Dysfunction is prevalent across many organizations and so management responds with an increase in training.
Yet holding team-building activities when management is in flux, standards are declining and behaviors are eroding is akin to selling life insurance policies as the Titanic is sinking — meaningless.
What makes a team is defined by common purpose, and if there is no common purpose, then teamwork is superfluous. When lack of focus is endemic, responsibility falls at the feet of those in charge.
Building teams is a perennial effort in organizations — so much so that when we use the term “team building,” many employees roll their eyes. They also do a mental checklist of all the team building exercises they have experienced — “radioactive contamination” exercises, trust falls, whitewater-rafting trips and backyard ropes courses.
Dysfunction stems from lack of trust. The way to build trust is through commitment that emerges from listening to employees to determine the problems.
Members of dysfunctional teams live lives of daily misery because their ability to make improvements is disregarded by their bosses, who know only how to make things worse.
Savvy managers challenge individuals to solve problems and empower them to put those remedies into action.