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Team Building in the Workplace

Team Building in the Workplace – Building a Performing Team

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 out STAR team 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. The STAR team model suggests 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.

At this stage the team is clear about the results it needs to achieve and works well together, now the emphasis needs to be on stimulating individuals to develop their strengths and find where they can contribute best to enhance the team performance. The leadership role becomes one of stimulating and encouraging development of individual strengths in the team. A team really starts to perform when individuals use their strengths working well together to achieve the results set for the team.

Team building in the workplace starts to be effective when:

  • Individuals are encouraged to get better at what they are good at
  • Individuals develop in a team environment
  • Complementary strengths come together, so that one team members weakness is balanced by another’s strength
  • Strengths are appreciated by the team
  • Recognition and reward is given when an individual’s strengths enhance team performance
  • High challenge is maintained
  • The team is mutually accountable balancing challenge with 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.

If you do have the time to read more on this topic, why not go to our teamwork articles. To read more of about our teamwork concept – the STAR team model- see our articles teamwork theories,teamwork defined and teamwork in the workplace. For a more general introduction to team a good place to start might be to think through why is teamwork important , or you may want to think about how you define teamwork or reminding yourself of the benefits of teamwork.

Where to go from here:


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