Team Building Resources

This article follows on from the Overview of Stages of Team Development article. You will probably find it useful to read that article first.

Supporting Resources

Sample Team Pillars

  • Improving Individual Performance
  • Improving Team Performance
  • Managing Safety
  • Improving Business Literacy
  • Managing Team Meetings
  • Maintaining Production Equipment
  • General Behaviors

Identifying Team Development E-course

Identifying Team Development Quiz

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Developing teams in the workplace to their full potential can be a challenge!

And finding team building resources -- that work for the long term -- can be disheartening.

If you have ever been frustrated at not knowing how to keep your team growing and taking on higher duty tasks and performing at higher levels, then this could be the answer for you!

You have probably realized by now that developing your team to self-reliance (or if you prefer self-managing) is something that happens over time.

Have you ever taken your team, away from the workplace, to hang off ropes on the side of a mountain ... expecting this type of activity will bring you closer together and build the foundation for better teamwork and performance back in the workplace?

Well, while these types of activities are lots of fun and they definitely have their time and place, they rarely translate into long-term, sustainable and successful development of high performance teams.

The very best way to get teams working together, is to give them a task that is work related, is challenging and provides them with a benefit that they readily 'get'. And guess what ... of course the rest of this article is dedicated to a process that does just that! smile

Below, is a process that I have successfully used with several organizations, to help teams in the workplace to grow and develop, over a sustained period of time, toward more self-reliance.

It is a process that provides structure to what ... for many organizations ... is a rather haphazard approach to team development.

Developing High Performance Teams In The Workplace Using Team Pillars

General descriptions of behavior (as described in the Stages of Team Development article) are important and valuable, however ... when you want to add a real power punch to your team's growth and development ... then take the time to work with your team to develop a team pillar, for each of the functions that are critical to the successful operation of your business.

What Is A Team Pillar?

A Team Pillar is a description of the types of behaviors you expect to see displayed, for a specific function, (both by the team members and their leader) - at each of the four stages of Team Development - along with the types of results you would anticipate from a team at that stage of development.

At the bottom of this page you can download the documents that contain eight sample pillars, that a leader of a team might use to assess the stage of development for his or her team. The sample pillars you'll find on this page are for each of these functions:

  1. General Descriptions
  2. Business Literacy
  3. Managing Team Performance
  4. Managing Learning
  5. Maintenance
  6. Improving Individual Performance
  7. Managing Meetings
  8. Managing Safety

Here is a screen shot of the type of information you will be able to download for each of the functions listed below: (sorry the quality isn't that good, but trying to fit a full sized screen grab into this small space was tough!)

team performance

You can develop pillars for any function that is important to your business. I've chosen these samples simply because they are fairly generic across many businesses.

Working with various clients, we have developed team pillars for all types of functions - for example, for a corporate communications consulting firm we created pillars on analyzing data, proof-reading documents, business development ... really you can create team pillars for any function that is important to your business.

How You Use Team Pillars To Develop High Performance Teams In The Workplace

Listed below are the steps to follow when creating (and then using) Team Pillars.

  1. Identify the critical functions for your business
  2. Work with your team to create a team pillar for each of these functions
  3. Assess the team's stage of development for each function
  4. Identify and agree on the improvement areas needed, (within in a specific time frame e.g. 6 mths, 1 year, 5 years etc), to move to the next stage of development
  5. Understand the behaviors the Team Leader and Team Members need to develop and use to move to the next development stage

Okay, so now you have the overview let's take a more detailed look at each of these steps:

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