My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 1
WORKSHOP PROCEEDINGS ON TEAM BUILDING
BY C P RIJAL, PHD IN LEADERSHIP
ASSOCIATE PROFESSSOR OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCES
[Inside it: work groups and work teams, formation process, features, norms, requirements, tools and
techniques and relevant icebreakers]
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 2
Work team: where does it lie in an organizational process climate?
A systems model of organizational behavior and process climate comprises of the systematic portray of
various behavioral exchanges of behavioral constructs at individual, group and organizational systems
levels so as to assess the impact of such exchanges on expected organizational outcomes (Robbins,
Judge, & Sanghi, 2009). Building work team is one of the integral components of such a system.
According to Rijal (2011), leading an institution is highly dependent on how the institutional leadership
views and makes a vision for shared commitment from its all levels of operation – the individuals,
groups and super organo-structural systems.
Figure 1 best illustrates the relationship between various dependent and independent constructs at
different levels of OB analyses.
Figure 1: A systems approach to OB model
Adapted from: Robbins, Judge, & Sanghi (2009). Organizational Behavior. (13th
ed.). p. 37.
Organizational behavior can be viewed from different levels of analysis. At one level, the organization
can be viewed as consisting of individuals working on tasks in the pursuit of organizational goals. A
second level of analysis focuses upon the interaction among organizational members as they work in
teams, groups and departments. Finally, organizational behavior can be analyzed from the perspective of
the organization as a whole system. Formation of work teams serves as an instrumental component of
organizational systems process climate.
Group event for brain storming…
Now, you need to relate these things for your organization and replicate how each variable affects rest of
other variables and finally the organizational outcomes are impacted. A brainstorming session of 15
minutes to be followed by 3-5 minutes group presentation would be fair enough.
Individual Level Variables
Values and norms
Group Level Variables
Systems Level Variables
Structure and design
Change and development
Power and politics
Expected OB Outcomes
Increased job satisfaction
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 3
A work group may be defined as a collection of individuals, whereby the members accept a common
task, become interdependent in their performance, and interact with one another to promote its
A group consists of a number of individuals working together for a common objective. Groups have
significant influence on an organization and are inseparable from it. They are useful for the organization
as they form foundation of human resource and its behavior.
Further, a group is defined as two or more individuals interacting and interdependent, who have come
together to achieve particular goal. Group work is often seen as a set of people working together to
achieve a common goal. To define a group, a group must have certain qualities. Common goal
performed by a set of people, task efficiency among the members, interpersonal relationship and
independence as well as interaction, binding with specified values and norms, similarity of interest on
common goals, and role differentiation among the members are some of the expected qualities of a work
The study of group behavior is essential for an organization to achieve its goals. Individual and group
behavior may vary from each other. In 1920, Elton Mayo and his associates conducted the Hawthorne
experiments and came to know that the group behavior has great impact on organizational productivity.
The importance of group behavior has received more attention these days that ever before.
Human behavior consists of individuals, who move in groups. The knowledge of group and individual
behavior is necessary for a manager as he or she has to work according to prevailing group psychology.
A manager should also understand individual behavior in the context of group behavior.
The key parts of this definition are the concepts of interaction and influence, which also limit the size of
the group. It is difficult for members to interact sufficiently in a large group. Improving group
performance is the primary approach used by managers on their journey to organizational success.
Managers need groups to coordinate individual behavior in order to reach the organizational goals.
Groups can make a manager's job easier because by forming a group, the manager need not explain the
task to each and every individual. A manager can easily coordinate with the work of an individual by
giving the group a task and allowing them to coordinate with each other. But for a group to work
effectively, the interactions between its members should be productive. Therefore, managers must pay
attention to the needs of individuals.
Group event for brainstorming…
Discuss together and identify particular work groups a particular institution may promote for improving
its overall business/service and finally make a presentation of 3-5 minutes.
Reasons why people join groups
Now, a question arises – why do people join groups? The answer is apparent and multi-faceted one.
They join groups for personal security, enhancing own status, gaining self-esteem through professional
growth, being affiliated on power, and finally achieving specified goals.
The following discussions attempt to provide with more accounts on individual, interpersonal and
organizational motives of people joining groups:
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 4
Organizational motives to join groups: Organizations form functional and task groups because such
groups help the organization in structuring and grouping the organizational activities logically and
Personal motives to join groups: Individuals also choose to join informal or interest groups for
unimportant reasons. Since joining these groups is voluntary, various personal motives affect
Interpersonal attraction: Individuals come together to form informal or interest group, as they are also
attracted to each other. The factors that contribute to interpersonal attraction are sex, similar attitudes,
personality and economic standing. The closeness of group members also may serve as an important
Interest in-group activities: Individuals may also be motivated to join an informal or interest group
because the activities of the group appeal to them. Playing tennis, discussing current events or
contemporary literature, all these are group activities that individuals enjoy.
Support for group goals: The individuals may also be motivated goals by the other group members to
join. For example, a club, which is dedicated to environmental conservation, may motivate individuals
to join. Individuals join groups, such as these in order to donate their money and time to attain the goals
they believe in and to meet other individuals with similar values.
Need for affiliation: Another reason for individuals to join groups is to satisfy their needs for
attachment. Retired or old-aged individuals join groups to enjoy the companionship of other individuals
in similar situation.
Instrumental benefits: Sometimes a group membership is also helpful in providing other benefits to an
individual. For example, a manager might join a Rotary Club or Lions Club if the person feels that being
a member of this club will lead to important and useful business contacts or networking.
Importance of work groups
The concept of managing modern organizations makes efforts to introduce industrial democracy at
workplace. For this, the organizations use project teams and work committees where workers get due
recognition which results in their willing participation in decision-making.
The tasks in modern industries are becoming more complex, tedious and arid of repetitive nature. Work
committees, work groups and teams are formed to monitor the work. They also make the environment at
Groups help in making participative management more effective. A group can judge in a better way as
compared to an individual. Similarly, group think and group work yield results far above the concept of
individual think and individual decision making.
Groups of all kinds and types help by cooperating in all the matters related to production and human
relations to work effectively in the organization.
An individual cannot perform each and every task. Group effort is required for its completion. For
example, building a ship, making of a movie, construction of a fly-over, etc. may require a lot of group
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 5
effort, expertise and task commitment. All these require coordinated and unified efforts of many
individuals, working in a group.
While accomplishing tasks, all members of a group together use their creative and innovative ideas than
a single individual. In a group, individuals communicate with each other, discuss their work
performances and take suggestions from each other to make it better.
Group efforts affect an individual, his or her attitude and behavior. A group has the ability to satisfy the
needs of its members.
Group event for brainstorming…
Can you recollect from your group members, a few group events that took place in their organization
and resulted in good results for the organization, and make a brief sharing of important incidents among
rest of groups?
Types of work groups
In an organization, mainly three types of work groups will remain in existence. Figure 2 provides with
detailed information about the types of organizational work groups.
Figure 2: Work Group Classification in an Organization
Functional or formal groups are the groups formed by the organization to accomplish different
organizational purposes. A formal group may be defined as any social arrangement in which the
activities of some persons are planned by others to achieve a common purpose. Mostly, the functional or
formal groups are permanent in nature. They have to follow rules, regulations and policies of the
organization as they are formed within the premise of such formal structural system.
Formal groups are deliberately created by the organization in order to help the organizational members
to achieve the organizational goals.
Such groups may include departments such as the personnel department, the advertising department, the
quality control department and the public relations department. Similarly, smaller units, independent
strategic business units (SBUs) and small size branches also may be considered as formal or functional
groups in an organization.
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Tasks groups are the groups formed by an organization to accomplish a narrow range of purposes within
a specified time. These groups are of temporary in nature. They are mainly confined to develop the
solution to a problem or complete its purpose. Informal committees, task forces and work teams are
included in task groups. The organization after specifying a group membership, assigns a narrow set of
purposes, such as developing a new product, evaluating a proposed grievance procedure, etc. and the
designated members work together to perform the assigned task.
A group that is neither formally structured nor organizationally determined and it appears in response to
the need for social contact and is known as an informal group. It means that the informal groups are the
groups formed for the purposes other than the organizational goals.
Informal groups form when individuals are drawn together by friendship, by mutual interests or both.
Most often, the formation of such groups takes place spontaneously. The network of persons and social
relations which is not established or required form an informal organization represents an informal
group and is formed by the employees themselves at the workplace while working together. The
organization does not take any active interest in their formation, or it may not even notice such a
In many instances, informal groups are very effective and powerful. These groups work as an informal
communication network forming a part of the grapevine to the organizations. They are also like a
powerful force, which an organization cannot avoid. Some managers consider them to be harmful to the
interest of an organization. They suspect their integrity and consider as a virtual threat. Some managers
do not consider them as threat and seek the help of such group members in getting the organizational
Following sub-section provides with additional information on different types of informal groups:
Interest groups are the groups formed to attain a common purpose. Employees coming together
demanding the payment of bonus, increase in salary, medical benefits and other facilities are a few
examples of interest groups.
Membership groups are the groups of individuals belonging to the same profession and knowing each
other. For example, teachers of the same faculty in a university may form an association of their
Friendship groups are the groups of individuals belonging to same age group, having similar views,
tastes and opinions. These groups can also be formed outside the plant or office and can be in the form
of clubs and associations.
Reference groups are the groups where individuals shape their ideas, beliefs, values, etc. taking in
reference of some other groups working outside of the organization and such a system of benchmarking
of better aspects of organizational operations, of course, contributes significantly for the betterment of
Group event for brainstorming…
Make a brief review of various work groups and work teams within Surkhet Chamber of Commerce and
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 7
Process of group formation
As presented in figure 3 below, the entire process of group formation and performance may be studied in
the form of a five-stage proposition.
Figure 3: Group Formation Process
Completion, ending or
Achieving the purpose
Agreeing purpose and
Initial meeting together
Stages of Group Formation & Performance
In pre-stage I, the members are almost unknown about the purpose and they are working in their own
ways and directions. At the same time, someone may take some sort of initiative and communicate it
with the other closer circle members, who in turn, may like the idea and they form a group at stage I
which is considered as the ‘Forming Stage’ of group process. Similarly, in the key subsequent three
stages, storming, norming and performing takes place. Finally, the work groups are dissolved after
attainment of the specified group purpose or task. Adjourning need not necessarily take each of the
group members back to Pre-stage I stage of the group process since the members by now might have
connected with other informal relationships as a result of themselves working together during the
previous stages of group process.
Forming stage solicits the initial entry of members to a group. In this stage, the members pay attention
on each member’s concerns in respect with getting to know each other, discovering what is considered
acceptable behavior, determining the group’s real task, and defining group rules.
Storming stage includes a period of high emotionality and tension among group members and the
members’ concerns include formation of coalitions and cliques, dealing with outside demands, clarifying
membership expectations, dealing with obstacles to group goals, and understanding each member’s
individual interpersonal styles.
Norming stage is the point at which the group really begins to come together as a coordinated unit and
starts exhibiting its structural system. At this stage, the members’ concerns include how to hold the
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 8
group together, dealing with divergent views and criticisms, and dealing with a premature sense of
Performing stage marks the emergence of a mature, organized, and well-functioning group. At this
stage, the members deal with complex tasks and handle internal disagreements in creative ways. Primary
challenge is to continue to improve relationships and performance.
Adjourning stage is particularly important for temporary groups. A well-integrated group is able to
disband when its work is finished and the members will be willing to work together in the future.
Characteristics of a well matured group
As groups pass through the stages of development to maturity, they begin to show signs of role
structure, behavioral norms, cohesiveness and informal leadership as the behavioral characteristics.
Role structure is the active functional part that an individual plays in a group to reach its goals. Each
member of the group acts differently in respect with leading, performing in group, maintaining group
interaction within and beyond the group structure, and so on. As a result, some individuals lead the
groups, some focus on the group tasks, some interact with other groups, and so on. Role structure is the
set of defined roles and interrelationships among those roles that the group members define and accept.
The failure in role development results in role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload. Managers have
to take steps to avoid role ambiguity, role conflict and role overload.
Behavioral norms are the formal and informal bindings created to govern the behavior of each member
and the group at large. Although informal groups may not always have specific immediate goals to
accomplish, they must have some goals over a period of time. Group goals are mostly temporary and
can change in accordance with the needs of the group members and the developments happening in the
The attainment of such goals depends on the extent of cooperation with management, maintenance of an
efficient communication system and satisfaction of the needs of group members.
Informal leadership is another happening feature of a work group. Each informal group has one or more
leaders. These leaders come forward on the basis of acceptance of all the group members. Each informal
group has one primary leader apart from the secondary leaders. The primary leader has more influence
on group members than any other person within the group structure.
Cohesiveness is defined as the attractiveness or intactness of the group members towards the group. It
also emphasizes on the group ability to satisfy its member needs. Group cohesiveness helps the group
members to work more consistently and make greater contribution for the achievement of organizational
goals. It is also psychologically more satisfying to all of its members.
Basically, there are four principal consequences of group cohesiveness – i. ability of a group to retain its
members, ii. power of the group to influence its members, iii. degree of participation and loyalty of
members, and iv. feeling of security on the part of the members.
Group event for brainstorming…
Critically analyze the shared characteristics of a work group well known to you and share with rest of
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 9
Group structure in inevitable to shape the behavior of its members, predict the behavior and guide the
performance of the group as a whole. Groups of 5-7 members exercise the best elements of both small
and large groups. Social loafing is a tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working
collectively than when working individually. Thus, there should not be more than expected or required
membership in a group.
Some of the key elements of group structure are size and composition, roles, norms, and status.
Size is the number of persons in group which affects group behavior and composition is degree of
similarity or difference among group members. Size and composition determines large or smaller
Roles deal with what people do. Role is a set of position related expected behavioral patterns or tasks of
each member in a social unit. Such roles may be of two types – task oriented, and relationship oriented
The norms are the acceptable standards of behaviors shared by group members. Norms influence the
behavior of group members that apply to all group members. Basically, performance norms, appearance
norms, social arrangement norms, and resource allocation norms are the key types of group norms.
Status is a socially defined rank given to each group or group members by others. Status of a person or
group may be symbolic and/or equity-based.
Despite a number of very much functional structural patterns of a group, it also naturally faces a
character of diversity. Group ability to manage diversity will result in high performance. On the other
hand, failure may be witnessed as a result of communication gap, felt interpersonal differences, lack of
personal skill competencies, and frequent interpersonal and group conflicts.
Group event for brainstorming…
You are going to perform a recreational program here tomorrow. Work in your group to decide up on
size of membership with assigned roles and duties, guiding norms. Then make a short presentation.
Norms and cohesiveness in groups
Group norms generally refer to group behavior directed by set of rules and regulations and standards in
more formal setting, and also the member beliefs, attitudes, traditions and expectations shared by group
members as part of informal structuring of the group.
In other words, group norms are rules or guidelines of accepted behavior which are established by a
group and used to promote, monitor and control the behavior of its members.
The primary objective of group norms is to help achieve stated objectives of the group, leading to
organizational success. The norms can be in the form of social or fairness in nature. Norms define
boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. The norms make the members to identify
themselves with roles, duties, dos and don’ts while working in a group. Norms play a significant role in
disciplining the members of a group to make them to work regularly and properly. Rationalized
execution of group norms reduces absenteeism and employee turnover. The members of the group are
expected to follow the norms strictly to make the group function in a more organized way.
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 10
The group norms may be further categorized in two key forms – i. behavioral norms, and ii. performance
Behavior norms are the rules and regulations and standards that define how individuals should act while
working in group. For example, attending the committee meeting only after reading the reports to be
'discussed' - may be a group norm of a task force. ‘Greeting every customer with a smile’, may be a
performance norm established at Hotel Annapurna. These norms tend to reflect motivation and
interpersonal commitment to the organization, and therefore, tend to result in high level of performance.
On the other hand, the performance norms are the rules or understandings that tend to standardize the
employee output and number of hours worked. Defined work hours, timing of commencement and
closure of the day’s operation, expected per capita output in a defined period of time, etc. are the
examples of performance-based norms.
Now, the question arises, why should we enforcement the group norms? Groups do not always have the
time or energy to regulate each and every action of the group member every time something goes
wrongs. Only those behaviors that sound to be important by group members should be brought under
control. Rest of things should be governed by the defined system of the group operation.
Groups, like individuals, try to operate in such a way that they maximize their chances of task success
by minimizing the chance of task failure. Groups want to facilitate their performance and tend to
overcome barriers to reach their goals. Moreover, groups want to increase morale and prevent any
interpersonal discomfort to their members.
This is only the norms that will help groups meet these aims of performing successfully and
continuously keeping high morale. Conditions where group norms will be strongly enforced may include
– i. if the norms facilitate group success or ensure group survival, ii. if the norms simplify or predict
regarding the behavior which is expected from group members, iii. if the norms emphasize the roles of
specific members within a group, and iv. if the norms help the group to solve the interpersonal
The norms of one group cannot be easily mixed with another group. Some differences are primarily due
to the difference in structure of the groups. However, even very similar work groups may develop
different norms and they will be unique from another work group norm. The members of one group may
be friendly with their supervisor whereas those of another group may not necessarily be required to act
There should exist the power to force a certain degree of norm conformity in each group. There are
several factors that consist of norm conformity. For example, some groups may exert more pressure for
conformity than others because of the personalities of the group members. Similarly, the history of the
group and its members also plays significant role in norm conformity. For example, if the group has
always been successful by following certain behaviors, new group members are also asked to follow the
same. If the group was not successful in the past, a new group member may have greater freedom to
exhibit other behaviors whereby influencing the existing members to act that way.
Group cohesiveness is the attractiveness of the members towards the group or resistance of the members
leaving it. It refers to the intactness or attachment of members with the group. Cohesiveness is
understood as the extent of liking each member towards others and how far everyone wants to remain as
the member of the group.
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 11
Attractiveness is the key to cohesiveness. Cohesiveness is the extent to which group members are loyal
and committed to the group and to one another. In a highly cohesive group, the members will work well
together, support and trust one another and will be generally effective at achieving their chosen goals.
A group that lacks cohesiveness will not be very much coordinated. Its members may not necessarily
support to each other and they may face difficulty in reaching their goals.
It is the manager’s role to develop an understanding of the factors that increase the group cohesiveness.
If a manager is more successful in this function, group cohesiveness will boost and lead to task
Effective management of group cohesiveness will yield high morale of the members; there will be less
evident of conflicting views, which decreases the chances of in clash among the views of group
members at the workplace or elsewhere; individuals of cohesive groups have less anxiety at the
workplace; members of cohesive groups are regular at their work; cohesiveness increases productivity;
and organizations gain from the members of cohesive groups because they communicate better, they
share ideologies, and respect opinions of fellow employees.
To increase group cohesiveness, the managers should strive for enhancing the group competitiveness,
raising interpersonal attraction, bringing in the system of favorable evaluation by external agencies,
promoting the culture of prior agreement on goals, and initiating more frequent interactions among the
members of the group and beyond.
On the other hand, a few obstacles to group cohesiveness include larger group size, disagreement or
incompatibility on goals, negative competitiveness between group members, domination by one or more
members of the group, unpleasant interpersonal experiences, and repeated task failure.
Finally, work groups are instrumental in promoting effective socialization and education of members. A
work group also enables people to develop a sense of identity and belongingness, and to deepen
knowledge, skills, and values and attitudes about each other and the organization, at large. Formation of
work groups is more favourable in situations that place relationships as important elements of
organization. By means of effective group performance, individuals can form collective working circles
and grow, and people find help and support to each other by creating a number of social settings by
allowing the wisdom and interpersonal dignity to flourish.
Group event for brainstorming…
How do you visualize the group cohesiveness in a well known work group? What are the areas that such
a group must improve so as to improve overall group performance?
What is a team?
A work team may be defined as a group of individuals who cooperate in completing a set of tasks.
Mostly, a work team is formed in temporary or ongoing task basis by allowing a group to perform on a
problem or issue where members work together to identify problems, form consensuses about actions to
be taken, and implement the most viable ones. The main purpose of forming a work team is to achieve a
common goal. It may not be feasible to form work teams in all organizations or in all types of
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 12
Forming a team involves a greater deal work which is more than just throwing several people together
and assigning them a goal. Effectiveness of a team begins to diminish over 12 members. An ideal size is
typically centered around 6 and can drift as high as 9. When formal groups are established with large
numbers, they inevitably partition into subgroups. When considering the size of a team, a firm must also
be conscious of the necessity of assembling a diversity of skills and functional expertise in the team.
Types of work teams
Teams can perform a range of things and they can produce different products or services, negotiate
deals, coordinate projects, offer advices, make collective decisions, and implement them. On its
discourse to team function, different tasks require different types of teams. Among the numerous types
of work teams, some of the key types include problem-solving teams, self-managed work teams, cross-
functional teams, and virtual teams.
Problem solving teams represent the group of 5-8 employees from the same department who meet for a
few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment. For
example, a team of technical experts may be assigned to identify and seek for strategies to resolve a
particular technical problem in a small car prototype.
On the other hand, the self-managed work teams represent 6-10 people who take on responsibilities of
their former supervisors. In business organization, such teams are highly useful in developing new
products and services as well as taking a revisit on organizational strategies. Such team is also known as
autonomous work team, with almost complete autonomy in determining how a task to be done.
Similarly, the cross-functional teams are those in which the employees from about the similar
hierarchical level, but different work areas or departments, who come together to accomplish a task. For
example, while opening a new chain of restaurants in Nagarkot, the New Orlen’s Restaurant, Thamel
may assign a team of about four senior employees to undertake overall responsibility of starting up the
new chain unit. These teams are also known as integrated work teams comprising groups that
accomplish many tasks by making specific assignments to members and rotating jobs among them as the
Finally, the virtual teams are those that use information communication (ICT) enabled technologies to
tie together, at the same time being physically dispersed, and perform the team works. Tele-commuting,
tele-conferencing, video conferencing, video-chat, etc. are some of the modes of contacts established
among the members of the virtual teams.
Entrepreneurial team: group of individuals with diverse expertise and backgrounds.
Quality circles: comprise small groups of employees who work on solving specific problems related to
quality and productivity, often with stated targets for improvement.
Putting the team together
Forming a team involves a great deal more than just throwing several people together and assigning
them a goal. Effectiveness of a team begins to diminish over 12 members. Ideal size is typically around
6 - 9. When formal groups are established with large numbers, they inevitably partition into subgroups.
When considering the size of a team, a firm must also be conscious of necessity of assembling a
diversity of skills and functional expertise.
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 13
Work individually to explore more prospects of promoting work groups and work teams for different
purposes in your organization and make a brief presentation for all participants.
Groups vs. teams
Quite often we get confused on differentiating between work groups and work teams. There is an easy
example to show the difference between these two.
For example, say, a total of four members of a batch of graduates were assigned to prepare and make a
presentation on the theme -- Work Teams. All members worked separately after allocating at least two
sub-topics to each member. On the very day of presentation, only three members out of four were
present with their works well prepared and separately saved in personal drives. Ravi, who remained
absent on that day, was supposed to make the introductory presentation. Thus, the rest of the members
asked for an excuse of his part as they had no idea about what to present for that particular part. As the
presentation commenced, Hary’s file did not open due to some technical problem. When Mahesh’s turn
came, the instructor asked a question to Hary from Mahesh’s part of presentation and Hary replied that
he was not prepared on that particular issue as it was not in his share of preparation. Finally, somehow
the presentation was over.
Next was the turn of presentation by Anila, Rahul and Mariya, who all worked on the theme -- Work
Groups. The members came up with a single file of presentation document worked by each member on
assigned sub-topics and merged in a single file and collectively refined. As Anila was commencing the
presentation, Rahul was called up for an immediate meeting with the CEO of an organization where he
was doing his final year Internship Project. He asked for excuse with the rest of his members and the
instructor also permitted for his early departure from the presentation session. A big surprise to all the
people attending the presentation session was that Anila and Mariya handled each issue as such that
people even could not notice any effect of Rahul’s absence during the presentation. These two girls
handled each sub-topic so very well and they were finally appreciated by all for such a marvelous
Can you guess which of these tasks would you like to associate with work team and which one with
work group? And why?
To be precise to compare and contrast between work groups and work teams, following readings will
serve the purpose:
1. The primary goal of work group is to share information, whereas the work team aims to
2. Normally, the work group in action generates almost neutral and sometimes negative synergy
effect, whereas work team-based performance always generates positive synergy effect on
3. In work groups the individual members are held accountable for the task assigned to each of
them and in the case of work teams, individuals as well as the team as a whole take
4. In a work group, the members exhibit random and varied skill competencies to solve the
problems assigned to them, whereas the members in a work team complement their task skills
and come up with high performance achieved through collective efforts.
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 14
To sum up, a work group is a group that interacts primarily to share information to make decisions to
help each group member perform within his or her area of responsibility, whereas a work team refers to
a group of people whereby the individual efforts result in performance that is greater than the sum of the
More comparison on WG-WT
According to Dumaine (1990) well designed teams may be the productivity breakthrough of the
decade. This comment culminated systematic interest in groups and their impact on productivity begun
with the Hawthorne studies (Roethlisberger, & Dickson, 1939). Since that time, through intuitive
responses to experience and systematic collection of empirical data, groups played an important role in
the study of organization behavior and performance. Throughout the last half of the 20th
academicians extolled groups while practitioners used groups more widely than ever before (Brown,
2000). The 21st
century began with an even wider use of groups and concern for teamwork.
An increasing body of literature differentiates between the groups and teams suggesting that teams are
more effective. There are, therefore, opportunities for performance improvements.
Katzenbach and Smith (1993) provide a clear distinction between work groups and teams. A work group
is a collection of people working in the same area or placed together to complete a task. The group’s
performance is the result of people coming together to share information, views and insights. The focus
of groups is individual performance and actions within are geared toward it.
All teams are groups, but teams are a special subset of groups. A team is a small number of people with
complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach
for which they hold themselves mutually accountable. Teams require individual and mutual
accountability where groups do not.
One common characteristic is accountability. Based on the definitions above, however, group members
are concerned with and are measured by individual accountability. Team members hold themselves to
be mutually accountable. Likewise, both groups and teams have a sense of shared purpose (Katzenbach,
& Smith, 1993). The group’s purpose is essentially that of the organization while the team's purpose is
jointly determined and planned with management (Zenger, & Associates, 1994).
All groups have formal rules and norms. Leaders of work groups are most often managers based on
hierarchical positions. Teams have a leadership role shared by team members (Katzenbach, & Smith,
1993). Katz (1997) describes a high performing team as one that is empowered, self-directed, and
cross-functional to have complementary skills. Further, team members are committed to working
together and achieving their agreed upon common goal. They work collaboratively by respecting team
members. Such high-powered teams result in on-going learning as team members collaboratively work
and agree upon problems. Moreover, these teams exude creativity in reaching their goals and producing
their joint outputs. Teams performing at this level resemble communities of practice (Lesser, & Storck,
2001; Stewart, 1996; & Wenger, 1998). Teams have collective work products requiring joint
contributions of members (Katzenbach, & Smith, 1993) while typical work group members produce
individual work outputs.
These characteristics suggest that groups are focused to accomplish imposed tasks under the strong
management of a supervisor. Individual performance and evaluation is the basis for determining
success. Thus, groups can be very useful and important to organizations as they can complete critical
tasks. Teams are also important and can perform at higher levels than typical work groups
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(Majchrzak, & Wang, 1996; & Mulvey, Veiga, & Elsass, 1996.) This higher performance level is the
result of a greater synergy resulting from collaboration and jointly produced outputs rather than a
pooling of individual outputs (Katz, 1997). The more informal environment within which team
members work, and which also allows for communities of practice to develop resulting in on-going
learning and creative applications, enhances the vitality of teams.
Zenger and Associates (1994) suggest several differences in the environments of typical work groups
and teams. In the typical work environment a manager determines and plans the work for subordinates
and the jobs (tasks) are narrowly defined, whereas in the team environment the manager collaborates
with subordinates as peers and jointly establishes and plans the work. Thus, the skill set required is
broader, providing for individual growth and development, often accomplished within the context of
cross training and working directly with other team members. Moreover, this learning process is
continuous and is part of the culture of the unit. Because joint accountability exists, people work
together, rather than working individually on specific tasks as happens more traditionally. Rewards are
based on individual performance in typical environments where the managers determine the best
processes to be used. In team environments, however, rewards are based on both individual
performance and the individual’s contribution to the team’s overall performance while all members are
directly involved in continuous improvement.
Group learning reflection event…
Try to figure out five key differences between work groups and work teams. And make a brief
presentation of about 2-3 minutes.
What is meant by team building?
According to Business Dictionary (2012), team building is a philosophy of job design in which
employees are viewed as members of interdependent teams instead of as individual workers.
Team building refers to a wide range of activities, presented to businesses, schools, sports teams,
religious or nonprofit organizations designed for improving team performance.
Team building is pursued via a variety of practices, and can range from simple human bonding exercises
to complex simulations and multi-day team building retreats designed to develop a team (including
group assessment and group dynamics), usually falling somewhere in between.
Team building is not to be confused with "team recreation" that consists of activities for teams that are
strictly recreational. Team building can also be seen in day-to-day operations of an organization and
team dynamic can be improved through successful leadership. Team building is an important factor in
any environment, its focus is to specialize in bringing out the best in a team to ensure self-development,
positive communication, leadership skills and the ability to work closely together as a team to problem
Work environments tend to focus on individuals and personal goals, with reward and recognition
singling out the achievements of individual employees. Team building can also be referred to the
process of selecting or creating a team from scratch.
A few quotes on team building
Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships -- Michael Jordan.
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You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes
them a living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together -- Henry Ford.
The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say 'I.' And that's not because they have
trained themselves not to say 'I.' They don't think 'I.' They think 'we'; they think 'team.' They understand
their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but 'we' gets
the credit.... This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done -- Peter Drucker.
Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work a company work, a society
work, a civilization work --Vince Lombardi.
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common or shared vision and it is also the ability to
direct individual accomplishments towards organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common
people to attain uncommon results -- Andrew Carnegie.
I don't believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the
necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game -- Tom Landry.
Now, you should speak…
Make a definition of a work team and share with rest of people. No comments, please!
The goal of team building
There is a two-fold goal of team building – i. to increase the team understanding of team dynamics, and
ii. to improve how the team works together.
Working as a team incorporates group accountability rather than individual accountability and results in
a collective work product (Hackman, & Craig, 2009). Team building encourages the team approach to
working on a project. There are many advantages to this approach. These advantages include the
Increased flexibility in skills and abilities
More productive than work groups with individual mindset
More beneficial in times of organizational change
Encourage both individual and team development and improvement
Focuses on group goals to accomplish more beneficial tasks
Improved range of team building objectives such as collaboration, communication and
increased creative or flexible thinking.
Group event for brainstorming…
Work in your group to explore at least three goals of a real life work team that you know the best and
share it with rest of members present in the program.
Fundamental team dynamics
When assembling a team, it is very important to consider the overall dynamics of the team. According to
LaFasto and Larson (2001), when building a team, five dynamics are fundamental to team success:
1. The team member: Successful teams are made up of a collection of effective individuals. These
are people who are experienced, have problem solving ability, are open to addressing the
problem, and are action oriented.
2. Team relationships: For a team to be successful the members of the team must be able to give
and receive feedback.
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3. Team problem solving: An effective team depends on how focused and clear the goal of the
team is. A relaxed, comfortable and accepting environment and finally, open and honest
communication are required.
4. Team leadership: Effective team leadership depends on leadership competencies. A competent
leader is -- focused on the goal, ensures a collaborative climate, builds confidence of team
members, sets priorities, demonstrates sufficient ‘know-how’ and manages performance through
5. Organizational environment: The climate and culture of the organization must be conducive to
team behavior. Competitiveness should be discouraged and uniformity should be encouraged -
this will eliminate conflict and discord among team members.
Norms of the team
There are basically two ingredients of a successful team – i. team contents, and ii. team process. The
team must consider the team contents (goals and outcomes expected). The team must also carefully
shape and monitor the team process to be used to accomplish the goals. The team process includes how
the team members --
interact and communicate with each other,
communicate with employees not on the team, and
will be responsible and accountable for moving the project forward and accomplishing the
To govern both the team contents and team processes, team norms or ground rules are established by
means of equal participation of all members of the team. Once the norms or ground rules are set through
a shared discussion, all members must agree to abide with them.
Here are a few sample norms to govern the team contents and team processes:
1. What about use of cell phones during team work proceedings?
2. Treat each other with love, care, dignity and respect.
3. Maintain transparency and avoid hidden agenda.
4. Be genuine with each other about ideas, challenges, and feelings. Communicate such things
openly and accept others’ views wisely. Practice being open-minded.
5. Trust each other. Have confidence that issues discussed will be kept in confidence.
6. When a lead member opens up a space in which you may have information, feel free and
comfortable asking for what you need.
7. Practice a consistent commitment to sharing all the information you have; share the complete
information that you have up front.
8. Listen first to understand; listen before you speak; do not be dismissive of the input received
when others listen; do not be defensive with your colleagues.
9. Rather than searching for the guilty, give your colleagues the benefit of the doubt; have a clean
10. Support each other; do not try to pull their legs down; remember, all of you will sink, if a
member plunges into water from the boat.
11. Avoid territoriality; think instead of the overall good for the company, our employees, and our
12. The discussion of issues, ideas, and direction will not become a personal attack or return to haunt
you in the future.
13. Managers are open, communicative, and authentic with each other and their teams.
14. It is okay to not know the right answer, and to admit it. The team can find the answer; practice
and experience humility; each of us may not have all the answers.
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15. Make sure that the problems are presented as such that promotes mutual discussion and
16. It is safe to be wrong as a manager. Thoughtful decision making is expected.
17. Own the whole implementation of the product, not just your little piece; recognize that you are
part of something larger than yourself. Be responsible to own the whole picture.
18. If you commit to doing something – do it. Be accountable and responsible to the team.
19. It is okay to be the messenger with bad news. You can expect a problem solving approach, not
20. Be logical; not the intuitive!
21. Promise to come prepared to your meetings and projects so that you demonstrate value and
respect for the time and convenience of others.
22. Strive to continuously improve and achieve the team's strategic goals. Do not let ineffective
relationships and interactions that affect team work.
23. Expend the effort to practice all of these norms and to care enough about the team and its work
to confront each other, with care, compassion, and purpose, when a team member fails to
practice these norms.
24. Frequent walk-ins and walk-outs?
25. Taking notes? Requesting for sources of learning?
Teams cannot work effectively to accomplish their goals if they do not establish norms by which they
will operate. Group norms are not designed to cover every conceivable situation in which a team might
become involved they address only those situations which are significant to the team. Not all norms
apply to every team member.
Conformity to the norms: Individuals conform to the team norms for a variety of reasons. People
generally feel more comfortable in groups whose members share some common personal factors.
Intelligence is also an important factor in group conformity. Situational factors are also integral part in
the team concept. Such factors include the size of the group.
Team work event for you all…
Work in your group to establish at least five ground rules that should be applied throughout these
proceedings, and a member of your team should make a short presentation at the end.
When an individual confirms to abide with the team norms, it is known as conformity to norms.
Individuals conform to team norms for a variety of reasons. People generally feel more comfortable in
groups whose members share some common personal factors. Intelligence is also an important factor in
group conformity. Situational factors are also integral part in the team concept. Such factors include the
size of the group, nature of the job, task efficiency and interpersonal relationship. Are you ready to
provide with conformity to your two-day working norms for this training program?
Leadership roles in team building
According to Hackman and Craig (2008), successful team leaders frequently show these:
1. Successful team leaders are usually goal-oriented to keep the teams on track.
2. They must promote a safe environment where members can openly discuss issues.
3. A leader must build confidence amongst members by building and maintaining trust and offering
the members responsibilities.
4. A leader should be technically competent in matters relating to team tasks and goals.
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5. It is important for a team leader to set a manageable list of priorities for the team to keep
6. Finally, leaders should offer clear performance expectations by recognizing and rewarding
excellent performance, and provide feedback to others.
Generic roles of all team members
The members of a work team may play multi-facet roles for an organization. Some of the major roles
that a team may play include as follows:
Linking: work teams may play a linking role by coordinating and integrating with each other and finally
promoting functional linkages of the organization with the rest of the stakeholders.
Creator: A work team may initiate collective ideas among the team members and finally come up with
creative ideas to do business or solve a problem
Promoter: A work team first champions better and innovative ideas and then takes necessary initiative
for their implementation.
Assessor: The members of a work team collectively and closely offer insightful analyses of the situation
and decision alternatives so as to come to a logical end of a problem.
Organizer: a functional work team better provides with organized and structured study of a problem and
comes up with a more sustainable arrangement of resources and organizational processes for the
betterment of the institution at large.
Producer: An effective work team provides with direction and follow-through various stages of
organizational process climate to produce the best institutional results.
Controller: A work team systematically and scientifically examines the various facets of any problem,
performs detailed analyses and comes up with effective rules and enforces for their implementation.
Maintainer: A more effective work team provides with strength to fight the external battles to maintain
the organization’s status in the market place.
Advisor: Each member of a work team as well as the team as a whole serves as an advisor to the
organization, and thus encourages the organization for search and use of more relevant information and
decision rationalization at strategic and functional levels.
Self-learning reflection event…
Complete the following table:
My individual competencies as a productive team
My individual competencies as a visionary team
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Basic considerations to be made in building teams
Successful team building that creates effective, focused work teams requires attention on a number of
aspects including clarity of clarity of task expectation, context, commitment, competence, character,
control, collaboration, communication, creative innovation, work design, management of team process
climate, and member composition. These facets are also known as the requirements of high performing
Clarity of task expectations includes the explanation on a number of issues. These issues include
whether the top management or executive leadership clearly communicated its expectations for the
team’s performance; if the team members understand the goals and expectations; the main reason behind
formation of the team; if the organization is demonstrating constancy of purpose in supporting the team
with resources of people, time and money; whether the work of the team receive sufficient emphasis as a
priority in terms of the time, discussion, attention and interest directed its way by executive leaders.
Clarity of contexts is another premise of building successful teams and a more complete explanation of
context should involve diagnosis on these questions:
1. Do the team members understand why they are participating on the team?
2. Do they understand how the strategy of using teams will help the organization attain its
communicated business goals?
3. Can the team members define their team’s importance to the accomplishment of corporate goals?
4. Does the team understand where its work fits in the total context of the organization’s goals,
principles, vision and values?
Basic elements that comprise effective contexts for the team performance include adequate resources,
effective leadership and trustworthy climate, effective organizational structure and design with ample
amount of task autonomy, skill variety, task identity and task significance, and effective performance
evaluation and reward system.
Exploration of shared commitment is very much essential in forming a quality and conscious work team.
Proper exploration on following issues is more preferable while forming an effective work team:
1. Do the team members want to participate on team adventures?
2. Do the team members feel the team mission is important?
3. Are the members committed to accomplishing the team mission and expected outcomes?
4. Do the team members perceive their service as valuable to the organization and to their own
5. Do the team members anticipate recognition for their contributions?
6. Do the team members expect their skills to grow and develop on the team?
7. Are the team members excited and challenged by the team opportunity?
The assessment of each member competence is another secret of success of high performing work
teams. Adequate analyses should be made on whether the team feels that it has the appropriate people
participating for achieving the stated goal. Similarly, each member should have a feeling that its
members have the knowledge, skill and capability to address the issues for which the team was formed.
Each member should also know that they may require a significant amount of support from outsiders
and they should be ready to do so when and where necessary.
In addition to above stated requisites, we should also check in the each member’s knowledge on team
charter required to execute the team goals. We should be firm on the issues that each member of the
team has taken its assigned area of responsibility and collectively designed relevant mission, vision and
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strategies to accomplish the mission. We should also be firm that each member of the team and the team
as a whole has defined and communicated its goals, its anticipated outcomes, expected contributions,
timelines, and the measures of both the outcomes of its work and the process the team will follow to
accomplish the task.
Besides this, we should also establish appropriate control mechanism to leverage the team performance.
The team should have enough freedom and empowerment to feel the ownership necessary to accomplish
its charter. At the same time, the team members should be able to clearly understand their boundaries
and proximities they are supposed to go in pursuit of solutions.
Forming a work team means promoting collaboration among different individuals. Before proceeding
with its assigned tasks, each member of the team should understand the team and group process, know
very well the various stages of group development and each member should be able to closely assess
and make sure that each member is capable of working together effectively, interpersonally. All team
members should understand the roles and responsibilities of the team as a whole and the roles and
responsibilities assigned to individuals as well. The team as a whole should be ready to take effective
approaches to problem solving, process improvement, goal setting and measurement jointly by means of
interdependence and cooperation to accomplish the team charter.
Like in any other business functions, communication plays very much crucial role in team formation
and performance. Each member of the work team should be clear about the priority of his or her job
tasks. In addition, there should be an established method for the teams to give feedback and receive
honest and timely performance feedback. For the work team to perform more successfully the
organization should provide important business information regularly and each member of the team
should understand the complete context and reason of their existence.
Inculcating and promoting creative innovation and creative tension is another effective trick of forming
and working with high performing work teams. Since one of the core jobs of a work team will be to
bring in creative changes in business and the organization at large, the organization should really be
interested in change, it should value creative thinking, unique solutions, and new ideas. It should also
reward people who take reasonable risks to make improvements. Also the people who fit in and
maintain the status quo should be adequately and timely rewarded to boost up the morale of high
performing members. From time to time, the organization should provide the training, education, access
to books and films, and field trips necessary to stimulate new thinking.
Similarly, the organizational process climate should support for team process climate for effective team
results. Each member of the work team should precisely understand the common purpose, specific goals,
team efficacy and interdependence, conflict levels and tendency of social loafing to avoid any unwanted
circumstances hindering the team performance.
Finally, team composition is another equally important element contributing to team efficacy. Selection
and development of each member should be made keeping in view the range of task efficiency and task
variety sought by the team purpose. By maintaining proper fitness of the member ability, personality,
roles, and preferences, we can form a more functional work team. In addition to this, we should also
provide adequate concern over diversity, size of the team and member flexibility.
Take for an example, a team-based management situation and try to explore following inquiries in
reflection with the basic considerations as discussed above
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1. Clear expectations: Has executive leadership clearly communicated its expectations for the
team's performance and expected outcomes? Do team members understand why the team was
created? Is the organization demonstrating constancy of purpose in supporting the team with
resources of people, time and money? Does the work of the team receive sufficient emphasis as a
priority in terms of the time, discussion, attention and interest directed its way by executive
2. Context: Do the team members understand why they are participating in the team? Do they
understand how the strategy of using teams will help the organization attain its communicated
business goals? Can team members define their team's importance to the accomplishment of
corporate goals? Does the team understand where its work fits in the total context of the
organization's goals, principles, vision and values?
3. Commitment: Do team members want to participate on the team? Do team members feel the
team mission is important? Are members committed to accomplishing the team mission and
expected outcomes? Do team members perceive their service as valuable to the organization and
to their own careers? Do team members anticipate recognition for their contributions? Do team
members expect their skills to grow and develop on the team? Are team members excited and
challenged by the team opportunity?
The depth of the commitment of team members to work together effectively to accomplish the
goals of the team is a critical factor in team success. The relationships team members develop
out of this commitment are the key in team building and team success.
You need to answer a series of questions to assess the commitment level of team members
to work on a team.
Team choice: Do the team members want to participate on the team? Do they perceive
that they had a choice about working on a particular team?
Tapping into an employee's commitment is much easier if they are participating by
choice. When possible, I recommend voluntary team participation. On all social teams
and work teams that are ancillary to an employee's core job, employees should choose to
Even participation on a mandatory team garners more commitment when the employees
on the team are empowered to set direction, establish goals, and make choices.
Work is mission critical: Do team members believe the team mission is important? Are
members committed to accomplishing the team mission and expected outcomes?
Team members want to feel as if they are part of something bigger than themselves. They
need to understand where their team mission falls in the bigger organizational scheme,
the overall leadership vision. Team commitment comes from team members knowing the
expected outcomes and where the outcomes fit in the whole organization's strategic plan.
Team members feel valued: Do team members perceive their service as valuable to the
organization and to their own careers? A double win is accomplished if team members
find themselves valued by the organization and also receiving ancillary benefits. These
can include growing and developing their skills and career by participating in team.
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Making new contacts and perhaps, finding new mentors who are committed to their
growth, is a plus point.
Challenge, excitement and opportunity: Are team members excited and challenged by
the team opportunity? If so, the chances of their commitment to the process and the
outcomes are magnified.
Recognition: Does your organization have a track record of providing recognition for
successful teams and their projects. Almost everyone likes some form of recognition.
Make sure recognition is available at successful milestones, too.
4. Competence: Does the team feel that it has appropriate people participating? (As an example, in
a process improvement, is each step of the process represented on the team?) Does the team feel
that its members have the knowledge, skill and capability to address the issues for which the
team was formed? If not, does the team have access to the help it needs? Does the team feel it
has the resources, strategies and support needed to accomplish its mission?
5. Charter: Has the team taken its assigned area of responsibility and designed its own mission,
vision and strategies to accomplish the mission. Has the team defined and communicated its
goals; its anticipated outcomes and contributions; its timelines; and how it will measure both the
outcomes of its work and the process the team followed to accomplish their task? Does the
leadership team or other coordinating group support what the team has designed?
6. Control: Does the team have enough freedom and empowerment to feel the ownership
necessary to accomplish its charter? At the same time, do team members clearly understand their
boundaries? How far may members go in pursuit of solutions? Are limitations (i.e. monetary and
time resources) defined at the beginning of the project before the team experiences barriers and
Is the team’s reporting relationship and accountability understood by all members of the
organization? Has the organization defined the team’s authority? To make recommendations? To
implement its plan? Is there a defined review process so both the team and the organization are
consistently aligned in direction and purpose? Do team members hold each other accountable for
project timelines, commitments and results? Does the organization have a plan to increase
opportunities for self-management among organization members?
7. Collaboration: Does the team understand team and group process? Do members understand the
stages of group development? Are team members working together effectively interpersonally?
Do all team members understand the roles and responsibilities of team members? Team leaders?
Team recorders? Can the team approach problem solving, process improvement, goal setting and
measurement jointly? Do team members cooperate to accomplish the team charter? Has the team
established group norms or rules of conduct in areas such as conflict resolution, consensus
decision making and meeting management? Is the team using an appropriate strategy to
accomplish its action plan?
8. Communication: Are team members clear about the priority of their tasks? Is there an
established method for the teams to give feedback and receive honest performance feedback?
Does the organization provide important business information regularly? Do the teams
understand the complete context for their existence? Do team members communicate clearly and
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honestly with each other? Do team members bring diverse opinions to the table? Are necessary
conflicts raised and addressed?
9. Creative innovation: Is the organization really interested in change? Does it value creative
thinking, unique solutions, and new ideas? Does it reward people who take reasonable risks to
make improvements? Or does it reward the people who fit in and maintain the status quo? Does
it provide the training, education, access to books and films, and field trips necessary to stimulate
10. Consequences: Do the team members feel responsible and accountable for team achievements?
Are rewards and recognition supplied when teams are successful? Is reasonable risk respected
and encouraged in the organization? Do team members fear reprisal? Do team members spend
their time finger pointing rather than resolving problems? Is the organization designing reward
systems that recognize both team and individual performance? Is the organization planning to
share gains and increased profitability with team and individual contributors? Can contributors
see their impact on increased organization success?
11. Coordination: Are teams coordinated by a central leadership team that assists the groups to
obtain what they need for success? Have priorities and resource allocation been planned across
departments? Do teams understand the concept of the internal customer—the next process,
anyone to whom they provide a product or a service? Are cross-functional and multi-department
teams common and working together effectively? Is the organization developing a customer-
focused process-focused orientation and moving away from traditional departmental thinking?
12. Cultural change: Does the organization recognize that the team-based, collaborative,
empowering, enabling organizational culture of the future is different than the traditional,
hierarchical organization it may currently be? Is the organization planning to or in the process of
changing how it rewards, recognizes, appraises, hires, develops, plans with, motivates and
manages the people it employs?
Does the organization plan to use failures for learning and support reasonable risk? Does the
organization recognize that the more it can change its climate to support teams, the more it will
receive in pay back from the work of the teams?
Be simply good enough to be great! Now, it makes the twelve Cs of effective work teams…How good
are you in respect with these 12 Cs of effective team building? Please make a self assessment here:
SNo Name of the C Description of my Cs
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Can you tell us what are the areas that you think you are strong and what are the areas that you need to
work hard to improve so as to transform yourself as a good team player?
A few tips for team building
What would you do, if you were to address a real but critical issue? What about performing project
reviews before planning for next term investment? And what, if you were planning for expanding the
business coverage? Finally, how would you respond to a situation whereby the organization has
achieved the success beyond expectation?
Similarly, do you ever picture your group off at a resort playing games or hanging from ropes when you
think of team building? Naturally, many people perceive building this way. At the same time, the people
are equally surprised why such wonderful sense of teamwork, experienced at the retreat or seminar, fails
to impact long term beliefs and actions back at work…Any reason? Please discuss with your peer
It may not be possible to build teamwork by “retreating” as a group for a couple of days or occasions
each year. We must start thinking of team building as something we are bound to do every single day or
Promote teams to solve real work issues and to improve real work processes. Provide training in
systematic methods so the team expends its energy on the project, not on figuring out how to work
together as a team to approach it. Ask your teammates on how to respond in a highly declining market
segment of your company offering. They will, of course, come up with a solution that you had not
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Conduct periodic department meetings to review projects and progress, to obtain broad input,
and to coordinate shared work processes. If team members are not getting along, examine the work
processes they mutually own. The problem is not usually the personalities of the team members. It is
the fact that the team members often do not agree on how they will deliver a product or a service or
the steps required to get something done. Proper facilitation would serve the purpose better way.
Bring in the fun and shared occasions into the organization’s agenda. Hold corporate family
dinner; take the team to a sporting event; may be, Friday evening disco after a hefty week work;
sponsor dinners at Guranshe hillside resorts; go hiking or rafting in Bheri river; hold a fortnightly or
monthly company performance review; sponsor sports teams and encourage cheering team fans. Just
celebrate every occasion that brings in return to individuals and organization, at large.
Use icebreakers and teamwork exercises at meetings. Culture of sharing importantly interesting
home stuffs right before commencing the day work by means of standing meeting brings in freshness
in the thought pattern of people. Similarly, use of interesting ice-breakers before starting meeting
helps gain constructive attention of each member.
Teamwork icebreaker game
This fun game requires each one of you to work as a team. It provides you with quick energy boost and
information about how well the team or teams can work together.
The main goal of the Game is to get each group to complete a task within a specific amount of time, and
see which team can complete an assigned task the fastest.
Sample tasks to try:
Build a house of card using 10 cards.
Form a line according to height (tallest to shortest or shortest to tallest).
Think up and write down 20 words that start with the letter "T".
Create and write down 5 questions that have the same answer.
Debriefing: one person from each team should describe the strategy they used to work together and
accomplish the task. Also talk about the secret of success, or reason of failure.
Celebrate team successes publicly. Buy everyone the same t-shirt or hat. Put team member names in
a drawing for company merchandise and gift certificates. You are limited in teamwork only by your
Please take care of issues and embed teamwork accordingly. To your surprise, people will come up with
unexpected results, with empowered collectivism, connectivity as well as organization-wide
trustworthiness. What would you expect more than this? Team culture, enables individuals to contribute
more than they ever thought possible, alone.
Five teams every organization needs
Teamwork, effective work teams, and team building are popular topics in today’s organizations.
Successful teamwork fuels the accomplishment of institution’s strategic goals. Effective work teams
magnify the accomplishments of individual employees and enable them to better serve customers.
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To be more effective, teams require resources, especially, time. The work teams are most effective
a diverse group of employees is able to participate,
they limit the number of teams on which any one employee may participate,
the teams establish a regular meeting schedule,
they require periodic team goal setting,
minutes or notes are posted from team meetings or projects, and
they strengthen themselves by regularly adding newer members.
There are five work teams that every organization needs. One may observe many different approaches to
team roles and responsibilities. Different organizations may also group responsibilities differently. For
example, they may ask the safety committee to take on employee wellness responsibilities in one
organization. The team may refuse, preferring instead to add environmental responsibilities. With this in
mind, these are the five teams most frequently recommended.
1. Leadership team: Often an organization’s senior managers or department heads, the leadership
team is the group that must pull together to lead the organization. The leadership team is
responsible for the strategic direction of an organization, The leadership team plans, sets goals,
provides guidance to, and manages the organization.
2. Motivation or employee morale team: Known by different names in various organizations, the
Employee Morale Team plans and carries out events and activities that build a positive spirit
among employees. The team’s responsibilities can include activities such as hosting employee
lunches, planning company picnics, fund raising for ill employees, and fund raising for
philanthropic causes. The team leads the celebration of company milestones, employee
birthdays, and the arrival of new babies. The team sponsors company sports teams. All people in
organization can have fun with this team as the team’s only limit is the imagination of the team
3. Safety and environmental team: The team ensures the safety of employees in the work place.
The team takes the lead in safety training, monthly safety talks, and the auditing of
housekeeping, safety, and workplace organization. Recycling and environmental policy
recommendations and leadership are provided by the team as well.
4. Employee wellness team: The wellness team focuses on health and fitness for employees. Most
popular activities include walking clubs, running teams, and periodic testing of health issues
such as high blood pressure screening. The wellness team can sponsor whole person wellness
activities such as how to make a budget or lunch and learns about investment products – not
5. Culture and communication team: The team works to define and create the company culture
necessary for the success of the organization. The team also emphasizes on two-way
communication in organization to ensure employee input up the chain of command. The team
may sponsor the monthly newsletter, a weekly company update, quarterly employee satisfaction
surveys, and an employee suggestion process.
You can start several company teams, such as these, and nurture their success. When employees see
successful teams, more employees become interested in serving on the teams. The teams make the
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 28
company a better place to work and provide the opportunity for real employee involvement and
Teams create a difference in the workplace whether they are ongoing teams or a team that was formed to
accomplish a single purpose. Successful teams help you build a true sense of teamwork across your
organization. Please try to start with these for awesome success.
Food for group think…
Please work collectively to determine the various types of work teams that Surkhet Chamber of
Commerce and Industries can promote.
Building a team culture
In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe the value of collaborative culture and act
with right amount of thinking, planning, decision-making, and taking actions better way. People
recognize, and even assimilate, the belief that none of us is as good as all of us.
It is almost impossible to think of a work place without teamwork. These days, almost all organizations
in the developed economies such as schools, family startups, and other formal organizations emphasize
winning, being the best, and coming out on top. Workers are raised in environments that emphasize true
teamwork and collaboration. Organizations are working on valuing diverse people, ideas, backgrounds,
But ours’ is a different case. We have miles to go before valuing teams and teamwork will be the norm.
We can, however, create a teamwork culture by doing just a few things right. In fact, they are hard
things, but with commitment and appreciation for the value, we can create an overall sense of teamwork
in our organizations.
Here are a few suggestions to transform into a team culture --
Promote a sense of organization-wide dependence and belongingness. People feel at ease in
working in work teams once they realize that each individual is differently important and valuable
for the betterment of the organization.
Communicate the clear expectation that teamwork and collaboration are expected. No one
completely owns a work area or process all by self. People who own work processes and positions
are open and receptive to ideas and input from others on the team. It is one of the key duties of
executive members to communicate their expectation on teamwork and collaboration.
Modulate the teamwork by interpersonal interaction. You, as an executive member of the
organization, must maintain teamwork even when things are going wrong and the temptation is to
slip back into former team unfriendly behavior. Open communication among peer workers and
rest of people in organization helps smoothing many critical problems.
Maintain visibility of the identity of a teamwork culture. Formally write down the mission,
vision, goals, objectives, value systems and working principles and formally share and publish
them through multi-media, including physical visibility at workplaces. Knowing about one’s own
organization and its culture is in fact, a matter of pride for each employee.
Reward and recognize the teamwork. The lone ranger, even if she is an excellent producer, is
valued less than the person who achieves results with others in teamwork. Compensation,
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 29
bonuses, and rewards should be dependent on collaborative practices as much as individual
contribution and achievement.
Tell important stories and folklore that people discuss within the company to emphasize
teamwork. Remember, the year the key manufacturing team reduced production wastage scrap
by 25 percent, and tell the employees how they were rewarded. Promote a sense of learning about
a team concept that the people who "do well" and are promoted within the company are team
Induce a robust performance management system by placing emphasis and value on
teamwork. Quite often the 360 degree feedback is to be integrated within the system. Self-
appraisal and peer evaluation systems are getting wider attention these days globally.
Team work to promote team culture…
Take for an example, an organization at risk of losing its business and going to be closed. Suppose you
are assigned with a responsibility to bring this organization out of present crises. Propose with your plan
of action how you would work by establishing and promoting a team-based culture. You will be given
maximum 25 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to make a presentation.
Assessment and feedback
In the organizational development context, a team may embark on a process of self-assessment to
measure its effectiveness and improve its performance. To assess itself, a team seeks feedback from
group members to find out both its current strengths and weakness.
To improve its current performance, feedback from the team assessment can be used to identify gaps
between the desired state and the current state, and to design a gap-closure strategy. Team development
can be the greater term containing this assessment and improvement actions, or as a component of
Another way is to allow for personality assessment amongst the team members, so that they will have a
better understanding of their working style, as well as their team mates.
A structured team building plan is a good tool to implement team bonding and thus, team awareness.
These may be introduced by companies that specialize in executing team building sessions, or done
internally by the human resource department.
Risks of team building
The major risk of team building is that a team member may become cynical of the organization. This
could happen as a result of the organization holding team building events outside of the normal context
in which the organization usually functions lower. For example, if an organization hosts team building
events when individual goals and efforts are the norms with the organizational culture, the team building
event will have no lasting impact.
It is crucial to follow up a team building event with meaningful workplace practice. If the team members
do not see an improvement within an organization as a result of team building events, members may
view such events as a waste of time. This may lead to loss of trust in the organization, harm motivation,
as well as decrease employee morale and production (Heathfield, 2012).
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 30
Managerial implications of work teams
The essence of work team management is largely related with the institutional management. Adequate
knowledge of team management serves instrumental for all managers to effectively higher, develop and
reward the employees in various operational departments in an organization. Similarly, when the
problems are worsening and they are spreading beyond the reach and control of key management
positions in an organization, it is always advisable to have a problem solving team to take care of such
situations. Effective team management also serves as a cure to the tendency of social loafing by different
employees. Work team-based culture may serve more effective in creating organization-wide strategic
as well as functional ownership across the departments, managerial levels, and also among different
individuals working in an organization.
Cross-functional skill requirements, member diversity, varying and changing needs of younger
workforce worldwide are some of the challenges facing the managers who are supposed to take up team
Outcomes of effective team management
Individual efficacy results in team efficacy that results in higher level of organization-wide productivity.
Effective team management would result in employee loyalty and interpersonal relationship. Through
team-based endeavors, each member and the team as a whole become more responsible and accountable
in each stage of organizational process climate and they collectively promote better organizational
citizenship. Process and task ownership, high degree of professionalism and quality organizational work
life are other equally important outcomes of effective team management in an organization.
We are now towards the end of our two-day program. Now, you all should work in groups of 4-6
members and try to figure out a few areas of mutual concern between SCCI Executive Team and
Secretariat Team so as to promote a culture of team building and management of SCCI through a more
collaborative team approach whereby involvement and participation of members of both the teams
would be emphasized. Each group should work for establishing a plan of action with areas requiring
mutual work, working strategies, working principles, values, norms and operating standards. Also
establish certain measures how you would confirm whether such an approach has created positive
impact on overall institutional performance.
Powerful tools and techniques of team building
To be administered online using www.prenhall.com/sal login facility.
Team work icebreaker games
This icebreaker game begins when the group is divided into groups of eight or more. Once groups are
divided, the leader then instructs the groups to line-up in order of height, shoe size, or some other light-
toned denominator to keep the game fun for all. When the group has lined-up in a particular order, they
are then supposed to clap to let the leader know that they are done. The first group to clap wins that
round. This is a good way to learn something you never would have thought to ask about someone.
2. Constructive feedback
This icebreaker begins when you ask for a volunteer to come to the front. Position the volunteer facing
the audience and place an empty cardboard box behind them, but not directly behind them. Have 30
pieces of crumpled paper within arm-reach of the volunteer. It is the group's responsibility to give the
volunteer hints on how to get the wads of paper into the box without turning around. Example "a little
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 31
bit more to the right". When that person has gotten 3 pieces into the box successfully, then find another
volunteer and continue.
The objective of this icebreaker is to get acquainted with others. Write the name of some distinctive
sounding animals on slips of paper. Create 5 to 10 slips for each animal. Hand the slips out and ask the
participants to find all the same animals without talking. This makes for a fun way to get acquainted.
4. Shared interests
1. Divide the meeting participants into groups of four or five people by having them number off.
(You do this because people generally begin a meeting by sitting with the people they already
2. Tell the newly formed groups that their assignment is to find ten things they have in common, with
every other person in the group, that have nothing to do with work. (I tell people no body parts (we
all have legs; we all have arms) and no clothing (we all wear shoes, we all wear pants). This helps
the group explore shared interests more broadly.
3. Tell the groups that one person must take notes and be ready to read their list to the whole group
upon completion of the assignment.
4. Ask for a volunteer to read their whole list of things in common first. Then, ask each group to
share their whole list with the whole group. Because people are your best source for laughter and
fun, the reading of the lists always generates a lot of laughter and discussion. You can also catch
the drift of the conversation in the small groups based on the transitions made from item to item.
This takes 10 – 15 minutes, depending on the number of groups. To keep the activity to ten minutes,
after seven minutes of brainstorming together, I usually tell the groups that the lists they have created are
perfect, no matter how many items they have, and debrief.
5. Ball Game
Ask all of the participants to stand in a circle. Make sure they are not too far apart or too close together.
Give one person a small ball (tennis balls work well) and ask them to throw it to someone else in the
circle. The person who catches it says their name and throws it to another person who does the same. As
the ball moves around the circle, everyone in the group gets to learn one another’s name. Much more fun
than name tags!
If the group already knows each other, turn it into a teambuilding exercise by asking everyone to call out
these things instead of their name:
Their favorite color
One thing they like about their job
A one word description of themselves
Make it more fun by timing the exercise and seeing how fast the participants can get the ball around the
6. Talk show icebreaker
For this icebreaker game, you will want to start by splitting your group into pairs.
Ask each person to find a semi-private spot and interview their partner. One acts as a talk show host and
My insights into team building developed by Dr C P Rijal for GIZ/INCLUDE- SCCI Page 32
the other acts as a guest. The talk show host has to find out two interesting facts about the guest.
Afterwards, the partners switch roles and repeat the activity.
After a few minutes and a lot of chatting, you can ask everyone to gather into a large group once more.
Then, have each person (briefly) present the two interesting facts that they learned about their partner.
7. Person-job-group-organization fitness game
Step I: This game requires all participants to be divided into two teams in respect with diversity.
Step II: In each group, 50% of the participants’ left hand should be tied with his/her body using a nylon
rope, and 50% of their two legs should be tied.
Step III: Facilitator tells them what is expected from each team is making as many paper airplanes as
possible and flying them to a pre-allotted destination. Make sure that the destination points should be
located at same distance with similar ground clearance for both the teams. The facilitator also allows
each team for about 2 minutes to establish their group working norms and principles.
Step IV: Approximately 50 pages of A4 sized paper is given to each group and the facilitator asks both
the groups to start their work. The groups should be given about 2 minutes time to perform and once the
whistle blows, all members should stop where they are and the game is over.
Step V: Finally, all the airplanes flown up to the respective team’s destination point, with good condition
should be counted and winner should be declared.
Step VI: Debriefing on secrets of success or reasons of failure, and relevance of this game in respect
with person-job-group-organization fitness.
8. Other additional games… go on enjoying as and when introduced, expect more of them,
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