We are well familiar with work teams but have we ever wondered what it takes to make a team? Through a team building activity, teams can be developed, and the spirit of teamwork can be instilled among team members. The foundation of building a team is having shared goals to which all team members express commitment to. However, why is it that there executives or managers that question the value of this kind of activity? Why are there those who see this activity as more of an expense than something that can bring in benefits to the organization? There can be several and varied reasons behind these but what is best is that we learn to appreciate the value of this kind of activity.
With all the attacks that team building activities receive from a number of executives and managers in different kinds of organizations, it can be easy for us to disregard its real value. However, what we fail to realize is that productive activities of this sort can very well establish or build commitment towards shared goals among the members of the team. Therefore, it is important that we first check if there is ownership of common goals before we even plan on having an activity that focuses on collaborative effort.
After this, we can move on to other forms of team building so that efforts will not turn out to be a waste of time and money. Doing so can also prevent this kind of activity to become counter-productive. It is even possible to follow up this kind of activity with related efforts, like employee coaching.
We must take note that establishing common goals and engendering commitment require a certain set of skill that are often associated more with a transformational kind of leadership than a transactional one. Oftentimes, transactional leaders get into thinking that they have a band of self-motivated individuals that there is no longer a need to engage in this kind of activity. However, what they have is merely a pseudo team that appears to be performing but is actually merely forming.
However, once the foundation of commitment to common goals has been established, there can be several ways to improve teamwork. What is important is that it should start with establishing ownership of common objectives, eliminating inhibitors to the achievement of these goals, introducing enablers, and using checks or evaluations to help in gradually improving performance.