U.S. Department of Labor sponsored panel discussions on "Lessons
Learned in Moving into Teams," attended by representatives
from both the Federal and private sectors. Panelists shared their
respective experiences in transitionning to teams. Five factors
were identified as highly important to team success, as follows:
Training - Team training needs to be an on-going
process to introduce and then reinforce team participation skills,
including how to set goals and measure goal accomplishment. Such
training should continue even as the team develops and matures.
- Maintaining communication within the team and between the team
and the organization is vital to team success. Team members should
build skills in both formal-professional and informal-interpersonal
communication. Communication between the team and the organization
must be maintained so that the team does not become isolated from
the rest of the organization.
Support - Support from top management is critical to
team success. Ideally, the team has a "champion" in
top management to help create a climate conducive to team success.
As the team develops and matures, top management should delegate
increasing authority to the team.
- Team members should hold themselves individually accountable
for progress and goal achievement, as well as, holding each other
and the team accountable. Team goals should be aligned with the
organization's goals with the team developing the action plan
for accomplishing its own goals, including metrics for assessing
the team's progress and processes.
Supportive Behavior - Team members need to practice team-supportive
behaviors such as cooperation with each other, patience in consensus
building, honesty in feedback, interpersonal relationship building,
and goal directed work activities. *
adapted from OPM, Workforce Performance Newsletter Reprint, April