Thursday, February 11, 2010

Team Building: Energizing your Organization

Most leaders encourage and/or require their staff to work as a team but give their staff little guidance as to how they should do so.
A team is usually defined as a "group of people who are mutually dependent on one another to achieve a common goal". Little emphasis is placed, however, on how well the team is functioning.
In assessing team performance, consulting psychologists go beyond its' productivity and also pay attention to the team's wellness. The well-being of each team member is taken into consideration while trying to improve a team's performance. In fact, a highly performing team is considered to be one that is able to surpass its organizational goals, in addition to helping its members maintain both job satisfaction and healthy work-life balance.
Organisational wellness consultants provide various team building solutions to help teams become efficient, effective and highly-focused.
Sound and productive work teams have been shown to be the key to success in both the public and private sector as organizations strive to improve results, whether it involves developing new services, achieving cost reductions, improving quality, or increasing productivity.
So what is a team building?
As Peter B. Grazier* states: It is a way to formalize the power of collaboration among individuals. It is a way to blend the talents, skills, and inherent creativity of diverse people. It is a way to use this collaboration so that the work group leverages its skills, time, and resources for their own benefit and that of the organization.
We know that clearly spelled out expectations are critical in teamwork success but what other elements ensure successful team building? At Y2CP we see team building as:
  • Understanding how the team fits into the overall mission, mandate and major goals of the organization
  • Believing that active participation in a team is important and valuable to the organization and to themselves
  • Structuring the team so that members feel it has the right composition (with the right mix of skill sets, knowledge, etc.)
  • Defining the role and work of the team based on organizational requirements
  • Empowering the team members to do their work and achieve organizational goals and solutions
  • Understanding that effective team dynamics and development are key to building solid working relationships
  • Communicating openly, honestly and generously with one another on a team; communicating with the team leader and having information shared with the team members
  • Creating a work environment in which creativity and innovation are encouraged and rewarded
  • Taking responsibility collectively for successes (and being recognized/rewarded) and for failures (and not fearing reprisals)
  • Having access to the resources required to succeed in a team environment
  • Recognizing that creating and building teams is different from established hierarchical organizational structures
Source: *What is Teambuilding, Really? Peter B. Grazier (Published March 1, 1999)
Yaniv M. Benzimra, Ph.D.
Leaman Long
Y2 Consulting Psychologists

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