someone holding a test tub with a small plant growing out of itJust how important is team building and collaboration in 2021? According to results of The Ken Blanchard Companies® 2021 HR/L&D Trends Survey, they’re ranked first in the top five areas of focus specifically for training delivery. The remaining four, in order, are coaching, leading teams, communication and leading virtually.  

These are all important training delivery components, no matter what the circumstances. But as we continue to grapple with the pandemic and unconventional work structures, they’re more important than ever. Keep an eye on this space over the coming weeks as I discuss ways to make each area a part of your 2021 plan, but first, let’s talk about team building and collaboration. 


2021 Team Building Challenges

Do you remember the good ol’ days, when catching up over lunch or during impromptu, in-person meetings used to enable team members to connect on a daily basis? Today, a largely remote work force amidst a global pandemic calls leaders to be more intentional in bringing people together, and creating that same kind of environment, only virtually. 

During a recent client session, an executive was talking about how difficult it is to keep her team connected remotely, and keep from reverting back to old ways. “A team member recently sent out an exceptionally long email outlining ten different points and asking for feedback,” she said. “I just couldn’t let that happen, so I called a quick virtual meeting and we were able to knock all those items out in just 15 minutes.” 

Leaders need to work harder than they did before to create collaborative work spaces and deliberate time together for brainstorming, innovation and fostering relationships. This will continue to build trust and deepen relationships within the team. That doesn’t mean you have to hold long, drawn-out meetings, they just need to be opportunities to connect. Leading without intention will put your teams at risk to fail. [Find out more about how leaders can do this with a free download: 5 Ways to Build A High-Performance Team.]  


Why Teams Fail

Teams fail due to a number of reasons, including dysfunctional team behavior, disengaged employees and destructive behavior patterns. Failing teams are not only bad for morale, they’re bad for business. 

For instance, Gallup polls have shown that actively disengaged employees cost organizations $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary, or 34 percent. That means an actively disengaged employee who makes $60,000 a year costs their company $20,400 more per year. [For more poll results, get a free download of 5 Ways to Build A High-Performance Team.]  

So, how do you go about building collaborative, cohesive teams? It all comes down to fostering five key behaviors. 


Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team

When I work with executives, managers and company leaders to turn their teams around, I use The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team approach, based off of Patrick Lencioni’s best-selling book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  Quite simply, high-functioning and collaborate teams must be built on:

  1. Trust
  2. Healthy conflict
  3. Commitment
  4. Accountability
  5. Results

I work with teams to develop and maximize these behaviors, so they can operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. I also work with leaders to help them learn how to model these behaviors, facilitate productive conversations, foster collaborative teams, and build positive, long-lasting change from within. For more details on how leaders can model these five important behaviors, get a free download here.

Building collaborative teams should always be a priority in training delivery, but even more so in 2021. If you’d like to hear more about how this can be done virtually and effectively, please contact us today. We’d love to hear from you. 


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Most leaders struggle with disengagement, dysfunction, and non-productive behaviors with their teams. We deliver training that develops leaders and engages teams to increase your company results.