The 5 Teams that Every Organization Needs

Your Organization's Needs for Teams Will Vary but These Will Get You Started

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Teamwork, effective work teams, and team building are popular topics in today’s organizations. Successful teamwork fuels the accomplishment of your strategic goals. Effective work teams magnify the accomplishments of individual employees and enable you to better serve customers.

If you're experimenting with ongoing teams, start with a few to determine what team activities your organization can support.

Teams require resources, and especially, employee time. You'll want to explore with your employees the type of teams that they might enjoy and contribute on most.

For example, a client company has a philanthropy team that decides on giving within the company's STEM (encouraging children to take science, technology, engineering, and math classes to prepare them for careers in these areas) mission. The team determines the recipients for the $50,000 or so of annual philanthropy the company gives away. 

The team also organizes donations for animal welfare, needy families during the holidays, and more.

In another company, a recognition team was formed so that employees could recognize each others' good work, contributions, and teamwork. 

When Are Work Teams Effective?

Work teams are an opportunity for employees to learn leadership and team skills. They give employees from across your organization a chance to work with employees they may not always see.

They provide employees the chance to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves or their job. 

Your work teams are most effective when:

  • a diverse group of employees is able to participate,
  • you limit the number of teams on which any one employee may participate so that you spread the opportunities across many employees,
  • the teams establish a regular meeting schedule,
  • you require periodic team goal setting,
  • minutes or notes are posted from team meetings or projects, and
  • teams self-perpetuate by regularly adding newer employees. In other words, employees on the teams change regularly so that more employees have the chance to serve on a team.

Sample Teams that Will Benefit Many Organizations

There are five work teams that every organization needs. I’ve seen many different approaches to team roles and responsibilities. Different organizations may also group responsibilities differently.

For example, I asked a safety committee to take on employee wellness responsibilities in one organization. The team refused, preferring instead to add environmental responsibilities. Another group formed that was more interested in wellness.

With this in mind, these are the five teams I most frequently recommend.

Leadership Team

Often an organization’s senior managers or department heads, the leadership team is the group that must pull together to lead your organization. The leadership team is responsible for the strategic direction of your organization, The leadership team plans, sets goals, provides guidance to, and manages your organization.

Motivation or Employee Morale Team

Known by different names in various organizations, the employee morale team. employee activity committee, or event planning committee (three common team names), plans and carries out events and activities that build a positive spirit among employees.

The team’s responsibilities can include activities such as hosting employee lunches, planning company picnics, fundraising for ill employees, and fundraising for philanthropic causes.

The team leads the celebration of company milestones, employee birthdays, and the arrival of new babies. The team sponsors company sports teams. You can have fun with this team as the team’s only limit is the imagination of the team members and the wishes of your employees.

Safety and Environmental Team

The team ensures the safety of employees in the work place.

The team takes the lead in safety training, monthly safety talks, and the auditing of housekeeping, safety, and workplace organization. Recycling and environmental policy recommendations and leadership are provided by the team as well.

Employee Wellness Team

The wellness team focuses on health and fitness for employees. Most popular activities include walking clubs, running teams, and periodic testing of health issues such as high blood pressure screening. The wellness team can sponsor whole person wellness activities such as how to make a budget or lunch and learns about investment products – not investment advice.

In many companies, the wellness team sponsors challenges. In a client company, the team set up a walking challenge to encourage employees to walk more. Each participant was given a pedometer that was downloaded daily at work. At the end of the challenge, every employee who had met the stretch goals was given a coupon for a pair of athletic shoes.

Culture and Communication Team

The team works to define and create the defined company culture necessary for the success of your organization. The team also fosters two-way communication in your organization to ensure employee input up the chain of command.

The team may sponsor the monthly newsletter, a weekly company update, quarterly employee satisfaction surveys, and an employee suggestion process.

Start several company teams, perhaps several of these, and nurture their success. When employees see successful teams, more employees become interested in serving on the teams. The teams make the company a better place to work and provide the opportunity for real employee involvement and commitment.

Teams create a difference in the workplace whether they are ongoing teams or a team that was formed to accomplish a single purpose. Successful teams help you build a true sense of teamwork across your organization. Start with these for awesome success.

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