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Creating Effective Teams

A strong team is the foundation of success for any firm. Such teams do not form of themselves or they are not created overnight. Building an effective team is sometimes a painstaking process. But there have been certain proven methods to build a team that is well integrated, efficient and effective. Business jargon now talks about global teams, what with the surge of outsourcing and more and more companies competing in the global market. Global teams quickly respond to the corporate challenges while making sure that the quality of their work remains high.

The first step to establish a good team is to analyze the organizational needs and obtain the approval of the management. The team members are selected and the goals and objectives of the team are set. The individual roles played by the members are clarified. Once the team has begun to work, the progress of the team is evaluated. Based on the rate of progress new strategies are formed and/or the old ones are modified. This process is communicated to the whole team and new goals are set.

Teams have a very important role to play in case of resource efficiency. They help champion the ideas at different levels in the workplace and also help the management in identifying greater potential areas. While teams are necessary, the number of team members must be kept in mind. The smaller the team, the better. Five to twelve members is considered an ideal number. Individual members might not contribute to the team if there are more members because of reward sharing that may cause motivational loss; they may feel insignificant or there may be a loss of coordination.

Some skills that are useful to a team are managing meetings, documenting progress, innovation, date and information gathering, presentation, networking, etc…The team must be provided with adequate resources for it to function well. These resources may include facilities to hold meetings, administrative support, access to information, and knowledge sharing.

There are certain actions that can be incorporated as part of developing an effective team. Some of them are:
• Introduction of a team appraisal system in addition to individual appraisal for performance
• Create teams that participate in activities exclusive of work like a sports team or a social service network, a book club, etc…
• For every decision that the leadership or manager wants to take, involve the team in a brainstorming session to pool in ideas and solutions
• Multiple teams can be brought together to increase the network

Thus the keys to create an effective team are:
1. Setting clear goals
2. Encourage small victories in the team
3. Mutual trust building activities like having work buddies
4. Training

One tool that can be used as a team building activity is the Belbin Self-perception inventory. According to this test there are eight types of people. They are:
1. Coordinators
2. Shapers
3. Plants
4. Resource Investigators
5. Monitor Evaluators
6. Team Workers
7. Completer-Finishers
8. Implementers

The coordinators are those who are calm, confident and controlled. The shapers are dynamic and outgoing. The plants are the independent and unorthodox members. The resource investigators are the curious crows. Monitor evaluators are prudent and unemotional while team workers are the socially driven members. Completers-finishers are the conscientious perfectionists. The implementers are the conservative and predictable members of the team.

Every organization has to strive to build a strong team in order to taste success.

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