All of us who have ever been part of a team or a larger organization know that good results depend on more than just an individual’s abilities and professional qualifications to do a particular job. Connecting with colleagues, providing mutual support and assistance, exchanging and critically evaluating ideas is more important in many jobs than individual contributions of different employees. The connection between them is a key aspect of effective teamwork and therefore one of the key goals of the organization.
Why should every HR department know team roles?
Although the effectiveness of teams is influenced by various factors, one of the most recognized and researched are team roles and their impact on group work. Each team member can have a dual role: Functional role and Team role. Functional role refers to an individual’s expertise, while Team role can be defined as a set of behavioral patterns, developed by the person in the group, and ways in which an individual uses these patterns in their relationship with other team members (Aritzeta et al., 2007).
The professional starting point for the analysis of team roles is the M. Belbin model, which defines 9 different team roles, which can be divided into 3 types of roles:
1. Idea-oriented roles:
- Evaluator: seeks various optimal and strategic solutions;
- Visionary: creatively develops ideas outside the box;
- Specialist: deepens knowledge in their professional field;
2. Action-oriented roles:
- Strategist: conscientiously and systematically transforms ideas into clear plans;
- Perfectionist: carefully prevents errors or delays;
- Performer: persistently achieves the set goals in a focused manner;
3. People-oriented roles:
- Coordinator: optimally and objectively organizes teams and delegates tasks;
- Motivator: takes care of the well-being and connection in the team;
- Connector: takes care of contact and communication at all times, even outside the team
Due to the different fields of focus that the mentioned team roles cover, it is important to include as many different roles as possible in a particular team. It is not necessary to involve 9 different people with 9 different roles to include them all, because people are often able to take on more than just one team role.
Team roles have a decisive influence on the efficiency and performance of teams
When creating an effective team, it is important to balance the orientation of the organization between professionalism, achieving goals and connecting employees in teams. Our analysis of different organizations has shown multiple times that employees in more targeted teams are often less connected and do not know each other very well. Abandoning the focus on aspects of team dynamics that go beyond only achieving individual goals can lead to problems in work organization, lack of motivation and coordination among employees. Moreover, it can reduce trust in the team and management, while promoting stagnation and maintaining the status quo.
Are team roles the only important factor of an effective team?
An original study of Belbin’s team role model showed that more successful groups were built by individuals who took on different roles (Aritzeta et al., 2007). Certain team roles are expected to be variably important at different stages of development. For example, in the initial stages, the performer and coordinator are more important because performer focuses on performing tasks and achieving goals, while coordinator is focused on assembling a team and scheduling work (Aritzeta et al., 2007).
However, not all of the research confirms the importance of diversity of team roles as a key dividing line between successful and unsuccessful teams (Batenburg et al., 2013). More important than linking team roles with team productivity is also the awareness that team roles are one of the building blocks of group connectivity, which can indirectly affect team performance. Above all, team roles are just one of many factors that influence teams to face the complex challenges of modern times.
A role that an individual assumes is based on various factors. Namely, team roles represent a complex set of cognitive, motivational, experiential, area-specific and personality factors. quantifly can help you identify team roles and their distribution in your company through a high-quality and statistical-based analysis. In our analysis, we also cover other important aspects of organizational dynamics like social cohesion, team competence, growth potential, etc. In the management report that you receive after the analysis, you also find concrete and practical advice on how you can further improve your team dynamics.