The 6 Fundamentals of Team Building
Building an employee team of diverse and motivated individuals that enthusiastically engages with colleagues, embraces organization values, and contributes to the bottom line is essential for success.
Hiring qualified and capable individuals is just the first step. Team building then requires delegating responsibility for collective efforts – participating on task forces, ad-hoc committees, and sub-groups are common examples.
Successful team building results from senior management’s ability to understand what’s needed to both accomplish strategic objectives and foster cohesion within the organization.
Here are some ideas about building a successful team.
Finding the Right Leader
Successful teams unite around a clear objective and work together to achieve it. They share responsibility, develop trust of and respect for other team members, contribute their skills and insight, and reach a consensus decision.
That’s why the right leader is essential. In most cases, the right individual possesses a degree of expertise as well as the ability to communicate clearly and effectively manage projects and the people involved.
Select the Right Person and the Team Will Thrive
While the ability to maintain good interpersonal relationships is an important element in team building, a leader needs to focus on building a team that can consistently perform, execute flawlessly and attain goals. The right person will develop a team that earns the respect and gratitude of the organization for a job well-done.
Select the Wrong Person and the Team Will Collapse
When someone is given leadership responsibilities – and there are many involved – and then performs unsuccessfully, there are many negative outcomes. A major one is that the team members may become disenchanted and look for employment elsewhere. There’s an old saying that ‘people don’t leave jobs – they leave managers.’
A Blend of Different Personalities
Building high-performing teams requires that members have a balance of skills. Every individual brings a particular set of technical and social skills – but diversity in knowledge, views, and perspectives, as well as in age, gender, and race, can help teams be more creative.
Increases Workplace Synergy
Effective team building requires assembling a team of appropriate individuals with different skills to accomplish a project. That necessitates having a right mix and number of members, optimally designed tasks and processes. It also entails establishing norms that discourage destructive behavior, promote positive dynamics, and increase workplace synergy.
An Atmosphere of Trust
A fundamental element in team building and creating a cohesive team is nurturing an atmosphere of trust and respect. Without it, team members are unlikely to be genuinely open with others in sharing what they think about arising issues, or to seek help from other team members. Building trust and respect strengthens the team’s ability to work together for a common goal that benefits the organization.
Encourages Ethical Decision Making
An atmosphere of trust and respect contributes to ethical decision making because decisions are reached after open and honest discussion of the team’s range of perspectives on the issue. Consensus reaching not only incorporates each team member’s input, but also reflects the organization’s standards and integrity.
Improves Workplace Morale
Effective team building gives employees greater job satisfaction, bolsters engagement and motivation, and improves team morale. It helps employees remain positive about their career opportunities in the organization, which reduces employee turnover, increases productivity, and directly improves profitability.
Open and Honest Communication
Another fundamental of team building is communication openness and clarity. Many teams encounter obstacles to success due to a lack of understanding of the overall objectives. Without frequent and clear communication, team members work at cross-purposes, with negative outcomes.
Allows Valuable Ideas to Surface
Another reason for open and honest communication is it provides the opportunity for team members to discuss individual ideas. New ideas never get far if they aren’t communicated to and acted on by the organization.
Increases Employee Satisfaction
Open and honest communication provides employees the opportunity to be heard and have their opinions considered and acted upon. This helps them feel as though they’re a part of the process and have input that contributes to future developments. That sense of inclusion has significant positive influence on employee satisfaction.
Ability to Compromise with Others
To work together successfully toward a shared goal, members of a team need to have the ability to compromise. By listening to other opinions and suggestions and discussing their relative merits, team members can reach the best possible solution from a combination of ideas. The ability to reach consensus through compromise is extremely important not only for the solutions provided but also for team dynamics, overall productivity, and employee morale.
Creates a Culture of Tolerance
Everyone on your team must have the ability to be tolerant and accepting of others. Creating a team means grouping individuals together who more than likely have many differences. Members may have different values, culture, perspectives, and work styles along with diverse ways of handling conflict and stress. It is vital that everyone involved can put differences aside and practice tolerance toward each other. Without tolerance, effective collaboration will not take place.
Work as a Team, Play as a Team
Fundamental to successful team building is the recognition that working as a team as well as playing as one has significant benefits. In addition to working on business projects, it’s important for employees to spend time together in non-workplace, social environments. Meeting outside of the offices for ‘after hours get togethers’ or donating time to charitable efforts are easy ways to help your team bond while having fun.
Builds Team Cohesion
‘Playing together’ time helps unite teams and build a camaraderie that they can take back into the workplace. Participants become a more cohesive group because they:
- Feel more comfortable with open and honest communication
- Learn new strengths and gain insights within the team
- Experience greater sense of inclusion
- Build greater trust and respect for other team members
Why is This Important?
Keeping in mind these 6 Fundamentals of Team Building is important because they can provide a road map to success. While issues and market conditions can change unexpectedly and dramatically, having a systematic approach to the fundamentals of team building helps organizations prepare for the anticipated as well as respond to the unexpected.
Nurtures Workplace Unity
A significant result of effective team building is its influence on workplace unity. Determining the best course of action in dealing with enterprise realities is often both challenging and complex. Finding the optimal solution on the first attempt doesn’t always happen. That’s when the team must regroup, reassess and recommit to finding a better solution.
By reviewing earlier efforts and learning from those iterations, the team can redirect, gather new insight, and formulate recommendations for reaching a more optimal result. And nothing builds workplace unity like a team’s success!
Allows You to View a Situation in Multiple Perspectives
Good team building provides your organization with a diversity of thought, creativity, perspectives, opportunities, and problem-solving approaches. A healthy and inclusive team environment allows individuals to brainstorm collectively, which in turn increases their ability to problem solve and arrive at solutions.
Improves Workplace Efficiency
Ultimately, when a group of individuals work together, compared to one person working alone, they promote a more efficient work output and are able to complete tasks more efficiently and effectively.
Effective team building fundamentals allow you to devise and refine step-by-step approaches that keep employees engaged and excited about thinking critically, collaborating fully, communicating openly and focusing intently on team and organizational success.
How to Evaluate Your Team
How will you know if your team building efforts are successful? You can make that determination by conducting periodic internal reviews using three effectiveness criteria of team building.
Review Customer and Client Feedback
Are customers and clients happy or displeased with the products or services your company provides? Negative public perception about the quality, quantity, and delivery of goods or services is a clear indication that some team members aren’t focused enough on these key market indicators.
Measure Team Productivity
Successful team building results in increased workplace synergy, improved morale, heighten employee satisfaction, and improved workplace efficiency. If there isn’t a quantifiable improvement in productivity, the team isn’t working together as well as possible.
Compare Turnover Rates
Individual team members who are improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities in an atmosphere of trust, inclusion, and collaboration aren’t likely to seek employment elsewhere. Employee turnover rates speak volumes about your company’s success in attracting and retaining increasingly diverse, educated and ambitious team members.
The 6 Fundamentals of Team Building are predicated on finding the right leader, attracting the right mix of employees, and providing a nurturing work environment of trust, communication and cooperation.
Like many business processes, effective team building is ongoing. Having the right team in place that’s committed and capable is a key to organizational success.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.