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The Five Categories of Team Effectiveness

Posted by HRDQ on 11/20/2018 to Team Building
Team effectiveness

How to Overcome Blockages and Challenges to Effectiveness

An effective team is the best kind of team. There are certain characteristics of effectiveness that every team should try to encompass. If an organization loses sight of their mission and goals, has ineffective team roles, or poor organizational processes the company can suffer.

There are five categories of team effectiveness:

  • Mission, vision and goals
  • Team roles
  • Operating processes
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Inter-team relationships

1. Mission, Vision and Goals

Well-functioning organizations have a clear vision of the future and defined goals. They have a mission statement and purpose. Plans are developed collaboratively and work is performed with company objectives in mind.

2. Team Roles

Work in an organization should be organized to support the group’s function. Roles and accountability should be clear to everyone. Employees should have a clear job description and follow their organizational chart. If a group is not structured correctly, assignments will not be completed efficiently and the organization will suffer.

3. Operating Processes

There needs to be a standard operating process for employees. Policies and procedures can manage the work of the group and support both task and maintenance needs. Task needs refer to activities required to accomplish work objectives. Operating processes include problem solving, decision making, and conflict management.

4. Interpersonal Relationships

For effective teamwork, interpersonal relationships need to be outstanding. Every team member needs to work well with others, and develop a trusting relationship. Trust is required in order to resolve problems – and groups with poor interpersonal relationships are largely ineffective.

5. Inter-team Relationships

Teams also need to be able to work together effectively. There are four variables at the root of cooperation between groups: time orientation, where groups operate within different time frames; goal orientation, where different groups have different goals; interpersonal orientation, where some groups emphasize task-oriented styles while others have relationship-oriented styles; and internal formal structure, where some groups have more written policies and systems in their work. 

Working Through Challenges and Learning More

Groups need to work through blockages to improve their own performance. By dealing with specific issues, a group can continue to learn new skills, share relevant information, build trust, and grow in maturity by taking interpersonal risks with each other and resolving previous issues that were not able to be discussed (according to Francis and Young).

To learn more about how to deal with team challenges, attend HRDQ’s webinar ‘Team Effectiveness: What is it Anyway?’ on January 16. Attendees will learn how to identify issues that block effectiveness, reduce or eliminate problems that can drain a group’s energy, and maximize the group’s productive efforts.

Register here:


The webinar is based on ‘Team Effectiveness Profile,’ a learning tool that gives an overall team effectiveness score and reveals the general health of the group and blockages that may hinder team effectiveness. The ‘Team Effectiveness Profile’ is most appropriate for groups that have a history of working together. It can also be used to prepare a newly-formed group for the kinds of issues that may block its success in the future. Uses include measuring performance before and after team building initiatives, unblocking struggling teams, and introducing new teams to potential problems.

Learn more about the Team Effectiveness Profile by clicking here:

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