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The Five Stages of Team Development Principles of Management

Think of promoting the team’s accomplishments not as bragging, but helping them get the resources they need for continued success. Feeling like what you do every day has an impact—to the company or to the world—is a powerful motivator. Researchers call this “prosocial motivation,” and it can be cultivated. The company invited customers who had survived an accident thanks to their car’s design to meet the engineers who had done the work. It was a compelling interaction for the engineers, who otherwise didn’t get to see the effect of their daily tasks on people’s lives.

steps of team building

The topic can be anything related to work or a real-life problem. Celebrate successes within the team, and give shoutouts outside the team, too. If you’re the humble type, you may not be comfortable announcing your team’s achievements; reframing the idea may help, Hu says.

Why you should learn about team building

The team can look into all the problems and develop the necessary solutions. It is a great way to create team building as every member can relay their thoughts to each other and bond well. The forming stage involves a period of orientation and getting acquainted. Uncertainty is high during this stage, and people are looking for leadership and authority.

steps of team building

Members need both technical expertise and good interpersonal skills for working in small groups. Content experts, process experts and end users can all play key roles. Let them vote on options for team building activities, perks, or dates. One third of employees that have left jobs cite lack of career development opportunities as a reason. When you give your employees the tools to grow, their improvement feels like a team project versus a lone effort. Working with various teams helps you to gather experience both personally and from others.

Here the participants wear a blindfold and find a rope that lye on the floor. Then, they need to form a triangle, square, or any shape using the rope without letting go of it. The survey of 120 senior leadership teams used surveys, observed the teams as they worked, and interviewed stakeholders who received the output of the teams’ work. They also worked with the teams over time to determine what it takes to make them effective, as well as how to help leaders and teams implement those elements. The seven science-based ideas below can be used alone or in combination to encourage and create an all-important shared mindset. Part of cultivating a culture of psychological safety is having leadership that openly talks about their missteps.

Allow for Professional Development

When it comes to putting together an all-star team, many managers tend to focus only on their lineup. But building a successful team goes far beyond simply hiring a roster of high performers. As supervisor, your first priority in creating consensus is to stimulate debate.

steps of team building

The fourth and most important stage is known as performing. This is the stage in which employees actually work together as a team and get the job done. Literally, the three key terms in this stage are teamwork, performance, and goal achievement. The reason is overall goals are accomplished by a team through teamwork. Here your employees might need feedback regarding how team goals are achieved. So, activities that focus on improving planning skills would be good.

The 5 Stages of Team Building and Activities for Each of Them

If teams get through the storming stage, conflict is resolved and some degree of unity emerges. In the norming stage, consensus develops around who the leader or leaders are, and individual member’s roles. Interpersonal differences begin to be resolved, and a sense of cohesion and unity emerges. Team performance increases during this stage as members learn to cooperate and begin to focus on team goals. However, the harmony is precarious, and if disagreements re-emerge the team can slide back into storming. The 5 stages of team building might be familiar to you if you’re a business leader or manager.

Teams usually develop norms that guide the activities of team members. Team norms set a standard for behavior, attitude, and performance that all team members are expected to follow. In this stage, the group members try to share their individual goals and expectations. Additionally, some people resist control, and they try to oppose others. As a result, conflicts, unwanted confrontations, and misunderstandings arise during this stage.

Team building is a long-term process that achieves lasting results for an organization. These helpful tips form a solid foundation for your team bonding process. Our blog contains many other useful resources four stages of team development for leaders, including advice for how to manage remote teams. If you would like a hand in the execution of events, we offer structured team building events guided by enthusiastic facilitators.

Know (and Show) the Value of the Team’s Work

Each member of a team is responsible for the success of the team as a whole. This is the interdependence that makes teams stronger than the sum of their parts. Working together towards specific tangible results is the best way to start creating mutual accountability. Recognize and celebrate small accomplishments and successes of individuals and milestones for the team as a whole. By acknowledging successes, team members can develop an increasing trust in their teammates and the team as a whole. Ideally, teams should be small so that members can develop a high-level of connection and interdependence.

  • Some people are social butterflies, while others need a little encouragement.
  • Uncertainty is high during this stage, and people are looking for leadership and authority.
  • This is the most comprehensive census to date of the icy ingredients available to make future generations of stars and planets, before they are heated during the formation of young stars.
  • The reason is overall goals are accomplished by a team through teamwork.
  • Our purpose is to foster growth and innovation with a focus on tech.
  • Workers work to earn the money they are paid, and indirectly they want to see their manager work too for his money.
  • Getting individuals to work together smoothly is a very difficult task that proves itself to be impossible in some cases but it is not.

Encourage trust and cooperation among employees on your team. Remember that the relationships team members establish among themselves are every bit as important as those you establish with them. Recognizing the team’s development stage can be really helpful as you work to improve your team’s effectiveness and meet your goals. For more information, see our “Using the Stages of Team Development” article and the “What Stage is Our Team In?” tool .


As the name implies, it must be a surprise because you need not tell them where they are going. You may want to conduct open debate about the pros and cons of proposals, or establish research committees to investigate issues and deliver reports. The getfit challenge is a free 12-week, team-oriented fitness challenge open to the entire MIT community. Get your team registered by January 22, and get ready for all the fun, camaraderie, perks, and potential prizes that come with participation.

Steps to Team Building

However, there might be issues like poor performance, lack of communication or motivation, etc. So, you need exercises that keep your teams stay cooperative, engaged, and motivated. In this article, let’s have a look at these stages along with some team building activities that you can try in each stage. These are the norms that you and the team establish to ensure efficiency and success. Team building tips are pieces of advice you can use to increase motivation, encourage collaboration, and improve productivity.

During the Storming stage, team members may argue or become critical of the team’s original mission or goals. The storming stage is the most difficult and critical stage to pass through. It is a period marked by conflict and competition as individual personalities emerge. Team performance may actually decrease in this stage because energy is put into unproductive activities. Members may disagree on team goals, and subgroups and cliques may form around strong personalities or areas of agreement.

Here is a list of improv games you can play with your team, and this one has hybrid activities for teams with remote and in-person employees. You want a team building exercise that will truly engage your team. Teams may forget the cookie-cutter ice breaker you did once. Create a unique and interesting experience, and the effects will last much longer. Keep track of the undercurrent it can rip tide you into very deep water. Some people’s feelings will get the better of them and begin to cause issue for you if they get upset.

Why do some sources call team building a four stage process?

At the start of each project, either assign tasks or oversee the team’s delegation of duties. You should always be aware of team member responsibilities to ensure an even workflow distribution. You can always reallocate tasks and send help as necessary during projects, but establishing clear positions helps everyone set realistic expectations and stay on track. In conclusion, the primary goal is the ultimate aim or objective that a person or organization strives to achieve.

Team members feel an increasing acceptance of others on the team, recognizing that the variety of opinions and experiences makes the team stronger and its product richer. Members start to feel part of a team and can take pleasure from the increased group cohesion. In the adjourning stage, most of the team’s goals have been accomplished.

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