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Team Building in the Workplace That Actually Builds Teams

Team building in the workplace usually means an ineffectual exercise of some kind that has little or no long-term value. While this is the norm it does not have to be the case. Team building in the workplace, when properly done, creates lasting impact to the bottom line and to the professional satisfaction for those involved.

To be effective, team building in the workplace must address the intersection of the following systemic dimensions:

1. Role engineering – How specifically are each of the team members roles structured?  Do the roles leave any functional activities not covered?  Is there overlap between individuals that is going to cause unnecessary conflict and internal competition?

2. Relationships and team cohesion – Broken or ineffective relationships between professionals who are functionally interconnected hurts the bottom-line, team productivity and professional satisfaction. Relationships between professionals need to by built, nurtured and maintained. We use the DISC profile to help facilitate relationships between executives and teams. DISC profile details here.

3. Individual effectiveness – There are some people who are really smart and/or exceptionally knowledgeable but can’t get along with others. Working effectively with and through others is a primary indicator of who can be optimally productive within a team, especially at the executive level. A surprisingly high number of executives and managers fall into this category of being intellectually bright but inter-personally ineffective.  The organization needs to determine if these people can be developed to work effectively with others.  If they can’t then they need to be shown the door.

4. Appraisals, compensation and advancement – The qualities that make up a great team player need to be identified and measured as part of the annual appraisal process. Both what someone produces and well as how they produce it are both important. The what and the how are not equally weighted but an individual should never be considered for additional compensation and or promotion unless they are determined to be proficient in both by their peers, staff and leaders.  For more detail on the performance management aspect of this, please click here.

Team building in the workplace is a process and not and event

Typically it is an iterative process that takes place over many months characterized by  more productive relationships, increased individual effectiveness and more effective cross-functional team to team collaboration and efficiency. In additional to increased business productivity there are fewer interpersonal and professional conflicts because the process has taken conflict head on and taught the players to anticipate conflict, as well as, how to deal with conflict in a productive manner. Without a highly functioning team the best talent will be hard to attract, retain and optimally utilized.  For more on high performance teams, click here http://www.odysseyhps.com/high-performance-teams/overview

To read about common barriers to high performance teams click here.

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