Team Rebuilding and Recognition for the Holidays or New Year

My most popular on-line team-building article is
The Five Stages of Team Development (over 43K hits). Why do you think that is? I think it may be because most people are familiar with the first 4 as defined by Tuckman’s teamwork theory: Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. However most do not realize that as he studied teams, he found many teams begin to slump sometime after the performing stage. This may be because they became complacent about their success, got too far away from the learning gained at the beginning, or no longer felt as valuable to the compnay as in an earlier stage. Tuckman called this phase Transforming for continuing teams and Adjourning for teams that needed to be discontinued. I also like Quick’s (author of Successful Team Building) term for stage 5 – Assimilating or Reforming.

Either way, the primary emphasize from the experts for phase 5 is to either show thanks to the disbanding team via a celebration or to use recognition to rejuvenate and motivate the continuous work team. (If you are not sure what the differenc is between a work team and temporay teams, see articles: 8 Considerations For 3 Types of Teams and Difference Between Self-Managed and Self-Directed Teams.) Company management and Human Resource departments need to be more aware of this 5th stage and the importance to making decisions about when team should be disbanded or when employee recognition efforts need to be enhnaved. Do not use budget cuts as a reason to dismiss reward and recongintion programs. Instead look for alternatives methods that can help a team grow but will not be too expensive. Find some ideas in these articles:
Find a way soon to recognize the high achieving teams during the holidays. It can be a end-of-year celebration with small rewards and positive reinforcement. Or you may choose to make it a new year ceremony with recognition elements, role rotation to increase member flexibilty, and setting of new stretch goals using The 4 C’s of Team Goal Setting with each team.

Please note: I will have a team-building book coming to Amazon soon. The plan is to release it first as an e-book. Watch for it under my author name: Shirley Fine Lee. In the mean time, if you are looking for some books for Making Teams and Projects Effective, check out my recommendations by clicking that title within my Amazon Lists.

RELATED STATS:  In a Group Processes and Work Teams survey done by Lawler, Mohrman & Ledford of Fortune 1000 companies over a 10-year period (1987-1996), they discovered that the use of problem solving teams increased from 70% to 90%.  Also the use of self-managed teams in companies grew from only 27% to 78%. 

PLEASE ANSWER question in poll at upper-right of blog to give your opinion of team use now.  You can return to the blog at anytime to see the current poll results before it closes.  Poll closes at end of year 2011.

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