Tip #330: Why It Is Good Business to Take Time for Training
“One must step back to make the better leap.”
It is exceedingly (and unfortunately) rare for a supervisor to insist on taking time with a team to make sure that the necessary foundations are in place.
Employees are usually thrown into team situations and expected to perform effectively, both as individual contributors and as members of the team. When workloads are heavy and schedules are full, it may seem almost irresponsible to pull the employees away from their responsibilities for a day to focus on what it means to be a team.
However, team training can introduce the concepts, provide the tools, and build the skills necessary to ensure a productive and harmonious team.
What can team training provide that is so important? Or in other words, what are the probable consequences if the team does not receive training?
1. Team members will continue to operate independently instead of taking advantage of the different strengths and capabilities of other team members.
Training activities can raise their awareness of how they typically perform in a team environment and let them experience the tangible benefits of teamwork.
2. Team members may communicate and act upon different conceptions of the team’s mission and objectives.
Training activities can give them time to create, discuss and agree upon the team’s mission and objectives, so that they act and represent the team in a consistent and unified fashion.
3. Team members may not know how they should interact with each other to work through differences and make decisions.
Training activities can help them recognize the value of and develop a list of operating principles that establish a code of conduct and procedural guidelines for team members.
4. Team members may be unaware of the strengths and skills that different team members bring to the team and the resulting roles that they can play.
Training activities can provide time for discussion, discovery and acknowledgment of individual areas of expertise and their value to the work of the team.
5. Team members may not understand how they contribute to the team or feel appreciated.
Training activities can establish a comfortable environment for team members to provide positive feedback and validate each other’s contributions.
6. Team members may be oversensitive to the behaviors of others on the team.
Training activities can help the team become aware of and understand different personality traits, so they no longer get defensive and take those behaviors personally.
7. Team members may have no idea how to manage conflict in a constructive manner.
Training activities can give them insight into their personal conflict management styles and teach them how to handle conflict in a more constructive and collaborative manner.
8. Team members may neglect to assess their group process so that they can make changes where necessary.
Training activities can provide the tools to determine team members’ concerns about different aspects of team interactions, and the strategies to address those concerns.
Team training can accomplish much more than has been covered here. However, imagine how much more productive and harmonious a team will be if all of the team members:
* recognize the value of teamwork;
* have the same understanding of the team mission and objectives;
* follow an accepted code of conduct;
* understand the roles they play on the team;
* feel valued and appreciated;
* respect individual differences;
* manage conflict constructively; and
* continually strive to ensure that the team functions smoothly and effectively.
These eight benefits of team training will more than compensate for the time it takes the team away from their daily responsibilities.
Please visit our website at <http://www.laurelandassociates.com> for Sample Team Operating Principles.
May your learning be sweet.