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Employee Training, Team building, Motivation, Change Management

The Soft & Essential Side of Team Building

January 1, 2013

Creating a team or developing an existing team into a successful team capable of achieving an organization’s goal can be daunting. While there are numerous organizations that recognize employee teams require maintenance as any other organizational asset, there are others that do not.

To expect that a group of employees, many times hired at separate times under very different conditions or by previous team leader, will perform as a finely honed machine is unrealistic. It is also unreasonable to expect that a group of employees banded together by a department name and loosely referred to as a team, will perform anywhere near the level of that of a high performance team. In addition to these challenges to fielding a highly successful team, another consideration is how well an employee can perform on their own and not succeed as a successful team member, and rarely, can an individual produce anywhere near the level of a successful team.

If an organization’s goal is to produce the greatest possible profit while providing a quality product the path must surely be through the collective, high performing contributions of its’ team members; and “loosely formed” will not suffice.

In providing a successful team building experience designed to boost the overall performance and satisfaction of the team members, organizations and training providers should include segments of soft skill topic matter. Two such soft skill topics from our perspective include heart and spirit. These two elements seem almost exotic and elusive in today’s hectic business world. Heart is represented by the effort put forth in an endeavor, and spirit is that portion left behind in the endeavor that uniquely identifies with the individual’s or team’s contribution. Consider the difference between an individual or team identifying with a purpose, a goal, or objective, and another that might identify themselves committed to a “cause”. The difference between pursing an objective and that of a cause, rests almost exclusively in the level of heart and spirit present.

In addition to heart and spirit, another “must” team building soft topic is “bonding”. The bonding or enduring of employees to one another is critical in furthering camaraderie, commitment and ultimately, more cooperation, collaboration and communication – the 3 “C”s of teamwork! During the bonding process, a process in which employees become more endured to one another, talents and strengths that an individual possesses can more fully be exposed. Rarely does the workplace with its more routine responsibilities allow the full scope of an individuals talents and skills to be displayed.

In order to have the reasonable expectation that employees will work together, and work together effectively, organizations must do things that bring employees together. On-going organizational efforts might include volunteering for a humanitarian effort (helping flood victims, the homeless, etc). Another alternative might be company sponsored activities centered on events such as attending a baseball game (or creating a sports team), picnics, recognition events, etc. Still another alternative is to seek the assistance of a professional team building organization. Just as your organization focuses each day to provide the best product or service to your customers and clients, there are team building organizations – employee development companies – that spend countless days a year providing team building assistance to their clients. The benefit to you is obvious, in the process of conducting such training and development, they become even more expert towards the end of creating the most efficient and effective team that your team can field.

It has been several years since a client made the following statement about soft skill training – “soft skill training is near impossible to measure, however, we know this, our competitors are using it and if we choose to compete with them, we had better do the same!”

Charlie SelcerAbout the author: Charlie Selcer has provided organizations with employee training and development through Strictly Success Inc. for over 10 years. Strictly Success is a U.S. based employee training company for both the public and private sectors including some of America’s Fortune 1000 companies. Strictly Success specializes in high performance teams and teambuilding, employee motivation, employee accountability and change management. Interactive training includes events, workshops and keynotes ranging in duration from 1 hour to 2 days.

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