|Maintaining a Healthy Team Environment|
|By Jessica Herbert|
There are millions of books available about team development, team building, team communications, team dysfunctions and any other related minute topics. A quick search on Amazon.com for books gives over 100,000 options. These books are written by corporate personnel, military personnel, and academia – just to name a few. One would think with all these options and perspectives, we would have the topic of “team” perfected, or at least to a 99% solution. The fact is – teams are made of people and people are the most influential factor, in both negative and positive ways.
There are four basic stages of team development most experts agree upon, (paraphrased definitions):
Personnel change over time and with that, their expectations change, resulting in frustrations or conflicts. An employee assigned as a leader, may no longer want to lead; an employee that is not assigned as a leader, may want to lead, but is unsure how to position themselves in that manner. Personal factors, such as family events, may require an employee to take a step back from responsibilities for a period of time. Performance issues may cause leadership to reassign roles.
These changes, along with the routine of day-to-day tasks, can wear down the motivation and focus of a team. The productivity and efficacy of team may plateau, or even significantly decrease, depending on the factors at play. At worst, individual employees may become disengaged completely. During this period, interval events can assist in allowing teams take a mental break from work tasks and enable casual, social conversations and experiences that reinforce a bond. Any group task is recommended – from fishing to skydiving to rock climbing to volunteering for charity events.
What activity – or series of activities – you chose is irrelevant. But there are some rules:
Corrections.com author, Jessica Herbert, currently works in the private industry. She supports the law enforcement community through education and training as the primary instructor for 3D Professional Training and Consulting and as an adjunct professor for a criminal justice program. She actively mentors women entering and within the workforce for many professions.
Other articles by Herbert:
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