There are several stages in team formation. A team leader needs to understand for cycles or phase of team formation so that appropriate support and encouragement are given.
This is the phase when the team first comes together to perform the set tasks. Members will learn:
- How to relate to each other
- To overcome fear, misgivings and apprehension
- To appreciate the strengths of the team leader
- What their function will be within the team
This is the phase when differences are sorted out and adjustments are made. Productivity may decline or be stalemated until the team members accept individual differences. The team members need to work harmoniously with the leader and know what is expected of them in their particular role.
The leader should discuss issues with members so that principles for working towards common goals are established.
In this phase, the team’s work begins to settle and members learn to appreciate the roles played by others, and also learn what their individual contribution should be.
By now, the leader should be developing trust in the team members who are starting to assume responsibility for working through the assigned tasks.
By the performing phase, teams are starting to see the result of their efforts. The balance within the team is more finely-turned and the leader’s role will change to one of delegation as members take on more decision making.
When a member leaves or a new member joins the team, progress will be disrupted. The team will revert to an earlier phase until it adjusts to the change in relationships and perhaps also to change in roles.
Industry is now placing more emphasis on the work carried out by teams. A popular phrase is “continuous improvement”. This means reviewing the current systems and assessing, in hindsight, whether they worked effectively or can be improved. The results are evaluated so that in future it is known what worked for particular team and what was not effective in achieving the desired outcomes.
Experience and knowledge gained through teamwork will make employees more valuable to the organization.
Team members should become enthusiastic and committed to developing strategies for reaching the goals set.
Some strategies are to:
- Get the work done-understand what is required and follow through on what you have promised to do
- Find ways of making and documenting improvement-look for better work practices and ways of reducing wasted effort and materials
- Share your ideas and ensure that quality processes are followed-tell other team members of improved methods you have developed what you have learned may enable cost savings to be made by the team and the organization.