Published June 4, 2007

Top Team Building Strategies: Company Team Building

When building a team, you have to first look at the essential components of a successful team. There must be a certain level of trust and empathy among all team members. The trust factor determines the success or failure of any team and the level of teamwork. When the team members do not have enough opportunities to get to know each other, the challenges to get the work done increase to a great extent.

These days, the workplace is comprised of people who are completely alien to each other, although they have to work together on projects. They have different geographical as well as family backgrounds. In fact, often they live in different countries, but share the same project work. So there are few chances that they get to know each other personally.

Furthermore, project managers who usually do not have a hands-on relationship with their team members lead these teams. This leads to a lack of authoritative influence with the team. In order to build a successful team, a project manager must be able to develop cohesion within it by instilling trust through creating a transparent working environment. Project managers can use the art of persuasion and negotiation to manage their teams.

Distance And Cultural Issues

When working with distant teams, developing trust is even more difficult. Studies show that visual clues are important to boost employee morale while they work in teams. Also, person to person contact is necessary to create the kind of trust and belief that is required for teams to function well together. Voice or sound is not as effective as visual contact when it comes to developing trust and relationships. For example, when people interact with each other only on the telephone, they develop less positive or personal feelings towards each other than when they actually sit face-to-face across the table.

Also, there may be culture-specific issues that are involved. There are basically two types of cultures - low context and high context. When there is no personal relationship built while conducting business, it is referred to as a "low context" culture. This is similar to buying something from a store one does not frequent, just to get a discount. "High-context" culture occurs when relationships are built up before commencing business discussions. You can relate this to working with a decorator or consultant, or shopping regularly at a particular store. This factor adds to the problems of trust building between people in the United States and those in other parts of the world.

A Few Tips To Build Trust In Diverse Teams

  1. Let team members get to know each other on a personal level
  2. Arrange in-house events like conferences and discussions
  3. Pictures of staff and their families can be shared among team members
  4. Gatherings and picnics are good ways to boost interpersonal communication.
  5. Use of interactive devices such as teleconferencing when teams are remote

Thinking out of the box to create an innovative work environment that nurtures and develops teamwork is a big challenge to tackle. But in the process, it can shape many careers and enhance the company atmosphere. Team building is a long-term affair. A good team builder should be a good team member first.