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The Five Stages of Team Development

Maintaining an effective team is much like maintaining a garden; if left unattended, it loses its ability to thrive. Team development four stages of team development ensures that the team can thrive in the long term. is a leading authority on team building and engagement at work.

phases of team building

In the five decades since Bruce Wayne Tuckman developed his stages of team development, workplaces and teams have changed—and for the better. Many modern workplaces have evolved beyond basic hierarchical management structures, opting for a more collaborative team dynamic based on mutual respect, trust, and shared ideals. In the norming stage, the team falls into a rhythm and starts to work as a cohesive task force. Each member’s talents and skills get validated and utilized in executing the necessary tasks. As a result, the team starts to operate more effectively and gains momentum towards realizing the shared goals.

Norming stage

Our team building activities are rated 9/10 by over 900 remote teams. You’ll know when it happens because your team will drive each other to work harder and better. As a manager, you want to empower the team to handle dissent and set goals as they need to. They work well together, they have established goals and roles, and they can manage conflicts that come up without getting distracted. Most managers wait to assess their teams at a performance or end-of-year review — an occasion that forces them to think about it. But they aren’t aware of their team’s development on a day-to-day basis.

To accommodate your remote teams and to make sure your first project team meeting is productive, use a video conferencing platform like Zoom. This way team members can meet from anywhere and share their screen so that everyone can see the project details simultaneously. Record and store the meeting in so that team members can revisit it at any time if they need a reminder of the discussion.

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Initially, during the forming and storming stages, norms focus on expectations for attendance and commitment. Later, during the norming and performing stages, norms focus on relationships and levels of performance. Performance norms are very important because they define the level of work effort and standards that determine the success of the team. As you might expect, leaders play an important part in establishing productive norms by acting as role models and by rewarding desired behaviors.

phases of team building

Each stage of team development helps to provide clarity on who is responsible for what tasks or actions. This ensures that everyone knows their role within the team so that they can work towards achieving common goals efficiently and effectively. Has revolutionized the way managers approach team building. His five stages – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning – have become the foundation for successful teamwork in organizations everywhere. By understanding how teams develop and progress through these stages, leaders can maximize their teams’ efficiency and effectiveness.

Adjourning, the fifth (and final) stage of team development:

Money as a reward would be a motivator otherwise a hygiene factor. The leader of team should focus on Job enrichment as a job satisfaction strategy when money and hygiene factors cannot be increased or no longer motivate a staff member. Team training and development are key to strengthening teams so they are equiped to accomplish organizational goals. For instance, a team leader may explain the duration of the project and the desired outcomes in this stage. The team also needs a strong team leader who helps direct and keeps the team to task. This team lead works with the group and develops them into a functioning work machine.

phases of team building

Each of these stages plays a crucial role in bringing a team from Point A to Point B. However, not every team will progress through these stages in a neat, linear fashion. As a leader, it’s important to be aware of the different stages your team is going through and how you can help them move forward. This is why organizations put so many resources into team development. It is in this stage that the team begins to operate effectively and gains momentum in completing tasks towards accomplishing the team goal. This is when team members begin to feel comfortable with each other, learns how each operates in a team environment – and begin to share ideas and debate issues.

Why is Team Development Important?

It begins with a directing style, then to coaching and participation and in the finishing stage, the delegation stage (Bruce Tuckman’s 1965, n.d.). Tuckman’s model is an explanation and understanding of how a team develops. As well, it helps to train people in group work enabling them to accomplish their full potential (Bruce Tuckman’s 1965, n.d.). It involves a challenging yet critical transition from the laid-back forming stage.

  • Teamwork presents a lot of unique challenges, like addressing individual needs, resolving conflicts and more.
  • Get best practices and sound advice on how to create understanding and work together better.
  • For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team.
  • This will help to motivate them to continue to produce high-quality work.
  • The team’s performance is outstanding, as they are delivering exceptional results and outcomes.
  • They may be feeling some anxiety because of uncertainty about their individual role or future responsibilities.
  • In the Norming stage, Human Resources professionals work to offer continual support to employees, facilitate discussions, and provide needed training (Developing and Sustaining, n.d.).

This is demonstrated through high morale, productivity and engagement. It’s an ideal state for any manager to witness their team’s growth and ask reflective questions. This is the perfect team development stage to learn about how your team overcomes obstacles and bonds through shared experiences. Identifying each of the 4 stages of team development helps you underscore your team’s needs during each one. By this stage, the team has started to figure out how to work together. Conflicts have largely been squashed as team members grow more used to each other and appreciative of one another’s unique skills.

Practical Tips To Master the Performing Stage

This is because your team recognizes how they can trust you and each other in order to complete tasks, move towards their objectives and rely on each other for help. Greater team cohesion means members can rely on each other to complete work and provide feedback in order to continually improve. They are starting to trust each other, which means increased productivity and effective decision making. Knowing each stage of development can help you create all-star teams that deliver amazing results. Whether you are leading your entire company or a smaller project group, you have a huge influence onteam developmentand performance.