The role played by Human Resources (HR) in developing the corporate culture is significant. Additionally, HR plays an essential role in developing positive informal and formal relationships among employees. Numerous organizations allocate a considerable entertain budget to their HR department that are primarily used for informal activities geared towards strengthening the corporate culture. One of such activities is team building, which is considered an important activity in Human Resources Management. Team building undertakings have been established to help strengthen the bond among individuals working in a group albeit having different characters, which is extremely helpful for employees who are required to work as a team. The most effective approach of getting employees to be united towards the realization of the organizational goals and objectives is through encouraging them to establish rapport with their colleagues. This can be achieved by engaging employees in fun activities that provide them with an opportunity to develop camaraderie. The purpose of this paper is explore the concept of team building in HRM with a particular focus on team building approaches and its importance.
Overview of Team Building
Tam building refers to a continuing HRM process that seeks to build cohesion among members of a work group. The focus of team building is not only to get team participants to have the same expectations regarding the accomplishment of group tasks, but also build support and dependence as well as respect personal differences. The role of the team builder is to help the team increase its efficiency and unity. All teams evolve on their own; thus, they have to be nurtured and maintained in the same way individual employees are. Ancona and Bresman describe team building as diverse activities that involve collective tasks that seek to outline roles and responsibilities for team members and improve group relations between them. It is essential to differentiate team building from team training, which places more emphasis on improving the productivity of team instead of relations between team members. The bulk of team building activities are designed to identify and tackle interpersonal issues among members of a team. As time goes, team building exercises shifts their emphasis towards enhancing team-base performance. Other goals of team building relate to solving team problems, reducing ambiguity regarding the role of team members, and enhancing working relationships among team members.
Team building is a widespread group-development activity. Studies have further reported that the effect of group-development on organizational performance is strongest when compared to all other organizational activities. Group-development activities such as team building have also been reported to enhance the subjective and objective performance of the team as well as the subjective supervisory reviews and ratings of the team. Through the use of effective team building exercises, employees can be united towards the realization of a common organizational objective. Team building can also be used to enhance the productivity of employees although this is not its primary aim. In the absence of team building, the organization is limited relying on the individual effort of staff members.
Numerous signs within the organizational settings have been outlined to suggest the need for team building exercises. These signs include a decline in productivity of employees; an increase in hostilities and conflicts among employees; unclear relationships; confusions regarding tasks assigned to employees; lack of employee involvement; cases involving employees misunderstanding directions and failing to implement them properly; lack of innovation; complaints from employees concerning discrimination; and employees relying on routine actions to solve complex issues. Other signs that tam building exercises are needed in an organization include low participation in staff meetings, employees reacting negatively to their managers and supervisors, and complaints from customers regarding service/product quality. The incidence of any of these signs warrants the adoption of team building activities in order to enhance organizational outcomes.
Approaches to Team Building
Four approaches have been outlined to consider when designing tea building activities. The first approach relates to goal setting, which places a lot of emphasis on the establishing of non-ambiguous goals coupled with the development of team as well as individual goals. The team members should be actively involved in the planning of team building exercises, especially in suggesting ways of accomplishing the goals and defining failures and successes. The goal setting approach has the main aim of motivating team members, increasing their ownership sense, and helping them accomplish well-defined objectives and goals. Some of the team-based exercises designed using the goal setting approach include conducting evaluations step-by-step success that can be utilized by teams in determining the actions that can help the team overcome its problems. Additionally, an intervention program can be implemented in order to change the personal motivation of the team members. Furthermore, through the identification of incremental success tests and specific outcomes, teams can access their growth.
The second approach that can be used when designing team building activities is role clarification. The emphasis of this approach is improve the understanding of team members about their own respective duties and roles and that of others. The role clarification approach has the main aim of reducing vagueness and enabling team members to understand the significance of structure through the use of activities that seek to define and adjust roles. Also, the role clarification approach underscores the significance of developing interdependence among team members and getting each team member to concentrate on their own role in order to ensure the success of the team. The role clarification approach is based on the premise that reducing role ambiguity can help enhance the effectiveness of a team. This approach also helps team members to acknowledge that teams comprise of interdependent individuals and interlinked roles and duties; hence, the failure of one member of the team can impede the success of the team.
The third approach that can be adopted when designing team building activities is problem solving. This tactic gives emphasis to the identification of significant task-related issues affecting the team. Therefore, it requires team members to participate in the planning, implementation of the proposed solutions to address the problems that have been identified, and assessing the effectiveness of these solutions. Other aspects associated with problem solving approach include improving the organizational environment, clarification of the roles of the team members, and building interpersonal relations. The outcome of adopting this approach is that team members develop and improve their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Also, using approach eliminates the need to make use of outside interventions to address the problems affecting team members.
The last approach that can be used in designing team building activities is interpersonal relations, which accentuates the significance of developing the required teamwork skills such as receiving and providing conjoint support, and sharing and communication – these are essential in developing trust among members of the team and boosting their confidence. Implementing this approach requires a facilitator. Higher trust levels is crucial in developing cooperation among team members as well as fostering a sense of unity. Another outcome of this approach is that team members are motivated to finish tasks that are not within their regular roles, which are likely to change attributes of the entire team, which at the same time contributes to the growth of the team.
Team Building Importance
One of the significant benefits of team building is enhancing employee retention. Contemporary organizations are relying on team building to attract and retain employees. When employees participate in team building activities, employees create different teams and engage in tasks collaboratively as a team instead of an individual. Team building exercises have also been found to increase the productivity incentives of team members. Productivity incentives refers to the bonus compensation that an employee receives for excellent performance. Providing a productivity incentive to a team has been reported to increase the coordination and collaborative efforts among employees, which further increases job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and employee retention rate.
Another benefit of team building is enhancing the effectiveness of the team. Evidence suggests that team building has a positive impact on team effectiveness. For instance, clarification of roles and setting of goals can positively influence performance, process, affective, and cognitive upshots. Team building is an important intervention for teams that are dealing with cohesion and trust issues, which are related to affective issues. Also, team building can help teams to deal with process issues including problems related to the lack of role clarification. Team building does not only benefit teams, but also individual employees through open communication, a comfortable working environment, and acceptable team norms.
Team building has the main aim of building cohesion among work group members in order for them to share the commitment to achieve a common organizational objective. Team building also seeks to build support and trust, define the roles of team members, and enhance social relations. Four approaches exist that an organization can adopt when designing team building activities, which include goal setting, problem solving, interpersonal relations, and role clarification approaches. Team building has important benefits for the organization including positively increasing the effectiveness of a team, facilitating employee attraction and retention, improving both team and employee productivity, and helping teams deal with issues such as lack of trust, unity, and role clarification.