Team Building in the Workplace

Developing individual strengths

Team Building in the Workplace

Developing individual strengths

Effective team building in the workplace relies on a counter-intuitive idea – you need to develop the individual. If a team is to perform then individuals need to contribute their strengths.

Continuing our series on stages of team development using our STAR teams model, in this article we consider how to help a team to perform. Whilst every team and context is different team building in the workplace provides a basis on which to develop your approach to developing a team that performs.

This article is part of our series on stages of team development using our STAR team modelWhat is Teamwork?This model illustrates that effective teamwork in the workplace happens when four elements (Strengths, Teamwork, Alignment and Results) are in place:

  • Individuals flourish as they use and develop their Strengths
  • People come together building relationships that result in effective Teamwork
  • The team leader Aligns the team through effective communication of purpose, so that individual strengths combine with teamwork to deliver the teams results
  • Together everyone achieves more as performance flows and Results that are meaningful and rewarding to the team are achieved

A different emphasis and focus for each of the STAR model elements is needed at different stages of the team’s development. Once a team starts to gel and mature, it reaches the stage where it is clear about the results it needs to achieve, and members begin to work well together.

At this point the leader’s role becomes one of stimulating and encouraging development of individual strengths within the team. Emphasis should now be on stimulating individuals to develop their strengths, and to find where they can best contribute, in order to enhance the team’s performance. A team really starts to perform when individuals use their strengths, working well together to achieve the results set for the team. In doing so they release the power of synergy, a key characteristic of effective teamwork.

Team building in the workplace starts to become effective when:

  • Individuals are encouraged to become even better at what their existing strengths.
  • Individuals develop in a team environment, where strengths are focused on team goals.
  • Complementary strengths come together, so that one team members weakness is balanced by another’s strength.
  • Individual strengths are recognised and appreciated by all members of the team.
  • Recognition and reward is given when an individual’s strengths enhance team performance.
  • High standards, expectations and challenges are maintained.
  • The team is mutually accountable for goals and output, balancing challenge with commitment, effort and mutual support.

In this phase team strengths begin to emerge, these are the combination of individual strengths bringing contributions that couldn’t be achieved separately. Team performance, of course is not just about individuals using their strengths it is rather that they use them in combinations which together produce excellent performance.

Having focused on creating the conditions for the team to perform, the next step is to sustain that performance. This is something we explore in our next article in the series: teamwork in the workplace.

Tips of team building in the workplace

For some practical team building techniques, look at our great-value e-guides here, or start with our Team Building Exercises for all team stages. The exercises in this guide are grouped according to our team stages model. Remember, each team is unique and needs to be led through several developmental stages. These include:

Team Building Exercises

Creating a new team or taking over an existing team

Exercise 1: Being a TEAM together
Exercise 2: True or false
Exercise 3: Who does what in a team?
Exercise 4: Getting the mix right
Exercise 5: Doing something for the first time
Exercise 6: Two years from now

Developing a team

Exercise 7: A clearer vision
Exercise 8: Mad, sad or glad
Exercise 9: Seeing the bigger picture
Exercise 10: Positive feedback
Exercise 11: Conflicting views

Performing and achieving results with a team

Exercise 12: Did you notice?
Exercise 13: Limiting beliefs

Sustaining team performance

Exercise 14: Scarce resources
Exercise 15: Keeping going

These are fantastic little e-books, very thorough, easy to follow

We’ve used [the guides] as support tools for learners on our talent management programmes which has saved me a lot of time and a lot of money. I’d definitely recommend them.

Kieleigh - United Kingdom

Looking for more teams resources?

Try our great value e-guides

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