[Ch. 17] Team Building and Team Training

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Definitions of Team Building
Approaches to improving the operation of teams.
Many perspectives on team building:
-Problem-solving process that focuses on the following three issues: 1) What keeps the team from being effective? 2) What changes could improve the team’s effectiveness? 3) What is the team doing effectively now that it wants to continue doing?
-Making sure team has common goals & members can work together to achieve them. Must establish strong sense of belonging to team
-Creating a team with the appropriate mix of skills, including technical and group process skills. Improving performance by changing way team operates.
-Set of approaches designed to improve the team’s social relations and interactions in order to make the team more effective. Primary approaches include goal setting, interpersonal relations skills, role clarification, and problem solving.
Why Orgs Don’t Use Team Building
Must have appropriate org context for team building
Orgs are limited by lack of expertise in team building
Managers often do not understand benefits of team building
Team members skeptical about value of team building
Org programs are subject to fads, and team building programs have suffered from it
Criteria of Effective Teams
Clear goals and values
Roles and assignments accepted by team members
Climate of trust, psychological safety, support
Effective problem solving & decision making
Supportive leadership
Constructive handling of conflict
Supportive org culture & structure
Ability to monitor performance & make changes
Symptoms of Ineffective Teams
Decrease in team performance
Increase in complaints from team members
Evidence of unproductive conflicts among members
Confusion about assignments, roles, relationships
Decisions misunderstood or not enacted
Lack of involvement from team members
Lack of initiative, creativity, effective problem solving
Ineffective meetings with low participation
High dependency on the leader
Team-Building Activities
*Goal Setting* – clarify team’s goals, develop specific objectives
*Role Clarification* – negotiation approach: asks members to analyze their work situations and identify what other people could do to improve their effectiveness; alternative approach: asks team members to interact and group process observers analyze roles they perform
*Interpersonal Process Skills* – decision making, problem solving, negotiating. simulate scenarios with exercises
*Cohesion Building* – foster team spirit and build interpersonal connections. outdoor experience program – team members presented w/series of challenges to deal with as a team
*Problem Solving* – starts w/problem identification and analysis. diagnosis stage ends with discussion of how the team should proceed to take action on solving its problems – action plan developed
Skills Taught in Teamwork Training Programs
-Development of skills team needs to perform its tasks
-Team members must understand their roles, coordinate actions with others, understand how their actions interact with others
-Starts with a needs assessment to identify specific knowledge and skills needed, then develops approaches for these objectives
Effectiveness of Teamwork Training
Depends on method of training, type of skill being learned, training environment
More effective when it is focused on identified training competencies or skills, team is trained together, have an opportunity to practice new skills, given feedback about performance
Training Team Together
Should be done with team as a whole to develop the team’s mental model and transactive memory
Transfer of Training
Extent that the new skills learned in training are used in work environment
Make application environment similar to training experience
Supportive team climate, encouraging supervisor support of the application of new skills
Types of Teamwork Training
Team Resource Management Training
Cross-Training and Interpositional Training
Action Learning
Team Resource Management Training
Training program to develop a defined set of teamwork competencies so a team can operate without error under stressful circumstances. Begins with methodology for analyzing the team to identify its mission requirements and coordination demands. This info is used to develop a set of team competencies for training. Training method is then selected and exercises are developed for team members to practice their new skills.
Cross-Training and Interpositional Training
Used to increase the flexibility of team members. Team members are trained in the technical skills of two or more jobs, allowing the team to assign members to the tasks that need to be performed. Goal: to allow team members to better understand the working knowledge and roles of other team members and the interconnections among actions of team members.
*Three types:*
Positional clarification – provides team members with information about the tasks and roles of other members
Positional modeling – adds observation of team members’ duties to this info
Positional rotation – has team member perform another member’s job to gain experience with the other’s duties
Action Learning
Based on belief that most learning occurs when people are dealing directly with real-life issues
Focus: to develop teams that can analyze and solve important, real-life problems in their orgs
Combines training with developing innovative solutions to existing organizational problems
Value of Action Learning
Team gains skills and knowledge, then shares knowledge with the org
Team will be able to perform better in the future because it has learned how to experiment with new approaches to problems and communicate its knowledge
Develops a team & promotes learning throughout an organization
Categories: Team Building