Peak Team Performance should be the goal of every organization. There are hundreds of books, tools and other resources dedicated to the pursuit of this outcome.
Over the years, and through working with hundreds of clients, we have come up with a working list of Team Essentials. The list is by no means complete, and the unique qualities and goals of individual teams will add to or detract from this list – however, this list provides a framework around which a team can achieve.
- Vision – without a common vision, it is difficult to achieve results from members of a team. The foundation of any team should be a shared vision for what the team is there to accomplish.
- Effective Communication – in order for a team to get the most from its members, it is imperative that everyone makes an effort to communicate openly, honestly, and without reservation. Often, the biggest stumbling block to a successful project is that team members simply misinterpret the ideas, opinions, and emotions of others in the group.
- Focus – the best use of a team’s time and energy is on a completely focused goal. Defining exactly what is expected from the team, and fervently sticking to “the plan” can be one of the best ways to accomplish a goal, both on time, and with complete support from the members of the team.
- Involvement – teams that expect, support, and value the input of every member of the group will accomplish much more than those whose members are rarely held accountable.
- Self-Direction – micro-managing a team project is rarely appreciated, and often stands in the way of team performance. Typically, a team that is given a goal and allowed to work unsupervised will achieve greater results and enjoy greater job satisfaction.
- Quality Check – teams that review their work regularly will learn from the experience. “Debriefing” the project gives teams a chance to celebrate the successes and dissect the mistakes. In this way, teams are able to build upon the previous project and improve their overall performance.
Every team is different, and every team project has its unique qualities. However, these “Team Essentials” provide a good foundation for creating team success.
When selecting a team building service provider for your organization, it is important to know what you are expecting to get out of the activity. If you know your goals going into the program, you are more likely to make the right choice in who you contract with for the event and what type of activities you plan for your team.
Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself prior to booking your provider:
- What is the main purpose for the event? Is this a recreational day out of the office, with a general goal of fun and camaraderie – or is this a purpose-driven foray into the dynamics of your group, with a goal of increased productivity, enhanced communication, and foundational trust?
- What is the time-frame for your event? Is this a one-off, one-to-six-hour event – or are you seeking long-term, multi-day programming?
- Who are the key players? Which team members are being included in this program – and is there anything significant we should know about them prior to the event?
- Where will the team builder be held? Is this an on-site, meeting-room program – or did you want to move to an off-site location, such as a conference center, park, or other team building facility?
- What is your budget? Typical team building programs can run from $55 per person for a recreational team building event, to upwards of $1,000 per person for a high-end multi-day team development program.
If you know the answers to these questions prior to beginning your search, it is more likely that you will find a good fit for your team building service provider. Once you have narrowed down the field a little, you will be off to a good start!