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New era of team building needed

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HC Online | 03 Nov 2011, 12:00 AM Agree 0
While HR continues to invest in team building exercises, a new study has shown that many programs miss the mark when it comes to improving engagement, workplace relationships, communication and motivation.
  • Iain Crossing - Inspirational Workplaces Pty Ltd | 03 Nov 2011, 05:12 PM Agree 0
    We agree with these findings. Our clients often tell us that team building events help to improve bonding and bring some fun into workplace relationships. They also add that their people are often looking for challenge and 'stretch' and programs that include skills transferable back into their roles and workplace. Fun events obviously have a role alongside programs that provide insight and development.
  • John Read | 03 Nov 2011, 07:32 PM Agree 0
    Team Building is not a substitute for effective Team Leadership and Team Followership.
    Great Team Leadership comprises of:
    1. Team setting their objectives (KRA's and KPI's)in light of organisational context and expectations
    2. Team gathers their own performance feedback against their KPI's
    3. The Team discusses their performance regularly (fortnightly is a great start)
    4. The Team has open communication within their team (i.e. all the team relationship and water cooler issues have been resolved)
    5. There are high levels of within-team trust.

    Great followership on the other hand includes the following:
    1. Understands their role and expectations clearly
    2. Has identified and formed friendships with some team members, is cordial with all of them
    3. Shares positive common values and behaviours with team members and their immediate team leader/manager
    4. Is proactive - in task, process and relationships matters
    5. Balances work and life well; self-disciplined.
    6. Understands how to raise issues and manage upwards effectively

    Placing team building in a larger landscape of organisational, team and self-leadership provides a sound place to evaluate its contribution to individual, team and organisational performance.

    Integration with other programmes and efforts to recognise, address and reward performance and leadership development makes good sense.

    Like all 'training', the three top things that ensure 'training' delivers ROI:
    1. Leadership set clear objectives for the training and define expected outcomes
    2. Leadership communicates their expectations to HR, vendors and employees including management involved
    3. There is follow-up and work contextualisation using such tools as project work, de-briefings, suggestion schemes and feedback mechanisms (focus groups, team meeting reviews and so on). Coaching adds significantly to this mix. A mix that needs to be tailored according to the objectives set...ok, that should do it...

    Have fun...
  • Ron Pol - | 04 Nov 2011, 04:58 AM Agree 0
    Absolutely, and it's great you've distilled some of the key factors. We've also listed 10 factors we found in our experience facilitating workgroup offsites (often called 'retreats' - itself a clue that the team hasn't thought about what they really want to do, 'advance' a sense of cohesion and purpose). Here's our 10 points (in a US in-house lawyers' magazine): Retreating forward - 10 steps for a successful offsite - a template.
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