Regardless of how many team building exercises have been embarked upon, it won’t add up to much unless your team is able to address common challenges that face every group of folks that end up working together. Overcome the following 6 challenges, and you will be well on the road to team building success.
(1) Lack of Team Cohesion
When a team lacks cohesion, or a sense of unity, it can unveil a myriad of other issues:
- No team identity;
- Wavering commitment which can often lead to personal team member goals coming into conflict with the team’s goals;
- Little to no feeling of accountability;
- Difficulty making decisions, particularly when team members repeatedly make arguments in favor of their own rigid opinions, rather than being open to new information or viewpoints;
- Competing priorities and agendas;
Ensure your team has a sense of (1) identity; (2) the goal it’s working toward; and (3) the role everyone plays within the team – these should all be crystal clear.
(2)Lack of Diversity
It makes little sense to recruit a team of individuals who all bring the same thing to the table. Chances are you’ll have difficulty tackling problems from more than one side. Qualities to look for among team members include:
- Critical thinking;
- Detail vs. big picture thinking
A strong team will bring together members with diverse skill sets to complement one another and generate a consistent source of options when tackling challenges. Fresh ideas and viewpoints are in supply when you bring different minds together. A well-rounded team is often a diverse one.
(3) Poor Communication
The important of communication within a team can’t be stressed enough – in many cases it is the one defining factor that will see a team rise to success. Examples of poor communication within a team can include:
- Team members interrupting one another, or talking over each other;
- Consistent silence from one or more team members during team meetings;
- Insinuation of problems within the team, but a failure to formally voice or address them;
- False consensus (everyone nods without truly agreeing);
- Role confusion;
- Goal confusion
A solution? Corporate team building activities to help your team coalesce and learn how to effectively communicate as a whole.
(4) Lack of Participation
A lack of participation on behalf of one or more team members could simply be indicative of personality traits – shyness for example. However, it could also be a sign of something more serious, such as a lack of motivation. Signs of poor participation include:
- Team members failing to complete assignments, or complete them on time;
- Poor attendance at team meetings;
- Low energy at team meetings and among the team in general;
- Evident low morale;
- Poor collaboration efforts among team members
It’s important to keep your team’s energy and morale as high as possible. A great way to do this is to inspire through admirable leadership, implementing an incentive program, or even something as simple as engaging in fun team building activities, such as a scavenger hunt around the office, or off-site location. Don’t be afraid to ask team members for input as to what will get them fired up.
(5) Trust Issues
It is difficult for a team to work together to achieve anything, let alone a lofty goal, if there is a lack of trust. When a team member fails to follow through on a task, fails to meet a deadline, or fails to meet particular standards set in place by the team, trust is easily broken and can present a large obstacle.
It’s important to ensure people feel a sense of accountability to hold up their end of the bargain within the team. Employees want to know they can rely on their teammates to deliver so that the team, as a whole, can continue to move toward the common goal at the end of the tunnel. This applies to all team members – leadership included.
(6) Insufficient Leadership
This is a big one. It conjunction with communication, it can be the grounding factor that supports a team throughout its journey and propels it to great heights. On the flip side, ineffective leadership can bring everything crashing down, or in many cases, keep it on the ground.