The Five Stages of Business Team Development Explained
Updated: Nov 16
As your business grows, your workplace team grows too. But building a successful team requires more than choosing people with the right mix of professional skills. Therefore, it is essential to understand how to develop your team and bring them together correctly. High-functioning teams don’t happen without work and a structured process.
Today we’ll jump into the five stages of business team development. You’ll learn how to implement these into your team and why these stages will help your team reach its goals efficiently.
A brief look into what team development is
Team development involves taking a group of people, such as employees, and teaching them how to combine their differences and utilize the various strengths they bring to complete goals effectively.
Your team can successfully build a good rapport with a foundation of acceptance. This structured process can not only help your team to work quickly together, but it also creates a healthier work environment.
How these stages can help your team
But before we show you the five stages that can take your group of individuals and turn them into a cohesive team, let’s review how the stages can help.
By using these five stages, you can:
Bring your team closer together.
Identify strengths and weakness.
Create effective decision-making skills.
Optimize your team’s time management skills.
Create a healthy work environment.
Help employees take greater responsibility for their part goal completion
Now that you know how this structured team development can help you and your workforce, you understand why having a set process in place is so vital.
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The five stages
We’ll walk you through the five steps below and how to implement these into your team’s dynamics and process.
Before we jump into the steps, two crucial roles will need to be designated amongst your team.
These two roles are:
Team Leader: The Team Leader directs and keeps the team focused on the task. He will help your team achieve goals. For example, if a difficult decision is made, your team leader will need to negotiate the decision with those who disagree.
Team Sponsor: A team sponsor sets goals and provides resources for your team. So, for example, your team sponsor will ensure that your team has an adequate budget and hours to complete the goal.
These roles are crucial to maximizing the potential of these five steps. In addition, having both roles filled guarantees your success as a team.
Stage 1 – Forming
In this first stage, we’ll take the group of people you’ve selected to make up your team and introduce them to each other. Because this stage focuses on the social aspect of your team, it’s essential to let your team get to know one another. This stage also will help your team to build trust with their teammates.
Begin by going over yourself or having a team leader and delegating each member’s role in the team, the expectations for their participation, the team objectives and overall goal, and the ground rules. Then, you can task your team leader to go over these things and tell the group about the project’s length and desired outcome.
This stage moves slowly as your primary focus is orienting new members into the team. So, make sure all of your team members are engaged.
Stage 2 – Storming
Now that your team members are starting to feel more comfortable and build trust with the team leader and teammates, it’s time to move into the second stage. This stage is referred to as “storming.” Your team can share new ideas and debate issues related to the project during this stage.
But let’s avoid making this stage dysfunctional. An effective team leader will handle the conflict positively without allowing it to hinder progress. The team leader should keep an eye on those with stronger personalities. All members of the team should actively participate.
Stage 3 – Norming
The “norming” stage helps your team improve their skills, demonstrate members’ strengths, and become accustomed to each other’s differences. Your team moves into this stage as your employees accomplish their goals and move forward. Then, your team should move forward and operate as they gain momentum towards their goal.
Make sure your team is working effectively and comfortably together. The team leader should pay attention and ensure members’ strengths are utilized with tasks. The team leader should also help members work together regardless of different perspectives by finding workable solutions that suit both the team and the project goal.
Stage 4 – Performing
This stage begins once your team has started operating with a high-efficiency level and are accomplishing the given objectives. Your team has successfully learned how to work together while also having momentum in the team’s process of completing tasks.
Monitor your team’s progress in this stage. This stage will be the high point for the team’s progression through tasks.
As your team changes and you lose or gain members, you can repeat the previous stages for new members. Doing this will help them properly integrate into your team and help your team’s performance stay optimal and efficient.
Stage 5 – Adjoining
This final stage is enacted when your team has completed the project goal. Your team will now go through the process of dismantling itself within this stage. This stage is often referred to as the “transforming” stage.
Since your team has accomplished what it was charged to do, you can now move forward with celebrating! You can recognize members’ accomplishments and the overall team’s success with the completion of the project.
You can also use this stage to change team members’ responsibilities and positions. For example, suppose your team is initially tasked with finding a new process to improve delivery systems or customer satisfaction. In that case, you can assign overseeing this process to one of the team members.
Final thoughts on Business Team Development
Now that you have the five stages needed to develop your business team into an effective work machine, you or your leader can lead your team to success. But remember, organization among your team and its stages are key! Ensuring that you reach each stage correctly and that your team works together as a high-functioning team will guarantee success.