It is easy to confuse the terms “team building” and “teamwork,” but they are two distinct concepts. Team building focuses on the formation of groups, while teamwork concentrates on the function of groups; both are vital for success. Understanding the basics of team building and teamwork can increase your effectiveness as either a leader or a valued member of a group.
you can look at team building in two ways. First, it can refer to the act of putting together a team by either recruiting, interviewing and selecting members from the public or strategically selecting members from within an already-defined group. Second, it can refer to engaging in activities designed to strengthen professional and personal relationships within a team. Team-building activities can increase team members’ cohesiveness, productivity and efficiency when working together. Small businesses rely on both aspects of team building to succeed. Small-business entrepreneurs must take extra care to build a high-performance team and should proactively engage team members in team-building exercises to increase teamwork.
Teamwork is the result of a team effectively working together. It relies on a range of vital factors for success, including good communication skills, mutual respect, complementary skill sets covering all required competencies, defined leadership and defined decision-making procedures. At their best, work teams function like well-oiled machines, with each member knowing exactly what she is responsible for and how her contributions fit into the larger picture of the group’s productivity.
When recruiting or selecting team members, pay close attention to the personality types and skill sets of candidates. Try to build teams where each member’s personal weaknesses are covered by the strengths of other team members. Try to bring people together with similar personality types, as well, to increase the chances of team members seeing eye to eye. Team-building exercises designed to strengthen team relationships can take on a variety of forms. The best team-building exercises get employees away from their work areas and out of their personal comfort zones, placing them in situations where they have to trust each other while having fun. Rock-climbing and walking in a charity marathon are examples of effective team-building exercises.
Measuring the effectiveness of teams, and monitoring the outcomes of team-building exercises, can help you refine your strategies over time, building high-performance teams in the process. Every team-building initiative should include its own monitoring mechanism. Compare the output levels of teams before and after you send them on a team retreat, for example, to gauge the tangible impact of the exercise. Use the data as well as direct input from your team to fine-tune future team-building exercises.