The Importance of Team Development

Yet, it’s also important for leaders and team members alike to value and appreciate their differences. Developed in the 1960s, Bruce Tuckman outlined five stages of team development that continue to prove useful, if not comprehensive. Each five stages of team development principles of management stage is distinct with its own set of feelings and behaviors. If you’re looking to develop your team or assemble a new team, consider the role of the leader. Effective leaders tend to build effective teams — and our data backs this up.

what is team development

Team effectiveness is enhanced by a team’s commitment to reflection and on-going evaluation. In addition to evaluating accomplishments in terms of meeting specific goals, for teams to be high-performing it is essential for them to understand their development as a team. Most high-performing teams go through five stages of team development. Keep reminding the team to check in with each other regularly in person or via instant chat, but stay out of their way.

Continue to build team spirit (yes, again)

Tell teams what they are doing right as well as what they need to improve. Early on, create an environment that is open and non-judgmental. Write down every idea that is offered, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Some of the greatest entrepreneurs and inventors have had failed companies and ill-conceived ideas. If everyone in your group thinks and acts the same, then why do you have a group? The benefit of working in a team is that you have access to diverse experiences, skills, and opinions that aren’t possible alone.

  • Making progress here requires a full map of the dynamics across the teams.
  • Team building can include the daily interaction that employees engage in when working together to carry out the requirements of their jobs.
  • High-performance mindset that is shared across the team with expectations that are defined.
  • This can be a difficult stage, as there is a lot of conflict and tension.
  • Being conscious of the process is a great place to start, but it’s worth remembering that reaching the performing stage isn’t a given and many teams get stuck early on.
  • Team training and development are key to strengthening teams so they are equiped to accomplish organizational goals.

Tuckman’s model of group development can help you understand how a team might theoretically grow, but alone it isn’t sufficient to help your team succeed and meaningfully develop. Being conscious of the process is a great place to start, but it’s worth remembering that reaching the performing stage isn’t a given and many teams get stuck early on. You might start a new project and mix up your team make-up or try new things that result in some conflicts in perspective but also allow your team to grow. While it’s important to accept that remaining exclusively in the Performing stage – particularly for long-serving teams – is unrealistic, it’s also worth remembering that this is the ideal state.

Performing — High-performance is the name of the game.

This form of team building is natural and can be assisted if the group takes the time to come up with a set of team norms. These norms help group members know how to appropriately interact on the team and with the rest of the organization. In fact, moving from Norming to Performing often involves further refinement and reappraisal of working methods as your team grows and develops. All teams are made up of individuals with varying skill sets, perspectives, and needs. As groups work together, conflicts in thinking, approach, or working practices can and will arise.

what is team development

Organizations are only as strong as the groups of people who help them accomplish objectives. In this stage team members are comfortable with each other and utilize their different perspectives to find workable solutions. Workgroups become a cohesive team when they learn to appreciate differences.

Team Canvas Session

Here, there’s cohesion, trust, and understanding among team members. The team functions at peak efficiency, and little or no oversight are needed. At the performing stage, it’s easy to accomplish tasks since members are in tandem and understand the process.

For example, the adjourning phase could only be reached by an employee who has decided to leave the team for a new role. Or another employee might make the decision to leave the company altogether. It also creates a culture where feedback is welcomed and embraced. When developing your team, it’s important to look at the whole person of each team member. Every person brings a unique perspective matched with a unique skill set. Consider ways you can tap into the potential of each teammate to maximize impact.

When the team is first established, this is when the forming phase occurs. Teammates are introduced to one another and start to get to know one another. In this stage, it’s common that employees may feel a mixture of excitement and nervousness. By establishing clear roles and responsibilities, you’ll empower ownership over your team. With clear expectations and clearly communicated goals, you’ll set your team up for success.

Avoid misunderstandings and conflicts in this area by using this exercise to help everyone in a group coordinate around what they need to succeed and find ways to articulate those needs effectively. Where this exercise also excels is in giving everyone in the group room to respond and find better ways to work together in practical terms. All groups are composed of individuals with different needs, communication styles, and working practices. When bringing those individuals together and engaging in team development, leaders will need to find ways to help everyone work together effectively and grow as individuals and as a group. This emphasizes increasing teamwork skills such as giving and receiving support, communication and sharing. Teams with fewer interpersonal conflicts generally function more effectively than others.

Or, with the proper budget and goals, managers can contract out for facilitation with an external resource. External facilitation by an experienced person can give your team building a boost. The end of a project is naturally a great time to reflect, collect final learning points and think about what you might improve or do differently in the future.

How Can Leaders Help at the Forming Teams Stage?

For instance, if the team develops a new work process for improving the customer experience, members may be asked to oversee the new and improved process. It’s also known as the transforming process and happens after the team accomplishes what it set out to do. Afterward, it starts to dismantle itself in readiness for other tasks. The adjourning stage is a time for both mourning and celebration. Mourning because team members are paring after forging deep relationships during the project and celebration for a job well done.

The goal at the end of the forming stage is to have a team that is comfortable with one another and excited to begin work on a project. Generally, employees feel accomplished, proud, and excited to have reached their end goal. But they’ve also built strong personal and working relationships over this period of time. Employees might also feel a sense of disappointment and sadness now that the experience is over.

Quality conversations and the ability to have effective meetings and learn from each other. Kate Purmal’s work often centers around creating vocabulary with people about the psychological experiences underlying their behavior. You can do this by identifying points of misalignment and friction on your team, or using a list of common skills below. Team development enables this accountability forcing-function that’s hard to create on your own. For example, improving my communication skills may be less valuable to my team compared to generating a clearer strategy or improving the quality of my execution.

what is team development

In this stage, you’ll find teams are most productive — and they’re working quickly towards the end goal together. But it’s critically important for leaders to help team members effectively handle conflict. The leader’s role will be to help alleviate the pain points team members may feel and clarify any misunderstanding.

Forming stage

Team members thrive when handling individual and collective tasks since each individual’s skills are fully optimized. If you’re a team leader, it’s best to remember that an overlap between the storming and norming stages may appear. Your team can easily backslide into the storming stage, especially when new tasks arise or when handling the more complicated aspects of the project. For this reason, team leaders should be at hand to help members return to the norming stage. As the real work starts during the storming stage, interpersonal and technical challenges will appear. Leadership decisions, individual work habits, and communication lapses during the storming stage can create tension within a team.

team building activities to bring your team together (and have fun!)

It’s misguided and ineffective to assume a team will magically transform by each person growing in isolation. To get your team to perform better as a unit regardless of your current level of efficacy, you need to focus on team development, too. Charma provides One on Ones, Team Collaboration, Feedback, Recognition & Goals — all in one place. With Charma, you can guide team development remotely with intentional goal setting, online collaboration, and continuous feedback. The forming stage is when the team meets for the first time. A team leader facilitates introductions, highlights each individual’s qualifications, background, and skills , roles are assigned, and responsibilities delegated.

Set the Tone

You’ll need a copywriter for your content, an analyst to track and interpret the data you collect, a designer for website and app updates, and possibly a product manager. Have an all-hands meeting to introduce all of these players, including remote team members , so everyone knows where to go for answers. Make sure you schedule the meeting at a time that’s as close to business hours as possible in each time zone. This is also a good time to clarify which times zones everyone works in so people don’t have to wait an entire day for an answer to important questions. This is why organizations put so many resources into team development.

The 5 Stages of Team Development

Renowned psychologist Bruce Tuckman created an easily-understood model in 1965. It illustrates how teams in different fields undergo five similar stages of group development. Understanding the stages of team development enables you to build successful and high-performing teams.

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