I think team maintenance is more important than team building. Team maintenance in the workplace is often overlooked as an important part of the team growth process.
It’s all about team-building, but what happens after the team has built the initial connection (or re-connection)?
Workplace team maintenance preserves the bonds, connections, and networks necessary for collaboration.
Most teams work hard to build these bonds, but they can disappear. Teams are essentially people gathered around a mission or common goal. They can perform cohesively if these people have some form of connection (or a relationship).
Cohesion is the connection. Collaboration is the medium by which work is accomplished. Working together empowers a group of people to be effective, solve problems, and be creative.
Team maintenance includes the systems and resources that keep staff engaged and the team connected. It is not always easy. In her article, “Maybe Collaboration Doesn’t Work?” Beth O’Neill swears, “Collaboration isn’t easy, and it doesn’t come naturally.” Read the entire blog post for great insight on facilitating consensus.
It’s a Start…
Team-building, on the other hand, tends to be more introductory. It’s the first step toward a group of humans understanding one another and building a sense of trust. After the initial “connection,” team-building should soon become team maintenance. It becomes something done regularly to renew existing connections and bolster ongoing trust.
Once your team has completed group formation, brainstorm ways to strengthen those connections throughout the year. Consider it a team “oil change.” That was corny, I know. Yeah, team maintenance ensure success …in the long term.