Times have changed and unlike the earlier times when a small-scale entrepreneur was able to build an empire single-handedly. In today’s business scenario, the environment has become so complex and competitive, that it is not easy to achieve success on your own.
The business environment is in a continuous state of turmoil, and achievement of tasks depends more and more on the outputs of teams rather than efforts of a single person and there the term Team comes in existence.
What is Team?
A team is group of small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they are mutually accountable. ( Definition by Katzenbach and Smith – 1993 ). Different definitions are coined by many people for Team. But the purpose behind forming team remains same to achieve common objective.
There are some important aspects of successful teams as follows.
Aspects of the Team Building
To build an efficient Team, approach has to be dynamic and adaptive in this competitive world. However, there are certain aspects of team-building to be followed by the members in order to achieve the end target.
- Team should be small in number. Small group is able to deliver better results. If team is say fifty people then it is good to divide it into sub-teams as probability of such bigger team to give better output is less if compared to team of 5-10 people whose probability of successfully sorting out their individual, hierarchical and functional differences, and work towards a common goal, and also be accountable for the results.
- To succeed as a team, the team should have appropriate mix of skills and traits. If the team has people with homogeneous skills then it won’t be very effective to accomplish their set goals and objectives. On other hand if team has skills and traits more than what are needed for requirements then it may cause unnecessary disruptions which can affects results. We can explain this aspect by giving example of maintenance team in industry. Such team should consists of different people with different skill sets like mechanical, electrical, civil, information technology. It would become difficult if such team has people with similar skill sets.So there are basically three categories of team skills:
1. Technical abilities or expertise needed for the task
2. Problem-solving and decision-making skills
3. Interpersonal skills
- Team should set their goals on the basis of requirements placed on them by the organization. This helps the team to define their boundaries and scope of their job.
- Team should take common approach to achieve common goal set.
- Team’s mutual accountability is the most important aspect of this approach. Mutual understanding is important in team members to work in coordination with each other to target common objective.
As we already know team is group of people with complementary skills who work together to achieve common goals. So it is important for team members to communicate with each other to and keep learning from each other eventually maximizing their strengths and weaknesses. However there are certain principles of team building.
Principles of Team Building
- Each member’s roles and responsibilities have been written down and explained to them in clear and unambiguous manner.
- Every team member should understand their own responsibility and should be committed towards their work to increase the team’s productivity and work towards the team’s success.
- Team members should collaborate with each other in order to take their tasks forward smoothly.
- Effective Communication becomes essential factor in team building. It is essential for any manager and team members to communicate with each other in freely and openly about nature of work, goals set for team, and methods adopted for accomplishing objectives.
- The manager should be polite, humble and approachable so that team members do not hesitate to approach him with whatever issues they might have. This also helps the manager to bring about coordination among team members.
Along with such principles there are some approaches to team building. There are five approaches that are generally followed.
- Interpersonal approach: Interpersonal approach is most ancient approach among others emerged in 1950 which is based on human psychology. It develops social and personal awareness between the team members. Better understanding of each other’s nature will help to work easily within team. Interpersonal approach enhances bond between teammates which also enhances productivity.
- Role-Definition: This approach is based on roles and norms which exist within team. Defining roles and responsibilities for each person in team, defining expectation from each person enhances coordination between team members which ultimately gives better output while achieving common goal.
- Values: This approach is based on values that team members adopt while executing their roles and responsibilities. It is important that the team members have same values. For effective teamwork and coordination, values given to each should be well justified otherwise it would become difficult for team members to work in team.
- Task based approach: This approach is based on individual’s skills and how he executes tasks assigned to him and make teamwork successful. It is managers’ who should put all the tasks in clear terms. Bigger tasks should be broken down into smaller tasks by manager. Then it becomes individual’s responsibility to contribute in team by working on his tasks to achieve common targets.
- Social Identification: It talks about members’ need to feel part of team. It is important for each member to understand each other’s point of views, should have good communication with each other, standing in crisis for each others, taking unfinished jobs of other in need to achieve common objectives which are set for the team and not for individual. These things help member to come closer with other member of team and to feel being part of Team which enhances effective teamwork. Each team member should have self esteem and respect for each other to have effective co ordination in team. Some common platforms, interests, knowledge sharing platforms can help members to stand for others in need so that team can reach common targets.
Every individual has always been considered as asset of company. So it is important for any organization to take all such individuals together as a team to become a successful organization and team building techniques definitely make it possible.