The best teams aren’t just a random conglomeration of strong team members, just as a quality jewelry chain isn’t simply a bunch of precious metal strung together. Fine gold doesn’t gain any value if it’s soldered together without care, and the same is true for your work teams. Approaching team building with the right resources and level of consideration lets you increase the value of each member’s contribution and ensure a culture where everyone supports each other in a positive, productive manner. One way organizations can invest in their teams is via customized team development training.
Even if you hire the cream of the crop, if your team doesn't work together in a cohesive manner, you might not see results. In a manufacturing environment, we know that production is only as fast as the slowest machine — this concept is true in any situation where people must work together to accomplish goals. If one person isn't working in the same direction as everyone else, the entire team suffers. If technical skills are robust but communication falters, the team is likely to face obstacles. By understanding and encouraging five behaviors for team cohesion, companies can develop teams that bring coveted hard and soft skills to the table and work together to achieve and exceed expectations.
At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we provide customized team development programs that teach these five behaviors and provide work groups with the resources they need to continue building on skills learned. During personalized training, your team of 6 to 40 individuals will learn about:
Recently, researchers at MIT's Human Dynamics Laboratory found a reliable team-building strategy while studying group dynamics. Cohesive teams, they discovered, were bound together not only by work-related commitments, but also by strong interpersonal relationships. The best indicator of a team's success in any workplace — whether it was a bank, a hospital, a warehouse or anywhere else — was its energy and engagement outside work-related projects.
To test their findings in real time, MIT's research group suggested that the manager of a call center reshuffle his schedule so all the people on specific teams took their breaks simultaneously. Team members were suddenly able to socialize with one another in an informal setting on a regular basis, and that led to an increase in camaraderie. The manager subsequently saw his new strategy pay off when the average handling time in the call center fell by 20 percent in his lower-performing teams and 8 percent overall. According to these results, cultivating fellowship in individual teams can lead to remarkable success for everyone.
Organizations that invest in teams see both tangible and intangible results. Communication that inspires and motivates helps create morale among the entire team — something that would be worth its weight in gold if you could measure it. Other results that come from strong leadership team and work team development include higher employee retention rates (and substantial HR cost savings), increased production and efficiency and better problem solving.
In addition to teaching teams to employ the five behaviors that make them cohesive and productive, we provide you with tools for monitoring results. Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions’ team development program includes a progress report framework . You'll receive survey results, points of discussion, a customized plan of action, guidance on setting priorities and a DiSC® team map — all designed to help your team navigate ongoing team building as you go forth to conquer business goals together.
In many companies, teams exist within departments, and team members usually work in the same buildings. That type of setup isn't universal, and remote teams have become an alternative to traditional in-house groups. Maybe your team holds remote meetings via services like Skype and communicates largely via email, SMS, and project boards like Basecamp or Asana, for example.
Virtual teams face a unique set of challenges as they work toward shared goals. Still, according to MIT's Sloan School of Management, remote teams can outperform on-location teams if they have the following task-based and socio-emotional systems in place:
- Tangible Feedback
Because they work remotely, virtual personnel are particularly prone to feeling out of the loop; indeed, some work-from-home executives are forgotten when in-office staff plan events and meetings. To get the most out of your remote team, make sure you give each member regular personalized feedback. Calls and emails are fine, but videoconferencing is particularly effective because it puts you face to face with your manager. When remote managers feel appreciated and supported, they work productively as individuals and within the team.
- Project-Related Communication
Email might seem the easiest way to ask questions and handle feedback, but countless back-and-forth exchanges make queries and suggestions really hard to follow up. Instead, try hosting discussions on an online bulletin board or a well-constructed forum to streamline your virtual conversation. Predesignated hashtags make specific subjects easier to keep track of, so team members feel less frustration and more enthusiasm about the projects they're involved in.
- Remote Organizational Tools
Consider building a platform for your team on Basecamp, where shared calendars and goals help keep your project on schedule. You can create tasks, set deadlines and distribute timetables to your remote team via email, so everyone stays up to date. Your virtual executives gain access to the tools they need to work seamlessly with one another and can view project objectives easily whenever they need to.
All teams, whether terrestrial or remote, benefit from honed training programs in which members first identify personal challenges and then find new solutions to help them overcome roadblocks. Business owners who need to form solid virtual teams frequently decide to set up team building retreats, where remote executives get the chance to meet and form relationships with their peers. Later on, they can use progress reports to efficiently track challenges and the team's cohesion (and thereby its effectiveness) over time.
Formulaic day-long or week-long training programs may seem like a tempting low-cost way to train staff members, but they provide far less value than a honed development program designed with your company in mind. At Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions, we work with both small and large teams (or work groups) at a time to craft unique leadership team training programs and team development programs based around each client's business.
Turnkey Coaching & Development Solutions offers programs throughout cities all over the United States. Starting with well-respected resources and building custom solutions for each organization ensures participating organizations get maximum ROI from each training. We don’t provide cookie-cutter training seminars or weekend programs you send a single employee to; instead, we work with you to develop customized team development solutions that hit hard out of the gate for your organization.
A team-building and team-development program is an effective way to build cohesion among your team. But it isn't a one-shot deal. The bonds forged through team-building activities can erode over time without proactive steps to keep them strong. That's why team development, as with culture development, should be an ongoing part of your business's strategy. True, you might not have the time or the funds for weekly team retreats, but you can incorporate productive and fun team-training exercises into your daily routine. This commitment, over time, will not only transform your team’s effectiveness but also have a positive impact on your company’s culture.
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