Most popular organizations in the world have attributed their success to and emphasized the importance of team building. No less than Steve Jobs had once said “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people”.
Any team comprises a group of individuals – each with a different educational background and skill set. They come with preset notions, varied experiences, diverse cultures and thought processes. They all have personal goals and ambitions and in most cases, no two people share the same. The only thing that is common among team members is a professional goal that becomes difficult to achieve in such diversity. Hence, the indispensable need for ‘Team Building’.
Team Building is a blanket term that includes all activities that are used to bind together the members of any team. It is an internal process that seeks to improve the efficiency of a team by getting its members to know, trust and understand one another better. The primary goal of team building is to ensure maximum productivity in achieving an objective that in turn plays a significant role in ensuring the organization’s success. Hence, it can be safely said that team building is a means of achieving the objective of any organization.
Kate Tammemagi, a leading authority on team building has created a 3-step approach to utilize team building as a step towards goal attainment. The 3 steps in this approach include:
- Forming Stage
- Storming Stage
- Norming Stage
This is the stage of bringing together employees to constitute a team. It is also the stage where each team develops its own set of values, beliefs, and principles. It is on the basis of this foundation that the team will grow and develop into a high performing and efficient unit. Team Building activities in this stage will help employees get to know one another on a personal level besides identifying themselves with a common goal. These activities will help them bond and develop a sense of trust and understanding amongst themselves, qualities that are essential in creating an environment of collaboration and sustained effort.
This stage comes after the foundation has been laid. It is marked by efforts to keep employees aligned with the common goal of the team as well as that of the company. In addition to this, leaders make an effort to maximize the productivity of the team. Employees are conditioned to changes within a team – a feature that is a common occurrence across all organizations. New members are welcomed, others are shifted to other units in line with their skill set and capabilities. This stage helps a team cope with these changes and stay unaffected in as far as goal achievement is considered. Activities conducted in this stage include those that are designed to hone problem-solving skills, aside from developing and nurturing creativity.
This is a stage marked by teams working in complete sync and harmony. All team members have goals that are aligned with those of the team and the organization. Team Building activities are now conducted at regular intervals to reinforce established principles and values. It is important to address the many facets of teamwork through team building activities – be it communication, decision making, problem-solving or an array of other such.
Every organization – no matter how big or small and irrespective of nature of operations faces similar sets of challenges and obstacles. To say that team building can make or break an organization would not be an understatement. The above mentioned is a gradual process to a systematic achievement of organizational goals and has been proven over the years across many a company.