As our society continues to become more fluid and dynamic, so does the need to work closely with one another in team settings.  The ages of living day-by-day in quite isolation and solitude are no more.  With the ever increasing amount of globalization and specialization in our workplaces, individuals are now forced to work with all sorts of different groups in both their professional and personal lives.  However, when we first join a new group of individuals, it often takes a great deal of time before we become acclimated to our new relationships.  This is even more so the case when we join a new organization or work team, because we have the added responsibility of familiarizing ourselves with the team’s mission, goal, and objectives.  Under such circumstances, Arizona HR consulting firms suggest that companies invest in a quality team building workshop.

At my Phoenix based PEO Company, we continually come across organizations that lack quality team dynamics.  In fact, most organizations that perceive themselves as a team are actually working together as little more than a group of individuals.  Therefore, a quality team building workshop should contain four distinct steps.

1.  Define TEAM

While it may seem a bit elementary to a select few, one of the primary reasons why corporate teams fail is because they don’t realize what working as a team really means.  More often than not, they are aware of the various characteristics that are trademarks of a good team, such as flexibility and dependability, but they lack an understanding of what truly brings them together as a team.

The one dynamic that differentiates a team from a group of individuals is having one goal.  Whether the team is composed of payroll processors, recruiting specialists, or custodians, they will not be able to work efficiently as a team unless they are all working toward the same goal.  It is having a shared goal that transforms a group into a team, and without understanding and commitment to that goal, all attempts to improve teamwork will have limited value.
2.  Recognize Members of the Team

Consider the example of a sales team in a payroll processing company, selling the outsourced function of payroll services.  Who is a member of this sales team?

You first have to define the common goal of the sales team before you can define who is in it.  Let us assume that the goal is “to increase sales of the company”.  Who then contributes to that goal?

The fact of the matter is that there are many more individuals in this team than most would suspect.  There are, of course, the core sales people themselves who actually go out on the grind and sell payroll services.  However there are also many others who contribute to this goal.  The Sales Manager ensures that the sales people are equipped to sell properly.  The Marketing Manager designs products and collateral that are attractive to potential buyers.  The Personnel Manager recruits high quality sales professionals and provides training to maximize sales.  Even the cleaning staff has a stake because it is their responsibility to keep the offices looking attractive, so that prospective clients will feel comfortable when visiting the branches.

In this example, it is easy to see the need for a corporate culture that recognizes and values the contribution that everyone makes to the sales process.  The whole company is a team working the common goal of selling payroll services.

3.  Identify Performance Inhibitors

If a team is a group of individuals working toward a common goal, then “team building” is the process of motivating and enabling that group of people to reach their goal.  In order to go about this process, corporate directors must first inform their staffs of the characteristics and dynamics that inhibit effective team performance.

The Apollo Syndrome is a good example of this, where highly intelligent people often perform worse when working together than less able members.  Another excellent example is Janis’s concept of Groupthink, wherein members of a team are so like-minded in their pursuit for a solution to their problems that they come to a consensus without having weighed the pros and cons of each possible solution.

The Apollo Syndrome and Groupthink are just two of the sixteen team complexes that can inhibit team performance. Arizona Human Resource outsourcing companies suggest researching all sixteen team complexes and informing your employees about those complexes which seem most prevalent in the current work environment.  Unless your employees are aware of these inhibitors, they will never begin to develop the skills that they need to combat them.

4.  Provide Performance Enablers

Aside from identifying those characteristics which lead to negative team performance, the best thing that managers can do to build team moral is provide their staff with a list of constructive team behaviors.  For example, team members should always be encouraged to accept diverse perspectives when discussing problems and issues confronted by the team.  This will ensure that the greatest amount of critical thinking takes place, which will in turn lead to better team decisions.

Other beneficial team characteristics include making sure that all members participate in discussions, being willing to take risks, carefully listening to others, and being exceptive of constructive feedback.  In tandem with knowing what dynamics to avoid, these positive team characteristics can be very powerful in changing the direction of a poorly performing team.

Obviously, the list of team performance enablers is by no means exhausted in the aforementioned list.  The key for any business owner is to identify those characteristics that would be most beneficial to their team(s), and then focus on bringing those characteristics to fruition in their work environments.

When all four of these topics have been addressed within your organization, there is no limit to the potential outputs of your work teams.  Once all of your team members are focused and informed, they will be able to work together in a much more constructive capacity.

If you have questions or would like more information about the topics discussed in this article, please contact our HR Department by clicking here. Please be sure to reference the title of the article in your inquiry.

This article was sponsored by National PEO, LLC. National PEO is a leading provider of PEO services to hundreds of companies all over the US. Let us handle the burden of Payroll Services, Benefits Administration, Worker’s Comp, and Human Resources for your company. Contact us today to request a quote!

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