The need to build a strong team that will increase the potential of your company or business by many-fold is required now more than ever. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the challenges faced while working remotely and amid the growing economic crisis, it became challenging to work smoothly as a team. In these circumstances, is employee training and development possible while keeping team development intact?
Well, the answer to this question can be found in the 5 stages of team development. With the help of proper team development, companies and businesses can not only survive the market but also thrive and get enormous gains. In order to achieve this particular stage, training and skill development of the employees is very important.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of team development, why an organization should develop its own team, the fundamentals of team building, and the 5 stages of team development through which companies can build a reliable team together with its employees.
Definition of team development
When a specified group of people works together in order to achieve a common goal, that particular group of individuals can be considered as a team. Every member through training and development adds separate value to their combined goals while utilizing their unique sets of skills to proceed further. Also, every individual on the team also shares the same attitude as well as orientation.
Theoretically, all of these may sound very easy but in reality, balancing all these individual needs while keeping the common goal intact is very difficult. The situation becomes more complex when the whole team is going through discord, stress, etc.
For example, you can gather a set of talented individuals from all over the world who can be experts in their respective fields. If the mode of work is remote that means all of these people work behind computer screens but in different time zones. Remote working may give you the advantage of hiring talented people from anywhere in the world but at the same time, you also need to make sure that all of those team members are on the same page.
A team that communicates with each other and collaborates with each other because of employee learning and development can achieve their goals more easily.
Let us have a closer look at the traits of a successful team:
Every member of a successful team invests all their resources such as energy, effort, and time in order to achieve their collective goals.
Vital things like accountability, cross-group communication, and decision-making steps are mutually agreed upon and managed accordingly.
Every single individual or member of the team needs to completely understand the collective goal the team is trying to achieve.
The three Rs
The three Rs of every team are Responsibilities, Rules, and Roles. Everybody from the team needs to get a good grasp of the three Rs.
Most of the teams while working together lack one or more of the above-mentioned characteristics. The primary aim of team development is to meet all of those criteria while reflecting upon the team’s growth. Like any other thing, developing a proper team also takes time as well as enough dedication from the team members to become effective.
To put it more simply, developing a proper and effective team is not something that can be done overnight. Even if you are using the latest and avant-garde tools for training and professional development of the employees, the whole process is a long-term one.
What is the necessity for team development?
You can compare maintaining a team with maintaining any garden. Just like if a garden is left unattended it becomes untidy and unkempt, similarly, the team also loses its ability to thrive in practical situations. Regular team development makes sure that your team can thrive in any given situation and at any given time.
Through team development, any team can benefit in several different ways. Each and every individual member of the team can find out more about their inherent strengths, duties, and potentials and work accordingly with the team members.
Moreover, with the help of team development, the employees can also have an idea about the work and talents of their co-members, which results in strengthening the overall productivity and communication within the team.
Stages of team development
A researcher named Bruce Wayne Tuckman published his work “Tuckman’s Stages” in the year 1965. Tuckman’s was composed of his research on how to improve teamwork among team members and improve the overall efficiency of the businesses and companies.
The research paper discussed a total of 4 stages of team development which tread across over time. These 4 stages of team development are: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Later on, in the year 1977 with the help of his doctoral student Mary Ann Jensen, Tuckman also added another stage or the fifth stage named “adjourning” and created a total of 5 stages of team development.
This is how each and every step works:
- Forming: Forming stage of team development is the first stage of the 5 stages of team development and this is where the team members meet together for the first time. In this stage, the responsibility of the team leader is to introduce each and every member of the team while highlighting everyone’s unique set of skills and specialties. The details of the project are also provided at this stage and the individuals are provided with the opportunity to tabulate their respective duties.
- Storming: Storming is the second stage of team development and at this stage, the team members openly share their proposals and ideas. This stage provides people with the opportunity to stand out among their peers while being accepted by them. The responsibility of the team member in this stage is to make sure that the project is on track, and that the communication among the team members is better and easier while managing the competitiveness of the individual team members.
- Norming: In this stage, the team members will be able to ascertain how to work together as a whole. The responsibility and goals of each member will become clear and most importantly there will be no more internal competition which is definitely a plus point. Everyone on the team will be able to work more efficiently because they will be able to share their own feedback and ideas while listening to the same from other members. This will definitely help them achieve their common goal as a team.
- Performing: The level of trust and connection between the team members will become very high. The efficiency of the team members will be at its peak while team leaders won’t have to spend much time overseeing their teams. Although at times, issues may arise but the team as a whole will have the capability to resolve the issues without risking the progress and timeline of the project.
- Adjourning: The project gets completed by the team and a debriefing session starts where the team discusses what went well for them and what are the areas they can improve on. After this, the team moves on to the next project.
Now let us look at how these 5 stages of team development model can be applied to your team in order to successfully help you complete your project on time along with your team members.
Forming - Beginning the projects
Most employees of any company and business collaborate with their co-employees while working on the same project. In the initial stage of any project, employees require background information or context in order to work on the project. After gathering enough background information, processing, and experimenting with them, the team can find out which way to go and what to work within this new project.
If the project is planned carefully with the minute details provided for each and every single step, the team members will be easily able to understand their roles and responsibilities. An introduction meeting for all the team members can be conducted in the initial stages of team development.
Schedule an online video conference keeping everyone’s time zone in mind. This way, you won’t have to wait for an entire day to receive an important piece of information or ask important questions regarding the project.
Next, it is important to let every single member of your team know their own specific roles and responsibilities in the project. The members also need to know each other's skills in order to help the team solve problems quicker and more efficiently. Also, let them know about the project’s timeline and break the project down into smaller parts with their own timelines, so that tracking the progress of the project becomes easier for the team members.
Role of the team leader in the Forming process
In the very first project meeting, the team leader can start by explaining the work that needs to be done by every team member. Make sure that everyone is aware of what is being expected of them. Finally, show the roadmap of the whole project, different checkpoints, and its end objective to all the team members.
Tools that can be utilized
You can choose a project management software that can help you assign the project particulars to the individual members along with the deadlines. Also, use a video conferencing platform or software to conduct your initial project meeting.
Storming - Conflict is inevitable
While you are working in a team, as a team member you can have different opinions. Therefore, conflict can arise, but it is also a good thing because you will be able to understand each other's perspectives more effectively.
If you are working together in an office, then things can meet out very soon but it is not easy to resolve conflict while the team is working remotely. But these ideas should be shared on a common platform so that everyone on the team can learn from each other.
Role of the team leader in the Storming process
As a team leader, you should intervene when these types of situations arrive and schedule a meeting with all the team members to resolve the issue. Talk to the team members in order to find out potential solutions. When you find a perfect solution for the problem, document it immediately. Conflicts can be a productive tool for receiving potential solutions to your problems.
Tools that can be utilized
You can use collaboration tools to store your documents and organize them. This way, you will be able to store all of your important documents and access them whenever required.
Norming - Starting to find the rhythm
In this stage, the team members can discuss among themselves what they are working on and how the overall progress is coming along. While working together in the same space you, can practically see and hear about the progress but in remote working conditions, the same is not possible. The solution, in this case, is to discuss timely progress while the work is being done.
Role of the team leader in the Norming process
As a team leader, you can track the progress by going through the daily work report or you can also follow the mid-week report in order to confirm the progress. You should also check out if everyone has the necessary material needed to work with as well as the individual progress of the team members.
Tools that can be utilized
You can use a particular messaging app in order to communicate and track the progress of individual members. As a team leader, you can also conduct 1:1 meetings with your team members and ask for detailed reports.
Performing - High-performance starts now
High-performance stage of any team does not come very easily. While in the performing stage, the team members work together in a synchronized manner and more efficiently, to get to this point, the team needs to be consistent. If you want weekly updates, make sure you are doing the same every week, and don’t let anything hamper the momentum.
Role of the team leader in the Performing process
You need to make sure that your team members are regularly in touch with you and the other team members but at the same time stay out of their way so their work doesn’t get hampered.
Tools that can be utilized
If you want your team to work collaboratively while not being interrupted, then they will require automation tools that will save them a significant amount of time. Provide them the tools that do not have rigorous training manuals and can easily get the job done.
Adjourning - Triumph after the project completion
At this stage, the project gets successfully completed through the entire team effort. The team celebrates their success as well as finds out what can be improved through a review process.
Role of the team leader in the Adjourning process
You can appreciate the team effort by setting up a meeting with all members. In this meeting, you can give your team members the opportunity to comment on the completion of the project. They can also share their insights on what can be improved.
Tools that can be utilized
If it is not possible to plan an in-person meeting, then you can use an online video conferencing platform to schedule a review meeting as you have already done in the earlier stages.
How can the team leaders assist in the building process of a team?
A good team leader always assists in the building process of a team by empowering them, communicating with them, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, encouraging them, and most importantly trusting them throughout the whole process.
It is also important as a team leader that you provide your team with the necessary tools and documents in order to help them develop both professionally and personally. Good team development includes training, discussion, and workshops, all of which are directly or indirectly hosted by the team leader.
Remember that by developing a strong team for your company or business, your whole venture can develop more than you can imagine. If you want to unlock the full potential of your team members, then it is important to make sure that your company regularly conducts employee training and development.
If you want to focus on the training and professional development of your team members and want them to get upskilled, check out Hero Vired's training and skills development courses.