Helping the team members develop personally and professionally - both individually and as a team - is something in which any business should be invested. Happy employees are productive employees, and when teams are happy and focused, they are able to do much more than they would otherwise be able to do. One of the ways to keep these teams happy is to ensure that the team leader is a good one. Teams that do not have good leaders generally struggle with motivation and similar issues (Garavaglia & McDaniel, 2010). Who wants to follow someone who is a poor leader? Most people would not be interested in working with anyone who they do not trust or feel comfortable with, and that goes double for someone who is leading them. Leaders are only leaders if they have people who want to be their followers, and if a company sees that one of its teams is not doing well it may be beneficial to explore whether the leader of the team is at the root of the team's problem (Ellis, et al., 2008).
Of course, there can be other issues that cause problems for the team, so it is not good to automatically assume that the leader is the cause of any concerns that are appearing. The most important thing a company can do when there is a problem with a team, though, is get to the actual cause of it so that the team can become whole again. It may be that the team needs to be changed to include new or different members, and it may be that there should be a new team leader. It will be up to the company to determine what it wants to do about the issues faced by any team, but the team should also be focused on improving itself and determining what problems it faces (Aritzeta, Swailes, & Senior, 2007). If the team is able to go to management and state the problems it has, then management will be aware of the issue and also be aware that the team is striving to work together and to take care of issues.
Teams that take care of their own issues are teams that are focused on what they can and cannot do - and what they can offer to the company. Management is appreciative of those kinds of teams because they make less work for the management to address and the company can operate more smoothly and efficiently overall (Ellis, et al., 2008). These kinds of teams can also serve as examples for other teams in the company, because the other teams have the opportunity to see what they should and should not be doing - and how they can improve their position with the company by doing the kinds of things that the company wants to see from its employees. Team-building, overall, is very important to any company that has a large number of employees (Ellis, et al., 2008). Naturally, smaller companies may not be able to have many teams simply because there are not enough employees to create those teams. Larger companies can have different teams in different departments, and those teams are able to focus on the issues in that department and not worry too much about what is taking place in other departments throughout the company until what they are doing comes together with what the other teams are doing.
Companies that are having trouble building teams can hire a team-building consultant in order to make sure they are doing things correctly. The consultant will start from the ground up and give a team-building "intervention" that can be used as a starting place for what the company wants to do when it comes to teams in various departments throughout the company. The teams that are in place when the consultant comes on board will be actively assessed, and recommendations will be made so that the teams can be improved. Often, the consultant will provide a written proposal with his or her recommendations, so that the company can study them and make a determination as to which of them will be used and which will be discarded. Teams can benefit from consultants, but they can also succeed without them. The main thing is that teams work together well and stay focused on what matters to the company and the team.
Aritzeta, A, Swailes, S., & Senior, B. 2007. Belbin's team role model: Development, validity and applications for team building. Journal of Management Studies, 44(1): 96-118.
Ellis, J.B., Luther, K., Bessiere, K., & Kellogg, W.A. 2008. Games for virtual team building. DIS 08 proceedings of the 7th ACM conference on designing interactive systems. New York, NY.
Gilley, J.W., Morris, M.L., Waite, A.M., Coates, T., & Veliquette, A. 2010. Integrated theoretical model for building effective teams Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12: 7-28.