Team development – solidifying harmony and encouraging lasting positive team behaviours

Team development is a pretty big deal in terms of organisational success. You might have noticed that most results are delivered by teams and so cohesive and high-performing teams drive companies towards their goals and navigate challenges with resilience and consistency.

Understanding what team development is and how it influences an organisation is crucial for leaders and team members alike. In this article, we will delve into team development, explore the dynamics of functional teams, dissect the roles within a team, discuss the art of role assignment, assess how team structure impacts performance and the ability to surmount challenges and answer the question – what is a proper team?

1.What is Team Development?

At its core, team development is the systematic process of enhancing the effectiveness, cohesion, and overall performance of a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. It involves nurturing a sense of unity, trust, and open communication among team members. Team development goes beyond task accomplishment; it focuses on creating an environment where the collective output surpasses the sum of individual contributions. This process is continuous and requires thoughtful planning, guidance, and investment in the aspects of team dynamics and in the humans who make up the team.

2.What is a Functional (Proper) Team?

A functional team is a collective of individuals with diverse skills, talents, and experiences who collaborate cohesively to achieve a shared objective. A functional team thrives on synergy, where each member’s strengths complement the weaknesses of others and it’s vital in a proper team that every member is not only comfortable in their areas of strength but also their weaknesses.

Effective communication and the utilisation of individual expertise ensure that the team as a whole outperforms what any individual could achieve alone. Team development strategies play a pivotal role in nurturing this synergy and a work environment where the team’s output is consistently above average.

3.What are the winning behaviours and characteristics of a successful team?

High-performance teams exhibit a distinct set of winning behaviours and characteristics that set them apart. First and foremost, clear and open communication is the cornerstone of their success. Team members openly share ideas, concerns, and feedback, fostering an environment of trust and transparency. Collaborative problem-solving is another hallmark, where diverse perspectives are harnessed to tackle challenges creatively and efficiently. High-performing teams also demonstrate exceptional adaptability, readily embracing change and innovation.

Leadership within such teams is not confined to a single person; instead, leadership roles are fluid and based on expertise. Each member takes ownership of their responsibilities, showcasing accountability and a drive for excellence. These teams exhibit a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual support, always willing to lend a helping hand and celebrate each other’s achievements.

High-performance teams are results-oriented. They align their efforts with the organisation’s goals and maintain a relentless focus on achieving tangible outcomes. This drive is complemented by a culture of continuous learning and development, where team members seek to enhance their skills and stay current with industry trends. Moreover, resilience is a defining characteristic; setbacks are viewed as opportunities for growth, and these teams maintain their determination in the face of challenges.

Empowerment is deeply ingrained, with individuals empowered to make decisions and take initiative within their areas of expertise. Trust in one another’s abilities allows for a decentralised decision-making process. Lastly, recognition and celebration play a significant role. Achievements, both big and small, are acknowledged and celebrated, reinforcing a positive and connected atmosphere.

In the corporate arena, high-performance teams thrive on effective communication, collaboration, adaptability, shared leadership, accountability, camaraderie, results-driven focus, continuous learning, resilience, empowerment, and a culture of recognition. These behaviours and characteristics converge to create a performance that not only achieves outstanding results but also fosters a fulfilling and engaging work environment.

4.The Role of a Team Member vs. the Role of a Team.

Understanding the difference between an individual’s role within a team and the team’s mission is essential. Each team member has specific responsibilities and contributions that align with their expertise, which they execute to the best of their ability. On the other hand, the team, as an entity, has a broader purpose that encapsulates the collective efforts of its members. A cohesive team combines these individual roles to create a holistic and effective approach towards achieving organisational objectives. Team development activities assist in establishing this understanding and encourage harmonious collaboration.

5.How to Assign Roles and Responsibilities in a Team.

Assigning roles and responsibilities in a team is an art that requires a delicate balance between individual strengths and the team’s needs. It is crucial to allocate tasks based on each member’s competencies and expertise, fostering a sense of ownership and accountability. Effective role assignment enhances efficiency, minimises duplication of efforts, and encourages a diverse range of perspectives. Regularly reassessing and adjusting these roles as the team evolves is equally important for maintaining optimal functionality and addressing any skill gaps that may arise over time.

6.How Does Team Structure Affect Performance and Organisational Resilience?

Team structure, like the foundation of a building, determines the stability and resilience of the entire organisation. A well-structured team with clearly defined roles, effective communication channels, and a supportive hierarchy can swiftly adapt to changing circumstances and navigate challenges with agility. An intricate team structure can also optimise resource allocation, enhance decision-making processes, and streamline workflow. Team development strategies facilitate the cultivation of such structures, enabling organisations to thrive amidst uncertainty and seize opportunity.

7.Can Improving Team Dynamics Impact Behaviours in a Challenging Work Culture?

Absolutely. Team dynamics play an important role in shaping behaviours within a challenging work culture. A toxic or unproductive work culture can erode motivation, hinder collaboration, and stifle innovation. Team development interventions can foster positive interactions, encourage empathy, and build trust among team members. A cohesive team that values open communication and mutual support is better equipped to withstand the negative influences of a challenging work culture. As team members collaborate effectively and achieve shared successes, they can serve as role models, gradually influencing the broader work environment.

8.The Impact of Effective Team Training.

Effective team set up is a linchpin in the realm of team development. Providing team members with relevant training enhances their skills, improves problem-solving abilities, and imparts a deeper understanding of their roles within the team. Team training sessions also offer a platform for team members to bond, share experiences, and learn from each other. Regular training sessions can keep the team updated with industry trends, technological advancements, and new methodologies, thereby enhancing their overall performance and contributing to the team’s growth.

9.Bringing a Team Together After Poor Performance.

Poor performance or poor result? What sets exceptional teams apart is their ability to bounce back stronger after setbacks. To bring a team together after poor performance, leaders must employ a multi-pronged approach. This involves identifying root causes, facilitating open discussions to address concerns, and devising strategies for improvement. Team development initiatives at this juncture are invaluable in rebuilding morale, restoring trust, and equipping the team with the skills needed to overcome challenges.


Team development is an art that is a big part of organisational success. From cultivating functional teams and assigning roles to structuring teams for resilience and fostering positive team dynamics, the journey towards excellence requires dedication, strategy, and investment of time and energy. The impact of effective team training, coupled with the ability to rally a team after poor performance, further solidifies the critical role of team development in achieving sustainable success.

As organisations continue to evolve, the art of team development remains pivotal in sculpting the workforce into a formidable unit capable of surmounting obstacles and the every day change that comes with the world of work.