As a team leader, supervisor or manager you are probably reading this page because some of the following may apply to you and your context:
- Your team’s performance is satisfactory, but you think it could be improved
- You have an existing team, but a member has left or another person has joined
- There has been or will be a restructuring that will affect the team’s work
- There are issues associated with the way your team completes its tasks
- Relationships between some or all of the team members are strained
- You have an existing team that have been together for some time and you recognise that their performance has been gradually slipping
Team development is fundamentally different from team building since your ‘established’ team will have a history. It will have gone through various growth stages, team members will have established relationships, they will have experienced success or failure, and will have established ‘norms’ for behaviour.
There is ‘no’ one size fits all approach to team development!
You must have a clear business or organisational related objective that you want to achieve in order to embark on a team development programme. This is easy to say and write down, but it is not so easy when you know your team is not performing as well as they could be and you are not sure what to do about it. If one of the following applies, you will benefit from a team development programme:
- The outputs of the team could be improved
- Productivity levels are low
- Targets or results are regularly missed, resulting in penalties being paid
- High levels of stress are producing unacceptable levels of absenteeism
- Levels of trust are not what they once were
- Poor, ineffective and late decision making is disrupting work flow
- High levels of staff turnover
- Poor communication means the right information rarely gets to the people, when they need it
Poor Performance is costing you money!
These outcomes will contribute to the costs of your business or your organisation in terms of lost revenue, higher costs, excessive use of personnel’s time, missed opportunities etc. Look beneath the surface and some of the following will most probably be apparent.
- Inter personal relationships are generally strained and tense; key people won’t be talking to each other
- Fault and blame is the norm rather than creative problem solving
- Low levels of trust between team members; information will not be shared
- Disagreements and conflict often escalate and are managed badly
- Inability to adapt to constantly changing business demands
- A focus on individual results rather than the team’s performance
- Lack of clarity about accountability between team members
Think of your Team being like a Machine
Think of your team as a machine. It needs to be well constructed and fit for purpose. An effective ‘team building’ event will ensure your team is well made and gets off to a flying start. However, the maintenance process for any machine is there for a reason: it ensures it functions consistently well, simply checks everything is in working order and highlights where things are not working well. Compare the cost of a major repair against the costs of a routine service and you soon appreciate the value of a team development programme.
Every well-oiled machine needs regular servicing and checks. A team is no different in this respect: it is an investment – and needs to be looked after!
The outcomes of a team development programme will be your team members understanding:
- The need to align individual efforts to the organisation’s vision and mission
- How to apply their own individual team strengths and motivation within the team as a whole
- The significance of shared ‘project’ ownership and accountability
- The underlying concepts of why conflict happens in a team and how to manage it
- How to use creative techniques effectively in order to produce collective and unique solutions
- The most effective tools to use when making collective decisions
- How to manage change in a way that does not disrupt individual or the team’s performance
- How to take ownership of the communication process and effectively manage it
- How to provide feedback that stimulates and motivates the receiver
- The importance of leadership within a team
If you would like to talk to us about designing a development programme for your team that will take improve their cohesion and effectiveness, contact us now for an informal discussion as to how we would achieve this.