-day work, with all of your chat, email, and file storage apps in one convenient location.

                The software is easy to use and offers an intuitive, user-friendly design that even inexperienced users can enjoy.

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                8. Zoomshift

                zshift

                  Make scheduling easy with this tool that will make your life a whole lot easier. You never have to worry about schedule changes again, because you will always have instant access to it on any device.

                  You can see all employee schedules, make changes, and use the Time Clock app. There are shift reminders, notification settings, mobile notifications, and many other features that make this an indispensable tool for any business.

                  Featured photo credit: Nick Karvounis via unsplash.com

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                  Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                  How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                  How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                  Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

                  However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

                  Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

                  Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

                  There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

                  Better Job Offers

                  Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

                  People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

                  Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

                  You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

                  Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

                  A Shot at Entrepreneurship

                  Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

                  We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

                  13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

                  1. Update Your Resume

                  You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

                  Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

                  While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

                  There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

                  2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

                  Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

                  That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

                  To hone this skill:

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                  Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

                  Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

                  This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

                  How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                  3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

                  Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

                  Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

                  4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

                  No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

                  Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

                  Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

                  These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

                  The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

                  5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

                  Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

                  How to hone this skill:

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                  Practice being resourceful.

                  Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

                  Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

                  No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

                  If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

                  6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                  6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

                  Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

                  The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

                  Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

                  Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

                  17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                  7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

                  Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

                  What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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                  Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

                  5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

                  8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

                  Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

                  Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

                  Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

                  What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

                  9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

                  How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

                  Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

                  Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

                  The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                  10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

                  Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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                  Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

                  What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                  11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

                  Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

                  You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

                  How to hone this skill:

                  All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  12. Build Networks and Relationships

                  You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

                  Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

                  To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

                  How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                  Final Thoughts

                  Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

                  You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

                  Happy career switching!

                  More Resources About Career Advancement

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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