Effective Team Building Exercises Work!
Date Posted: 06/10/2016
In all work settings, from construction to custodial, all the way to programing and business leadership, teams are always formed. At times, teams are simply a group of people working on individual tasks to complete a goal. Other times, teams work side by side on a project to complete a goal at the same time. When teams begin to falter or have a hard time taking off, it’s time for the leaders to implement a team-building exercise. Often these are met with distaste, amusement or dread by the team-members. Fortunately, once the process has started, it is very effective.
Team-building is known to improve communication, interpersonal relationships, and reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. It therefore enhances the quality of a team’s work by allowing the team to make changes to its member’s roles and skill sets.
Before implementing this team-building exercise we should ask ourselves the following questions:
- Does each team member know what is expected of them?
- Does the team, as a whole, understand what the goals and vision of the organization are?
- Are all team members aware of resources available to them to achieve their goals?
- Are individual capacities and strengths exploited efficiently within the team and individually?
- Is each team member aware of their strengths and value to the organization?
- Is there feedback process to coach the performance?
- Is there a policy in place to resolve conflicts?
- Are team members encouraged to work for the common good of the organization and how?
- How is success being evaluated within the team?
Many experiments have been conducted on team-building in a wide variety of contexts (team sports, puzzles, outdoor activities, etc.) which can help in building long lasting, highly-functional teams. The first part in beginning the transformation is to perform personal profiling. Personal profiling is used to identify individual strengths of members of a team as well as weaknesses that can be improved upon. Then selecting individuals for specific roles based on their skills and strengths gives a boost to team performance by having each member in an optimized position.
The next part is to set goals for individuals as well as team members. Setting individual goals allows each team member to understand what they need to do and how to better utilize their abilities in order to know where they need to be in the future for the team. By setting group goals, members are able to better understand their target goal and change their performance to attain that goal as a cohesive team.
Numerous psychological studies have revealed that performance profiling, studying individual members as well as team performance, helps team-building immensely.
Role clarifying is the next and often final step of a team-building exercise, it also functions as a maintenance tool for when the team loses peak performance. Role clarifying enables team members to better understand their function within the team dynamic to focus on tasks to improve group performance. By continually defining each member’s roles when the team begins to slow its pace, leaders can ensure that redundancies in behavior do not slow the performance of a team.
Though the programs are known to be lacking in efficacy at the moment, improvements are seen in the research. The programs used to build online team work skills are still in their incubation stage because most team-building exercises rely on face-to-face interaction.
There are many important parts to building a team and many more positive outcomes team-building exercises have. When a team is assembled and has been given time to become a cohesive group, team-building is a marvelous tool to ensure performance is maintained and in most cases improved. By performing personal profiling of its members a team can be optimized automatically. Next clarifying the roles of each team member as well as of the team as a whole will keep each member on point and focused. This also acts to prevent members from doing a job multiple times due to any ambiguity of roles. Team-building is also a marvelous tool known to improve communication, performance, cohesion, and general happiness of all team members.
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