How to Build a Team

Building a healthy and effective team capable of reaching its goals while striving to improve its effectiveness is like winning the lottery. Too often people don’t understand the dynamics required in building a team. It is more than simply putting people together and telling them to get the job done, it takes a mix of talent and temperaments to really build a team that will excel.

When examining how to build a team you should consider two dimensions; productivity and moral (Team Development and Situational Leadership, Hersey and Blanchard). This approach looks at an individual or group’s competence and commitment (productivity and moral) and then matches the skills and strategies necessary to develop a team. Additional questions need to be answered such as:

  • Who will be the team leader?
  • How will the team leader exert their control?
  • What happens to people who don’t comply?

There is no one way to build a team; teams are usually created to solve a specific problem and its success is determined by the ability to decide on the mission, match critical skills, and sustain motivation. As a leader it is critical to match the team members to the duties that need to be performed and have a clear understanding of expectations, performance, and chain of command.

The reasons many teams are so productive and efficient is the diversity. If everyone has the same skills then things won’t get done but if everyone offers something a little bit different the team will be able to perform a variety of duties.

US Department of Justice Strategies for Building Effective Work Teams