Team Building is an Organization Development technique for improving a work group’s performance and attitudes by clarifying group goals and clarifying members’ expectations of each other.
Leaders are responsible for team development and for acclimating new members into an existing team. To keep momentum, acclimate both the new team member to the team AND acclimate the existing team to the new team member.
Here is a brief summary of five things leaders can do to acclimate new team members, followed by a brief but on-target video for leaders on “How to Help a New Team Member Fit In” from the folks at BNET. Use these in combination as a primer for adding a new member to your team.
- A perfect time to review or revise the team’s mission, purpose or team charter – with everyone on the team.
- Review and gain agreement on roles and responsibilities, clearly articulating expectations including a mutual understanding of one another’s roles. This includes clarity on the expectations you, as a leader, have of your team, the expectations team members have of you, and the expectations team members have of one another.
- Facilitate team agreement on rules and values. This includes any written policies and procedures, of course, but equally important are the “unwritten” rules – the values and behaviors that this team wants to guide its daily decisions and actions together.
- This is the time to discuss relationship dynamics. For example, how will the team handle conflict – because any dynamic team doing important work will have some conflict. Handled right, conflict leads to innovation.
- Another relationship dynamic is decision-making authority. Get clear on the decision-making process of the team, including who has final decision-making authority.