Achieving results in the workplace increasingly requires a team effort. Relationships and relationship building are vital to the attainment of goals and objectives. Miller, in the Organization of the Future writes, "...teams will play a greater role in performing the work of the organization." Yet they remain one of the greatest challenges for a leader. It's difficult enough to manage a single individual - tougher yet to manage an entire team to optimal performance. To accomplish this, outside assistance is often of value. From functional teams to self-managed teams to cross-functional teas to boundaryless teams, Rembisz & Associates' (R&A's) team building programs are designed to help the teams and the individuals that comprise them to achieve positive, measurable changes in behavior. R&A provides models of teamwork, assessment methodology, and team development processes that will ensure effective team leadership and team performance.
Team building must occur within the day to day functioning of the work group as well as at off-sites and retreats. R&A works with teams in both arenas. We utilize a variety of methods (outdoor exercises, business simulations, creativity breakthrough sessions, etc.) to bring the team together and to focus on the team's current needs. We then work within the day-to-day environment providing review, calibration, feedback and developmental suggestions and recommendations. Teams move through stages of development, from forming to storming to norming to performing. We work with the team according to its stage of development and provide assistance to move the team to a higher level of performance and effectiveness.
Team building can take a number of forms. Typical assignments include:
- Facilitation of meetings. Executives and managers spend a tremendous amount of time in meetings. Too much of that time is wasted. Whether a one-hour staff meeting or a week long conference, professional facilitation can help to keep the agenda moving on track, change course when needed, resolve any conflicts that arise, and permit the team leader to interact as a participant.
- Training in team skills. Teams are more prominent in the workplace. Employees and leaders may lack the skills to interact effectively as a team members. Training can be invaluable to both team leader and team member.
- Teambuilding for work groups. Teams are comprised of individuals with different personalities, different preferences and different needs. Problems and conflicts inevitably arise. A facilitated team building session can produce greater alignment with the team mission and a smoother functioning, more effective team.
- Teambuilding between work groups. Occasionally problems and conflicts occur between work groups. Whether deliberate or, more typically, inadvertent, work groups often create problems for other work groups. Communication between groups may be lacking or ineffective. Inefficiencies and dissatisfaction may develop. A facilitated team building session between groups can produce greater alignment with the organization's mission and greater effectiveness on the part of each team.
- Integration of merging teams. Through merger, acquisition or reorganization, teams frequently come together. The blending of differ net individuals and organizational cultures is a difficult task. Our consulting approach can help the merged team to achieve maximum results as a team and maximum satisfaction for team members.
- 360-degree feedback for teams. As with individuals, teams have distinct personalities and behavioral patterns. Just as individuals benefit from having the mirror held in front of them, teams benefit as well. 360-degree feedback is often used as a part of teambuilding
- Helping new teams get off to a fast start. Newly created teams typically get off to a slow and rocky start, as members get familiar with one another and with the team's task. With facilitated guidance, their start can be made quicker and smoother.
- Diagnosing team problems and team readiness. Teams invariably get stuck. They hit a wall and do not know how to move beyond it. By meeting with the tam and its individual members, we can diagnose problem areas and help the team to overcome those problems. Before a team forms, it may wish to identify how ready it is to work effectively. This type of evaluation has been particularly helpful for self-directed teams.
- Virtual Team/Global Teams. In today's business environment, teams are often not co-located, so they seldom meet face to face. Communication and direction are by telephone, email, and memo. Virtual teams and Global teams pose greater challenges for leadership. There are difference sin culture, values and operating style. Interacting over several time zones, with different first languages, and with different business models can be difficult.
We help the team leader and membership to address these challenges by increasing awareness of an emphasizing the need for communication, clarification of mission, definition of operating guidelines, and relationships building.
- Coaching for team leaders. Team leaders often need individualized assistance in understanding their team members, solving team problems and adapting their approach in order to meet team needs.
- Outdoor Experiential Action Learning. Often times it is useful for a team to "get away" from the workplace. We arrange and facilitate activities that range from a few hours to several days. The unfamiliar setting provides an opportunity to look at issues from a fresh perspective. The experiential action learning exercises include orienteering (map and compass navigation in the mountains or desert), high and low rope courses, team sailing, survival skills training, ad white water rafting, among others.
In Team Players and Teamwork, author Parker writes, "More and more companies are experiencing the payoff from teamwork as a management strategy for reducing costs, improving quality, and increasing output." For twenty years, R&A has help teams and team leaders achieve this promise.