In business, a team is a group of people organized to work together interdependently and cooperatively to meet the needs of their customers by accomplishing specific goals.
Team building is the process of turning this group of individual contributing employees into a cohesive team. Team building can be accomplished several ways.
Often, team building includes the daily interaction that employees engage in when working together doing their jobs. This usually involves coming up with and abiding by a set of team norms, rules or guidelines that a team establishes to shape the interaction of its members with one another and with employees who are external to the team.
Team norms can be developed during an early team meeting, preferably the first meeting, and more norms can be added as the team deems necessary. Once developed, team norms are used to help guide the behavior of team members and are used to assess how well team members are interacting.
These guidelines enable members of a team to call each other out on any behavior that is dysfunctional, disruptive or that is negatively impacting the success of the team’s work.
Team building can also involve icebreakers like family picnics or activities where individuals come together as a single unit and work for a common task. The important thing is for team members to get to know each other and develop chemistry and compatibility.
Contracting out with an external resource facilitator who helps coach groups to work more efficiently together is also an excellent way to build a team. Workshops, seminars and courses for the entire team is also a popular method of moving along team building.
Whatever the means, specific team building goals provide team members with:
- An appreciation of differences in work styles and preferences
- Faster start up for new teams or teams with new leaders
- Establishment of team members roles and responsibilities
- Clarification of mission and vision
- Mechanisms for resolving conflict and elimination of dysfunctional behavior
Want to learn more about team building? Tonex offers Team Building Training, a 3-day course that teaches you the principals, methods, and skills required to gather a high-performance team.