Building Effective Corporate Work Teams
Organisations consists of individuals who are part of different teams. The effectiveness of the teams largely depends on how they work together to achieve a collective goal.
The most important characteristic of teams is that it creates synergy and the collective performance of the team is always better than individual performance.
Teams posses several characteristics like interdependence, having common goals, having congruence and cohesion between achievement of individual and team goals.
Characteristics of Effective Work Teams
Effective teams are the foundation of every successful organization. Organisations without teams that work well together often struggle, while effective teams help to improve quality, facilitate the completion of projects and increase productivity and efficiency.
For Teams to work at optimal levels, they must establish a team charter for overall success of the organisation. Following are some considerations and characteristics of developing effective working teams.
Shared Vision & Goals
Effective Teams have a common vision, mission and Goals that are shared and accepted by the entire team. Teams work in various workgroups and set SMART goals every quarter and strive to achieve them and up the bar to continue accepting challenges for continuous learning and growth as the team progresses ahead and sets new records each time.
Clear Roles and Tasks defined for every leader
Every Team Member has a clear understanding on his assigned role and will be in regular touch with other members in the workgroup to continue on the learning and growth path.
Standard agreed processes and practices.
All common processes, guidelines and procedures are discussed, accepted and followed by all team members. All new processes and procedures are open for consultation and debate before being enforced.
Mutual Trust, Support & Respect
The Effective Teams foundation is built on Trust and respect for each other, which they regard in the highest form possible. Effective Teams believe that every member has a strong area and a weak areas.
They not only trust each other on the strengths but are open, honest and vulnerable on the weak areas as well.
They do not shy away from showing their weaknesses and will try to complement their weakness by asking for support and help from other member who are strong in those areas and strive to improve each others weak areas as they continue to learn and grow.
Shared Power and Leadership
Every Team Member is treated as Equal. Effective Teams have the right balance between accepted authority and the freedom of shared power and leadership, where each and every member takes initiative, ownership and contributes equally to the teams decision making process.
Open Communication and Transparency.
Effective Teams communicate and communicate and communicate and keep everyone posted and informed on whatever they do through various channels. They keep all processes, transactions, accounts and communication transparent and in reach of everyone.
Effective Teams believe in collective wisdom through good and strong communication. They give and receive constructive feedback all times to help each other improve and excel. They always assert when the situation demands and are supportive when others are in need and provide feedback to help each other improve.
Shared Responsibility and Accountability
Effective Teams share collective responsibility of every other to work on his or her assigned roles and also hold self and other responsible and accountable for performing the role and address nonperformance and gaps through constructive feedback and mentoring.
Teamwork, Cooperation and Unity
Effective Teams value Teamwork, cooperation and unity the highest. They do their best to contribute in a Team environment and reach out to fellow members and help them whenever they see a need or an opportunity to do so. They stand strong together in face of difficulties and show unity as a One Team.
Learning and bringing abilities, talent& resources together
Effective Teams believe in continuous learning and exchange of skills. They take up roles as mentors, advisers, coaches and trainers to impart skills through various workshops, one to one mentoring and all channels of informal and formal learning.
Appreciating, Motivating and Encouraging each other
Effective Teams appreciate and encourage even the smallest contribution towards the organisation and regularly recognize and reward all who put in time and effort to achieve excellence through work.
Training, Mentoring and Coaching each other.
Effective Teams not only engage in constructive feedback but will engage in training, mentoring and coaching each other collectively so they can improve on various areas for growth of the entire organisation. Assigned mentors will do their best to share their experience and knowledge and pass the learning's to others.
Checking Results and Performance
Effective Teams not only hold each other responsible and accountable but will measure the results through open dialogue, common feedback from team members, feedback from customers, surveys and overall statistics on various performance indicators and growth parameters of the organisation.
Having fun and celebrating the achievements
Effective Teams not only believe in hard work, achieving goals and giving good results but strongly believe in celebrating the achievements and contributions and recognizing fellow team members at various events and occasions spread across the year.
Developing Effective Work Teams
At outlife we facilitate development of effective work teams through creation and adoption of team values, charter and a vision using the power of experiential learning and group process facilitation.
A Team Charter goes a long way in developing congruence, cohesion and commitment in the team towards one goal and achieve results.
Get in touch with us to know more about engaging ways of developing effective work teams.
Team Development | Team Performance Models
A Team Development Model outlines stages of how a group goes through a journey of becoming a team. Team Development Models helps us understand the nuances and stages of the groups journey towards coming together to achieve a common goal.
Team Development Models can also help leaders shorten the experimentation journey to create great and high performing teams that last.
organizations these days are constantly faced with rapid change, disruption, complex problems and are increasingly turning to its people to provide breakthrough solutions and innovative ideas
Whether you’re a new leader or a member of the team responsible for oversight of an organization, developing a high-performing team is crucial to you.
As a leader, the performance of the team is instrumental in achieving business results, and supporting the organizations growth into the future.
There are several proven and effective team development models out there. Regardless of the Team Development model selected to build high-performing teams, there are a few common requirements such as:
1) Motivation to function as a team toward a shared purpose or goal.
2) Commitment to the team standards and expectations.
3) Skills and talent within the group to achieve the task or purpose.
4) Core resources are provided or available to achieve the work requirements
5) Confidence and perseverance within the team exists, to overcome barriers and challenges.
6) Organizational empowerment is evident, to support action as needed to achieve results.
Here we are detailing few team development models that we include as part of our structured experiential learning and outbound facilitation process for team development, team performance and leadership development programs.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Model
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team Model outlines the root causes of politics and dysfunction on the teams where you work, and the keys to overcoming them. Counter to conventional wisdom, the causes of dysfunction are both identifiable and curable.
Developed by Patrick Lencioni, owner of The Table Group. The five dysfunctions are:
This model also includes a team assessment to determine team scores on the 5 dysfunctions and provide your team with a sense of its strengths and areas for improvement.
Know more on https://www.tablegroup.com/
Tuckman’s Group Development Model
Bruce Tuckman presented a model of five stages Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning in order to develop as a group. These five model stages can improve a new team become effective more quickly.
Forming stage is a situation that members of a group don’t truly understand about their duty, regulations and rules. The members cannot finish their job without leader or manager because they lack of confidence. They have to be encouraged and motivate them that it can help them to feel as a significant part of a team.
Storming stage is a situation that it often starts when team members prefer to use conflicting work styles. People may work in different ways for all sorts of reasons, but if differing working styles cause unforeseen problems, they may become frustrated. Moving from this stage requires that the leader of team should strong ability to help all members accept each other and respect in each individual task.
Norming stage is a period that team members know one-another better, they may socialize together, and they are able to ask each other for help and provide constructive feedback. At this point a group need to provide a delegate for making agreement and consensus.
Performing stage is that all members can achieve the duty without any problems, but they want to develop the term in regard to interpersonal development. A leader should concentrate on developing performance of the team.
Adjourning stage is the final task when especially a group is successful. The leader of the team must be appreciated with the achievement and show all member that their accomplishment is so proud. This stage help increase motivation to members to move on next thinks or another task.
More details on https://www.businessballs.com/team-management/tuckman-forming-storming-norming-performing-model/
The Rocket Team Performance Model.
The Rocket Model™ is a framework and set of tools for boosting team performance. It can be used to diagnose team dynamics, and to provide leaders with specific tools and activities to improve team performance.
It was created in response to questions and requests from actual managers working in organizations all over the world – managers struggling to transform their people into effective teams.
This model also includes a team assessment to determine team scores on the Rocket Model Stages and provides your team with a sense of its strengths and areas for improvement.
1. CONTEXT: WHAT ARE OUR CRITICAL ASSUMPTIONS?
Team formation gets off to a good start when team members share a common view of the context in which they’re operating.
All too often, it turns out that team members are operating from different assumptions. That fundamental disconnect leads to well-intended but misaligned actions that hurt team morale and reduce effectiveness.
2. MISSION: WHY ARE WE HERE?
When team members agree on what success looks like, they set the stage for effectiveness. What will it mean to win? What are the goals, when do they need to be accomplished, what strategies will the team use, and how will progress be measured?
Answering these questions leads to goal clarity, which strengthens mission clarity and is essential to boosting teamwork.
.3. TALENT: DO WE HAVE THE TALENT WE NEED?
It seems like it should be easy to get the right number of people with the right talents on
a team. In fact, we find it can be one of the toughest aspects of building teamwork.
That’s because most organizations assign staff members to a team based more on availability or politics than talent. The team leader may believe that the skills, experience, and abilities of individual team members are all that matters, but there are other talent considerations.
4. NORMS: WHAT ARE THE RULES?
It’s human nature for any group to develop norms for greeting, meeting, seating, communicating, deciding, and executing. These unwritten rules usually solidify fast, without any formal discussion.
However, teams that take the time to talk through and consciously establish norms leverage a powerful tool for achieving team cohesiveness and performance.
5. BUY-IN: ARE WE ALL COMMITTED TO SUCCESS?
Buy-in happens when team members have a team-first, not a me-first, attitude. High-performance teams are committed to team goals, roles, and rules, and they’re motivated to get necessary, day-to-day tasks done.
They understand how their work contributes to the greater good, and they’re optimistic about their chances of success.
6. RESOURCES: DO WE HAVE THE RESOURCES NEEDED?
Early on, teams need to figure out what resources are necessary for meeting their goals, and leaders may have to lobby key stakeholders to get those needs met.
Tangible resources may include a realistic budget, office space, hardware and software systems, specialized equipment, and tech support. Intangibles may include political support and authority to make decisions.
7. MORALE: HOW DO WE WORK THROUGH DISAGREEMENTS?
The best teams understand that managing conflict is not the same as minimizing conflict. The team members cultivate the necessary courage to raise difficult issues, while developing effective ways to work through disagreements and find solutions.
They know that too little conflict, with problems swept under the rug, leads to artificial harmony and groupthink. Too much conflict leads to chaos and backstabbing.
8. RESULTS: ARE WE ACHIEVING OUR GOALS?
High-Performing teams keep their eye on the prize. They measure results against mission, regularly track progress, learn from successes and failures, and devise ways to continue improving delivery. They understand it’s critical to align goals with important organizational outcomes and benchmark progress in a way that leads to superior performance.
Achieving results depends on how well the team handles the previous seven steps in the framework. In other words, members must share assumptions about context, agree on mission and work towards goals, have clearly defined roles and skills, ensure buy-in, adhere to norms, access necessary resources, and manage conflict effectively. When the team falters at one of these steps, outcomes are affected. By practicing what works, the team continues to strengthen morale and succeed.
more details on http://www.therocketmodel.com/
Drexler Sibbit Team Performance model
The Drexler/Sibbet Team Performance® Model illustrates team development as seven stages, four to create the team and three to describe increasing levels of sustained performance.
This model also includes a team assessment to determine team scores on the Drexler/Sibbet 7 stages and provide your team with a sense of its strengths and areas for improvement.
This powerful tool for developing and sustaining teams is used as a framework and common language for supporting a team-based culture and includes the following stages.
1. Orientation– What is our mission and picture of success, and why am I here?
2. Trust Building– Who is with me here and what are the skill sets and competencies we bring to this team?
3. Goal Clarification– What are our targets and roles? What’s yours, mine and ours?
4. Commitment-How will we work together? Let’s get all in!
As we progress through the four stages of team creation we then reach the three stages of performance. In these stages we begin to implement and master our process becoming heavily invested in the task at hand:
5. Implementation– Who does what, when where?
6. High Performance– This is the time when we are literally reading the minds of our teammates, anticipating their needs and moves and becoming a seamless supportive unit. It makes us want to stay in this zone forever. This stage is what we call the “WOW” that results from having a high performance team.
7. Renewal– Just when you have it all figured out, things change. Its time to re-orient and begin the cycle again right back to stage 1.
More details on https://www.thegrove.com/methodology_drexlerSibbetTeamPerformanceModel.php
DIY Team Development Model
At times the organisations team development needs are very unique and cannot be fitted into any other model. Here is when you can also create your own DIY (do it yourself) team development model. You can also take some relevant parts of the many other team development models that may work for you and integrate.
Often the best models are those that are custom developed and suite your current business and teams needs. Connect with us to facilitate creating of a team development model unique to your teams and organisations needs.
Contact Us to Develop a High Performing Team Culture in your Organisation
Leveraging Employee Engagement
Outlife Outbound Training
The work experience of the employees ranges between 1 to 15 years. It first started by targeting individual homes and slowly penetrated the corporate market. In the initial years, the performance of the company was good. Customers were not only happy with the product quality, but also with the after sales service.
The most important aspect of this company was the quality of work life. Employees were treated as assets. As a startup, it gave ample facilities to its employees to keep them happy. As a result of this, the performance of the employees was outstanding.
The market share was high and employees were highly committed. This created a healthy organizational culture and scope for organizational learning for the employees.
In the past 1 year, it was observed that there were too many complaints coming from the clients. The after sales service was poor and the market share of the company abruptly went down. Moreover, it was found that employee retention was becoming less and absenteeism rate increased.
The employees were under performing, there was lack of motivation, high interpersonal conflict, and the entire organizational culture was going for a toss. Under this alarming situation, Ravi, along with his team of managers decided to intervene into this problem and diagnose the reasons.
They hired an external OD specialist to conduct a survey to understand the reason for this deterioration of the company. The survey was conducted at StarAC and lots of issues were identified which are as follows:
It was diagnosed that there was no action that could foster employee engagement in the past one year, though Ravi says that many of the employees spend time together outside the office, thus indicating that socialization facilitated at work continues outside of it too.
Employees also acknowledged the same when asked about integration measures. The employees are actively encouraged to be inclusive and friendly and newcomers are given a welcoming care package as a bonus. Curiously, when asked, about employee engagement activities, few of the responding employees said that there is one, and that they are dissatisfied with it.
Few other respondents said that there is no benefit program in place. Around 5 % also disclosed that they do not need any employee engagement activities. The employees confirm that there are hardly any employee engagement initiatives taken, and that career development possibilities are very limited.
Though the HR manager claims that support is readily available for anyone who needs it, most of the employees disagree with the statement. According to 30% of the population, the company has a good flow of communication, though 70% claims that they barely interact with the CEO. Also, in terms of getting feedback, few claims to have received insufficient feedback while others are satisfied. Ravi and his team of managers say that they provide feedback regularly to anyone who wants it.
When describing the company culture, Ravi articulates it as “family-based”, “encouraging” and “positive”. When the employees were asked to accord certain words to it, “bureaucracy”, “politics” and “role conflict” were chosen by these respondents each, with some elaboration shedding light into these choices.
They also mentioned that the people who are closer to the management, gets all the favor, exercising an internal “clique” kind of power group.
Along with that, overlapping tasks create a lot of friction, with employees having a feeling of job insecurity. In the past one year, the performance of the company has dropped. The cost of the company due to such turmoil within and amongst employees has been exorbitantly high. The human resources of the company are getting drained undermining goals of the company.
Employee disengagement vests on three pillars ,which HRs should focus on.
These are self, team and organization culture.
Let us now see the challenges Ravi’s organization was facing at these three levels.
Employees were in blind spots. They became a poor fit because of their personality conflicts and difficulty in adapting with the here and now. They had lack of engagement activities which resulted into ambiguous understanding of roles and expectations. Employees lacked requisite skills to deal with organizational politics and power struggle.
Disengaged employees lacked interactive communication skills. They listened and communicated inarticulately, fostering less open interpersonal communication. The overall team performance got distorted due to interpersonal conflict, power struggle, etc. These lead to complexity, de-motivation and stress amongst the team members. As a team, employees failed to understand mode of transactions (ego states) amongst team members.
Lack of understanding of self, organizational politics and inability to engage with team members gave rise to a culture where employees were less committed, and the outcomes were neither well defined nor well understood.
The operational element, the manager, was lacking in this culture, who coaches individual performance to align with strategy and purpose to reach those well defined outcomes.
Ravi in collaboration with his team of managers and the external OD specialist created an action plan so as to bring about a change in the behavior of the employees. They were focusing on specific outcomes such as increasing the sales and post sales service, employee retention and well being, harmonious organizational culture and improved quality of work life through employee engagement programs.
They incorporated employee exchange sessions thrice a week where employees will be required to do some activities on team building, interpersonal skills, communication so as to better gel with other team members to understand self and others.
The company also asked the HR managers to personally counsel the employees to have a better understanding of their needs. Reinforcement measures like introducing complimentary notes to star performers across the company through emails and whatsapp groups were taken to motivate employees to have a sense of belongingness.
An Employee Wellness Record Software was created whereby the employees could feed in their areas of dissatisfaction which will be addressed by the HR team. Difficult employees were separately counseled by the HR manager.
Ravi also took part in informal meetings once in a month to get feedback from the employees on their working conditions. Employee rewards and recognition was modified and upgraded.
As a result of all these, there was a gradual positive change in employee behavior and performance in the first six months. Inter departmental employee involvement programs geared up the morale of the employees whereby the sales increased and people reported that they feel happy and energized than before.
At the end of one year of incorporating these intervention strategies, there was a change in the behavior, performance and productivity demonstrated by the employees. People were happy because Ravi also modified his mode of communication where he was more approachable and empathetic to employee needs. The company started functioning much better than before.
From the above scenario, we can infer that Ravi’s company is not the only one dealing with employee engagement issues. Rather, most of the corporate is facing this issue of disengaged employees, resulting in low ROI.
The biggest challenge corporate are trying to cope with is to demonstrate significantly higher levels of performance and productivity between engaged and disengaged employees.
Engagement goes further than ‘commitment’ and ‘motivation’ in the management literature (Woodruffe, 2006 as cited in CIPD, 2006a). As per a report by Deloitte, 87% of the executives rated culture and employee engagement as the biggest HR challenge.
Gallup engagement survey shows that employee communication strategy is a pre requisite for a better performance which in turn is required for a positive outcome. In order to achieve organizational goals, let us now see the various strategies used by corporate to increase trust, integrity and involvement within the employees through employee engagement programs.
Enhancing employee engagement through training and development
Full engagement depicts an alignment of maximum job satisfaction (“I like my job and do it well”) with maximum job contribution (“I assist my organization to achieve its goals”). The employee’s engagement level contains items that reflect the two axes of contribution and satisfaction. By plotting a given population against the two axes, 5 distinct employee segments are identified. This is represented as
Almost Engaged: These employees are high performers and satisfied with their jobs. They are aware of their job functions. They are highly employable .They take minimal time to achieve the maximum goal.
The Honeymooners &Hamsters: Honeymooners are novice to the organization. They are yet to clearly understand how they can best contribute. Managers should move them out of this temporary holding area to full alignment and productivity. Hamsters may be working hard, but are in effect “spinning their wheels,” working on unimportant tasks, contributing little to the success of the organization. If organizations don’t deal with them, other employees may grow resentful or have to pick up the slack.
The Crash & Burners: These employees are disillusioned and potentially exhausted. They are neither successful nor satisfied. They may leave, or they are more likely to become disengaged. When they do, they often bring down those around them.
The Disengaged: These employees are the most disconnected from organizational priorities. They often feel underutilized and are clearly not getting what they need from work. They are skeptical and likely to induce negativity within the team. If they cannot be coached properly, then exit interviews are their last resort.
Various intervention strategies are drivers of employee engagement where they feel a sense of belongingness and valued within the organization. Various models suggest us elements to uplift employee morale and motivation so as to keep them engaged and committed to the organization.
The Zinger Model of Employee Engagement (2009) is one such tool which demonstrates intervention strategies at three levels, viz. the organization contribution, the leadership inputs and individual employee contribution to employee engagement. Broadly the strategic interventions would include some of the following changes:
- Improving pay, conditions and benefits
- Proper work-life balance practices by providing work from home facilities
- Incorporating well-being programs in the form of retreats and recreational activities
- Team building activities through inbound and outbound trainings
- Career planning and development opportunities for employees
- Training and development programs for self improvement
- Inclusion of POSH (Prevention of Sexual Harassment) for safe working condition for women employees
- Incorporating women empowerment programs
- Employee Counseling
- Individual coaching and mentoring
Employee Experience (EX) is the latest evolution from employee engagement. Mckinsey defines EX as “companies and their people working together to create personalized, authentic experiences that ignite passion and tap into purpose to strengthen individual, team, and company performance.”
It is a more human centric approach in directing employees towards organizational performance. Employee engagement is unidirectional- company to employee, based on the surveys of employee insights.
However, it does not reflect the true sense of how work gets done. Millennials comprise 30% of the organizational population which will leverage to 75% by 2025.
The Mckinsey report enlists certain critical factors to improve employee experience which are as follows:
- Understanding organizational DNA which increases performance outcomes
- Becoming more employee centric and understanding employee behavior through his association with the company, thus making ordinary moments extra ordinary.
- Determining which elements of EX will fix pain points and strengthen performance – ranging from working practices, workplace environment and inexplicit contract between employers and employees.
- Transforming ingrained employee habits. This includes recognizing the mindsets, values and beliefs that pushes them. Evidence – based interventions are designed to change daily behavior, thus building a sustaining culture.
- Empowering employees with design thinking and applications by using agile approaches to let them prototype and create solutions for themselves. Skill building exercises will generate ideation, trial and iteration.
- Exchanging annual employee surveys with a mix of different approaches. These range from real time measurement and employee data mining to using biometrics and mobile video dairies. These will inculcate immediate pulse on their experience in order to understand their focal point for a larger impact.
HR managers along with the LnD department should focus more on career development tools, set expected individual and team behaviors and reinforce key competencies. A network of engaged workforce can help an organization make necessary changes to create a dynamic work environment and thriving teams.
Outlife is a specialist experiential learning and outbound training provider that conducts behavioral skills training, team building and management development programs using experiential education methodology.
The OBT training and team building programs are hands on, engaging, fun, exciting and use adult learning methodology.
Outlife conducts employee engagement programs based on three broad categories such as recreational, educational and developmental.
Recreational - Focus is on the team experiencing fun and feel good factor.
Educational - Focus is on the team learning specific learning objectives to bring a change in the way they behave, think or perceive. Mostly employed for team building sessions, behavioral skills training, outbound training.
Developmental - Focus is on learning and knowledge to bring a change in habits, motives, behaviors and attitude. Mostly Employed in Outdoor Management Development and Leadership Development Programs.
While there are many ideas and activities around employee engagement, Outlife can help create motivation and belongingness in your organization through the following employee engagement ideas and activities. These include
- Team building
- Adventure day out
- Work life balance
- Health and Wellness
- Cooperative play activities
- Sports and fitness
- Theme based engagement
- Hobby clubs
- CSR and charity work
Back To Nature
Effective Work Teams
Employee Engagement Ideas
High Performance Team Model
High Performance Teams
Outdoor Experiences For Children
Training And Development
Wall Is Like Life