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How to Develop Powerfully Successful Work Teams

BY SUSAN M. HEATHFIELD   Updated on July 09, 2019

The Path to Team Building Success

Knowing how to create effective teams, teamwork, and team building is a challenge in every organization. Work environments tend to foster rugged individuals who are working on exceeding personal goals for personal gain. Typically, reward, recognition, and pay systems single out the achievements of individual employees—not the combined effort of a team of employees.

The culture that bred powerful individual contributors, both traditionally and in less egalitarian workplaces, is not conducive to nor does it encourage teamwork. So, if your goal is a teamwork culture, you have history and past practices to overcome. You need to overcome the past while doing the right things to institute a new culture of teamwork.

Use Training, Coaching, and Leadership to Develop Effective Teams

A reason exists for why a whole generation of consultants and trainers were paid millions of dollars to help organizations become more team-oriented. Employees needed consulting, coaching, training, and hand holding. They needed to learn about the significant powerful progress that people working in groups could achieve as a team.

Managers needed all of these plus the leadership skills that would allow them to learn to manage teams without dampening their enthusiasm or disempowering them.

What Work Systems Need to Change to Create Successful Teams?

Appraisal, performance management, and goal setting systems most frequently focused on individual goals and progress, not on team building. So, in addition to the behavior of the employees and managers, employers needed to change the work systems to support the newly desired culture.

Promotions and additional authority were also previously bestowed on individuals, not teams. Employers needed to change these factors to support the newly desired team culture.

Whether it was paying the sales team members the same percentage of the commissions to encourage a teamwork approach to customer service or making teamwork a goal on an employee's performance plan, the systems had to change to foster teamwork.

Given all of these factors that need to change, is it any wonder that teams and teamwork are an uphill battle to achieve in most organizations? The good news? In the various resources that follow, each aspect of team development has been further explained and illustrated.

Training and Articles That Will Help You Build Powerfully Successful Work Teams

Here is the information that you need to develop teamwork and effective work teams in your organization.


Employee involvement, teams, and employee empowerment enable people to make decisions about their work. This employee involvement, team building approach and employee empowerment increase loyalty and fosters ownership. These resources tell you how to do team building and effectively involve people.

Employee Empowerment: How to Empower Employees

Employee empowerment is a strategy and philosophy that enables employees to make decisions about their jobs. Employee empowerment helps employees own their work and take responsibility for their results. Employee empowerment helps employees serve customers at the level of the organization where the customer interface exists.

Employee Involvement: Involve Employees in Decision Making

Employee involvement is creating an environment in which people have an impact on decisions and actions that affect their jobs. Employee involvement is not the goal nor is it a tool, as practiced in many organizations. Employee involvement is a management and leadership philosophy about how people are enabled to contribute to continuous improvement and the ongoing success of their organization.

Team Building Creates Successful Teams

People in every workplace talk about team building, working as a team, and my team, but few understand how to create the experience of team building or how to develop an effective team. This makes developing a teamwork culture both difficult and exciting.

Many employers and managers involve all employees in creating business success and profitability. Learn how team building helps enable the success of work teams and teamwork.

Meeting Management for Team Meetings

Ineffective team meetings use critical resources, sap organizational energy, and movement, and affect employee morale. Find out how to make your team meetings work for you.

Team Energizers, Icebreakers, and Team Building Activities

Icebreakers, energizers, and activities heighten the effectiveness of training and team building sessions when targeted to the training, speaking, or facilitation topic and the needs of the learners or participants. You can also use icebreakers to help build teams through employee laughter and sharing.

Positive Work Relationships Contribute to Effective Teams

Want to work more effectively with people at work? Whether your relationship is with your team, supervisor, manager, customer or coworker, you want to make your interpersonal relationships positive, supportive, clear and empowering.

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