Definition: Team building is a management technique used for improving the efficiency and performance of the work groups through various activities. It involves a lot of skills, analysis and observation for forming a strong and capable team. The whole sole motive here is to achieve the organization vision and objectives.
Now, you must be wondering; How to Build a Great Team?
Forming a great team requires a lot of skills and presence of mind. Usually, some managers specialize in team building skills and are hired by the companies on this parameter.
The manager responsible for team building must be able to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the team members and create a good mix of people with different skill sets. He must focus on developing strong interpersonal relations and trust among the team members.
The manager must encourage communication and interaction among the team members and also reduce stress with the help of various team building activities. He must clearly define the goals and objectives of the organization to the team members. He must also specify the role of each member in the team to direct them towards the achievement of the organizational goals.
Content: Team Building
Team Building Process
Team building is not a one-time act. It is a step by step process which aims at bringing a desirable change in the organization. Teams are usually formed for a particular task or project and are mostly for short term.
The various steps involved in team building are as follows:
- Identify the Need for Team Building: The manager has first to analyze the requirement of a team for completing a particular task. It should find out the purpose of the work to be performed, required skills for the task and its complexity before forming a team.
- Define Objectives and Required Set of Skills: Next comes the chalking down of the organizational objectives and the skills needed to fulfil it.
- Consider Team Roles: The manager consider the various aspects, i.e. the interactions among the individuals, their roles and responsibilities, strengths and weaknesses, composition and suitability of the possible team members.
- Determine a Team Building Strategy: Now, the manager has to understand the operational framework well to ensure an effective team building. He must himself be assured of the objectives, roles, responsibilities, duration, availability of resources, training, the flow of information, feedback and building trust in the team.
- Develop a Team of Individuals: At this stage, the individuals are collected to form a team together. Each member is made familiar with his roles and responsibilities within the team.
- Establish and Communicate the Rules: The rules regarding the reporting of team members, meeting schedules and decision making within the team are discussed. The individuals are encouraged to ask questions and give their views to develop an open and healthy communication in the team.
- Identify Individual’s Strengths: Various team building exercises are conducted to bring out the strengths of the individuals. It also helps in familiarizing the team members with each other’s strengths and weakness.
- Be a Part of the Team: At this point, the manager needs to get involved with the team as a member and not as a boss. Making the individuals realize their importance in the team and treating each member equally is necessary. The team members should see their manager as their team leader, mentor and role model.
- Monitor Performance: Next step is checking the productivity and performance of the team as a whole. It involves finding out loopholes and the reasons for it. This step is necessary to improve the team’s performance and productivity in the long run.
- Schedule Meetings: One of the most crucial steps is to hold purposeful meetings from time to time to discuss team performance, task-related problems and discuss the future course of action.
- Dissolve the Team: Lastly, the manager needs to evaluate the results and reward the individuals on their contribution and achievement. Finally, the team is dispersed on the fulfilment of the objective for which it was formed.
Advantages of Team Building
Team building has radically evolved as a technique to develop and manage effective teams in the workplace.
The aim to achieve long-term organizational objectives developed the need for carrying out team building activities frequently.
Let us now discuss the various benefits of team building to an organization:
- Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Through team building exercises, the strengths and weaknesses of each member can be identified. In day to day routine work, such an analysis cannot be done. These competencies can be used by the managers to form effective teams.
- Direct Towards Vision and Mission: Team building activities define the role and importance of the team for the organization to reach to its vision. It makes the individuals understand the organization’s goals, objectives, mission and vision very clearly and motivates them to contribute towards it.
- Develops Communication and Collaboration: Team building activities enhance the interpersonal relations of the team members. It makes the individuals comfortable and familiar with one another. Collaboration develops trust and understanding among the team members.
- Establishes Roles and Responsibilities: It defines and clarifies the role of each member in a team. Moreover, the members are given individual responsibilities along with the motivation of performing as a team.
- Initiates Creative Thinking and Problem Solving: In a team, individuals are motivated to give their views, opinions and solution to a particular problem. It leads to brainstorming and exploring their creative side.
- Builds Trust and Morale: By conducting team building activities, the organization makes the employees feel valued. It encourages them to develop their skills and build strong interpersonal relations ultimately boosting the morale and trust of the team members.
- Introduces and Manages Change: The technique of team building makes it easier for the managers to incorporate an organizational change by making the individuals familiar with the change and its necessity. It also helps in managing such change and its impact over the working and team’s performance.
- Facilitates Delegation: The managers find it more suitable to delegate the work to a team rather than an individual. Therefore, team building helps the managers to efficiently and adequately delegate the task to the team.
- Better Productivity: If the team is wisely formed and all the team members work collaboratively to achieve the objectives, the productivity of all the individuals improve. Thus, increasing the productivity of the team and the organization.
Disadvantages of Team Building
Team building is not an easy task. A high-performance team can fulfil the organizational objectives. However, an inefficient team can lead to wastage of time and resources of the organization.
Therefore, we can say that there are multiple adverse effects of team building too, which are as follows:
- Develops Conflict: Sometimes the team lacks coordination and understanding among its members. This leads to conflict and clashes within the team and hence decreases the efficiency and productivity. A lot of time is wasted in such conflict management.
- Unproductive or Freeride Team Members: At times, some of the team members do not contribute much to the team performance. Such individuals are considered to be freeriding team members. They prove to be inefficient and less productive for the team.
- May Lead to Non-Cooperation: Every individual is different from one another. The team members sometimes lack cooperation and unity. This non-cooperation among the team members leads to wastage of efforts and hinders the performance of the team as a whole.
- Difficult to Evaluate Individual Performance: Whatever the result or the outcome the organization gets by team building is the team’s achievement or failure. Usually, the organization overlooks the contribution of each member individually while rewarding the efforts of the whole team.
- Involves Cost: The team building activities require time and money. Moreover, a lot of time, cost and resources are consumed in ensuring coordination, balance, feedback, decision making and conflict management within the teams formed.
- Accountability and Credibility Issues: In case of failure, it becomes difficult to find out the reason. The team members sometimes do take up the accountability of their work holding the other members to be responsible for the unfavourable outcome. In case of success, the team members get busy in taking the up the credit themselves ignoring the efforts of the whole team together.
Let us take the case of Google;
Google once conducted a study on; How to build a perfect team? To find out the psychology behind effective team building.
On conducting various experiments, it found that the concept of putting those people in a team who are comfortable working with each other does affect the performance much. Neither creating a mix of extroverts and introverts was very helpful.
It noticed that people with like minds giving a fair chance to one another for putting forward their views and equally listening to the ideas of one another tend to form a high-performance team together.