Every organization has teams with members working as one. Every team is normally built on a foundation that bonds or ties the members together in every activity to encourage growth within the unit. This is what is known as team building.Team building pertains to a variety of activities and programs used by various organizations such as businesses, academic institutions, sports, religious and non-profit groups with a purpose of enhancing team performance.
The activities are manifested using various methods and approaches, from a simple bonding activity to challenging simulations to planned team building outings and retreats aimed to develop everyone individually and collectively. Team building activities may include games, exercises, drills, and team practices.
This article will explain the basic definition of a team, team concept, and the stages of a team formation in order to gain a better understanding of the concept of team building. It will also elaborate the distinctions of a team from a group.
What is a Team?
A team is a group of people working collaboratively and interdependently to meet common goals and objectives. All members in a team are held equally accountable for the goal outcomes and the success of activities. Within a team, there is division of labor but members work hand in hand for a shared goal.
A team is not to be confused with a group, although some people use these two terms interchangeably. One main distinction is that the strength of a team is dependent on the cooperation of each member while the strength or vigor of a group comes primarily from the authority and facilitation of a leader.
As to the formation, a group is relatively easier to create than a team. A group can simply be formed based on a commonality among the members such as gender, specialization, the level of expertise, age, and other factors. However, the efficiency of a group may or may not be harmonious depending on the compatibility or differences in decisions and goals, making it difficult for a group to reach a consensus.
On the contrary, a team can be quite difficult to structure because the members have to be selected for matching competencies in order to work as one for the achievement of team goals.
Need for a Team / Team Concept
The main concept of a team is building teamwork for productive and efficient goal outcomes. Teamwork increases the quality of work of a team and yields outstanding results. Yet, a team does not only show cooperation in the tasks and objectives but also in the management functions. These include planning, organizing, establishing performance goals, evaluating the team’s performance, making individual strategies to deal with change and securing a team’s resources.
Every member must demonstrate dedication to the whole team, acts selflessly, and provides commitment to the team’s projects and activities. With the goals waiting to be achieved, it is indeed important that everyone must be on the same page. So, the development of goals must also be done thoroughly and coherently.
The concept of teamwork is essential in the achievement of goals and success of a team. Each team member makes an effortful contribution but needs apt recognition or appreciation for such efforts.
The development of a team goes through stages in its formation. Every team member must be well-acquainted and familiar with each other in order to be comfortable when working mutually and understand each other’s strengths and flaws. The stages of team formation are as follows:
- Forming: This is the initial stage of team development wherein the members are just starting to become familiar with one another and build harmony within the team.
- Storming: In this stage, team members may experience conflicts out of disagreements, negotiations and deliberation of ideas as well as task assignments. However, such experiences are essential for a team to be functional.
- Norming: The team is then grounded on rules and regulations to create a harmonious environment. Members learn to work cooperatively in this stage. A sense of pride is also built in a team.
- Performing: The team becomes productive and creates desirable outputs in its activities and tasks, with each member functioning according to the assigned task.