The popular saying, “there is no ‘i’ in team”, implies that team members have to work effectively together and that every team member should understand his or her role as part of the team to achieve good results.
Researchers in human resource studies have identified nine team roles, known as “Belbin’s team roles” to better understand team work. The roles are allocated to three different groups, namely action-orientated, human-orientated and thought-orientated. Every team role is associated with typical behaviour and interpersonal strong and weak points. The roles are as follows:
  • Action-orientated: the motivator, the doer and the perfectionist
  • Human-orientated: the coordinator, the team player and the investigator
  • Thought-orientated: the creative thinker, the evaluator and the specialist.
A good team will have a good mix of the different roles; too many similar roles can lead to conflict and not enough different roles can cause an imbalance. The following factors can undermine team work:
  • Gossip
  • Different rules for different members
  • Unhealthy competition among team members
  • Lack of respect for each other
  • Poor leadership
  • Distrust
  • Vague or unclear goals
  • Roles not specified
  • Poor handling of conflict
  • No team work or support for one another
Effective team work in the workplace benefits the organisation by increasing the productivity which is important to meet targets and fulfil commitments. The following factors can improve team work:
  • A mission or vision to follow
  • Up-to-date success criteria to measure achievements
  • Acknowledgement and reward of achievements
  • A leader who values the well-being of the team as a whole
  • Effective communication
  • Ability to negotiate
  • Trust in one another
  • Commitment.
A well-balanced team is a group of people who are able to work well together under good leadership to achieve a common goal – while having fun: T – Together E – Everyone A – Achieves M – More

Sources Beeld, 5 October 201