Having an effective team at work is important for increasing retention, morale, and productivity in your organization. Working alone makes it difficult to get early and continual feedback on your work, which hurts output quality. The earlier you get valuable feedback from team members in a project, the less likely you are to go down the wrong path. Working on a team also increases accountability because peer pressure can be powerful. You won’t want to let your team members down, especially if you highly respect them.
Building a successful business team is easier said than done. That’s where Belbin comes in. Belbin Team Roles are used to identify behavioral contributions in the workplace. They are based on the Team Role theory, which was originally developed by Dr. Meredith Belbin.
Belbin has identified 9 different behavior types that are displayed in the workplace. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each of these roles is important because it can affect the way you build teams and select team members.
The following are the 9 different types of Belbin team roles and their strengths and weaknesses:
This person has an inquisitive nature and is very outgoing and enthusiastic. A Resource Investigator likes to find new ideas, explore opportunities, and develop contacts. A potential weakness of the Resource Investigator is that her enthusiasm might wane after the initial excitement of a project wears off.
Teamworkers are the glue that holds a team together. A Teamworker is diplomatic, helps to minimize friction, and identifies and completes work for the team. Weaknesses of Teamworkers include their tendency to avoid confrontation as well as their indecision in a crunch.
Coordinators focus on the team’s objectives and delegate work appropriately. Coordinators are adept at clarifying goals and identifying talent. The problem with coordinators is that they might offload their share of the work, too.
Plants are highly creative people who are skilled at solving problems in unconventional ways. Plants are imaginative free thinkers, but they might be too preoccupied to communicate effectively. They also tend to be absent-minded and forgetful.
A Monitor Evaluator is someone who is sober and strategic in nature. He is able to view all options and judge them accurately. A Monitor Evaluator may be perceived as overly critical and fail to inspire others, however.
A Specialist is someone who has in-depth knowledge of a key area and is a dedicated self-starter. While they provide specialist knowledge and skills, Specialists also tend to dwell on technicalities.
Shapers have the drive needed to keep a team moving and focused. Shapers thrive on pressure and have the courage to overcome obstacles. Their weakness is that they are prone to becoming aggressive in their attempts to get things done.
The Implementer plans a workable strategy and carries it out as efficiently as possible. Implementers are practical, reliable, and efficient. They organize the work that needs to be done and turn ideas into action. The downside of working with Implementers is that they can be inflexible.
A Completer Finisher is best brought into a project toward the end when you need to scrutinize and polish your work. Completer Finishers are painstaking and skilled at uncovering errors. They tend to be anxious perfectionists who are sometimes accused of taking their perfectionism to extremes.
The best performing teams are diverse teams. So rather than focusing on finding the best person for each job, make it your goal to put the best team in place. Successful teams have the right mix of people, representing many of the team roles above. You don’t need to have each of the 9 roles in a team, however. You may choose not to adopt some of the roles and instead select the few roles you feel the most comfortable with. It’s important for each team member to know their team role and that of their colleagues. Recognizing their collective strengths can help teams reach their full potential. While no one person is perfect, a team has the potential to be!
To maximize the effectiveness of your team, use software that simplifies collaboration and communication. Team calendar tools like Exchange Central or WebTeam Central can help you keep track of your schedule and that of your team. Resource booking software like Resource Central allows you to find meeting rooms, schedule meetings, invite colleagues, and order extra services to streamline the meeting planning process.
Sign up for a free trial or free online demo of these tools with Add-On Products today to strengthen your team and set it up for success!