Team building isn’t just something you do a couple of times a year at corporate social events. It’s a valuable professional skill that will help you work well with others and achieve your goals in the workplace throughout the year. Team building skills are even more important for managers who have one or more staff directly reporting to them in a team.
There’s a simple six-step process to effective team building. Follow these steps to ensure your team bonds effectively in the workplace.
Step One: Set clear goals and KPIs.
Teams need a clear purpose so they know what they need to achieve. A leader who can assist team members to understand why tasks need to be completed will be more effective than one who just describes what needs to be done. Refer Quick Tips – Weekly 16.07 – Goals and KPIs.
Step Two: Define roles & responsibilities
A team is only as strong as its individual members. Nobody is solely responsible for the achievement of team goals, but everyone needs to understand the part they play and how others depend on their performance. Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each team member helps everyone understand the sorts of behaviours that are required.
Step Three: Establish clear communication
Effective communication channels are essential for a highly functional team. Apart from clearly articulating the plan, goals, objectives and the roles and responsibilities of each member and the team as a whole, there needs to be clear communication channels within the group, to the group and from the group.
These need to be understood by everyone in the team so that information can be freely shared.
Step Four: Provide resources and support
Provide the team with the appropriate resources and support required for success. This isn’t just practical; it also fosters a sense of caring and respect. Some examples include:
- Clear processes and procedures
- Access to specialist advice
- Filing, admin and information systems
- Internet, intranet or help desk support.
Step Five: Encourage participation and collaboration
There are lots of reasons why participation and collaboration on new projects or tasks might not flow naturally to start with. You can encourage the group to open up and get a dialogue going by:
- Role modelling these behaviours yourself
- Rewarding input by providing positive feedback for ideas
- Holding regular brainstorming sessions.
Step Six: Reward positive behaviour
Discourage unhealthy competitive behaviour within the team by rewarding team achievements, rather than focusing on individual achievements. Reward ream focused behaviours by providing targeted positive feedback to reinforce these team behaviours.
Source: This is an edited extract from ‘Team Building Skills’, available from AFA Care and Benestar at https://benestar.com/. For more information about accessing AFA Care resources available at Benestar please visit https://www.afa.asn.au/afa-care