The Importance of Team Development Program
As organizations become flatter and more dispersed, with a greater complexity of stakeholders, being a team player is not more important than ever before. It is not unusual, for instance, for an employee to be working with a diverse range of people—experienced and inexperienced, young and old, cross-cultural—in several temporary and permanent teams.
Some of these teams are functional teams and others are project teams with cross-functional representation. This has implications for the 21st century employee.
Teamwork is a core competency of the 21st century workplace. Also, it should be said that the most job descriptions don’t include it as a core competency. While it might be mentioned in the work document, it is usually a bullet-point near the end of the document.
It is fair to say that non-job roles are increasingly becoming more and more important. Along with teamwork there are non-job roles like having a positive attitude, skills development, and innovation and continuous improvement. But teamwork has been a major asset for some time now and likely to be to be for the foreseeable future.
But working in teams is not necessarily a natural thing to do. People are given a job description that focuses on the individual and the tasks and responsibilities they are expected to cover in their work.
This means that we can’t take for granted that people will naturally be team players when they have been conditioned into working in an individual job with specific KPIs. Therefore, training and team development program is not to be overlooked and is in fact a good investment in the business.
There are two dimensions of teamwork: task and maintenance. The task dimension relates to the bundle of activities the team is expected to accomplish. This might include such things as producing the goods necessary in a manufacturing business or carrying out high quality services in a professional services firm.
The maintenance function is the area very much neglected. This is the glue that makes the team stick. This includes such things as the relationships between team members, the way conflict and negotiation are managed within the team, the processes of communication—both formal and informal. A team of highly technically competent individuals will unravel if they don’t attend to these maintenance aspects.
Yet, this is sadly neglected and when it’s dealt with, it is usually after a major crisis in the team. Sometimes, this is too late. Team development should not be underestimated.
There is a reputable theory that team members play a type of role when working in teams. These roles are performed consciously or usually, unconsciously. The analogue I like to use it this: Imaging sitting around a camp fire after being ship wrecked on a desert island.
Each of the team members would contribute to the conversation in different ways. One person might suggest that they go to the highest point and survey the island. Another person sparks a debate about the key priorities: Is it to survive or is it to be rescued, or both? And so on. These are referred to as team roles. Each of us prefers contributing in a certain way when we are working in teams. These preferences are sustainable behaviors.
Team Management Program
At WINNERS-at-WORK, we use Team Management program to develop the maintenance aspect of teams. Our team development program focuses on how the team operates together. A 60-item profile questionnaire measures an individual work preference to give you a personalised report showing your major and two related roles.
You may choose to receive the results back as a hard copy, professionally bound report, or choose to receive the results instantly using the e-Profile option. Our team management program then builds from an individual to team profile. For more information please refer to Team Management Systems.
Team Development Program
We then get your team together and work with the profiles to achieve three objectives for the team members and the team:
- To develop an understanding of how you like to contribute when working in teams;
- To appreciate and understand the diversity of offerings within a team; and
- To use a process of achievement for all team tasks and projects.
Usually of team development program can be done in a day. What sets out program apart from other team development programs is that we facilitate a process where the team themselves works out how to capitalise on its strengths and minimize its blind spots. By providing useful information, we find the team can take charge of its own development in a way that they own the result.