Not many of your employees are well acquainted with their responsibilities from when they join your office. Even when they do, they will require time to get used to before they can perform to their potential.
So, is the missing synergy in your workforce a significant cause of concern for you? And do you feel that the increasing workload may further contribute to them failing to make ends meet and ultimately underperform as a unit?
It is imperative for a person in a managerial position to understand what they are required to do to optimise the workforce’s output without making them feel burdened. But for that to happen, it is vital that they pay ample focus to team training that deals with a plethora of aspects and help the individuals grow.
This article discusses the basics of team training, including its types and importance. We also cover some popular team training programs and tips that can benefit those working for you.
What is team training?
Team training refers to workplace exercises or drills that multiple departments or business teams perform together. These vary depending on the current organisational needs and how those in managerial positions seek to resolve them.
Most organisations use team training to introduce new software, level up their customer experience, or improve specific skills (technical, usually). It gives the workforce enough leeway to get used to something new or holistically enhance their existing skill levels.
Why is team training essential in the workplace?
A Deloitte research shows an increased impetus on building team-based organisations. Now, companies globally are shifting from the traditional hierarchy because they believe that the newer model leads to improved performance.
There can be times when your team is not performing well or is facing difficulties in adapting to a changing landscape, such as a new software introduction or a realignment of responsibilities.
With well-executed teamwork training, you can help your workforce find the missing mojo or improve their existing performance. It builds on their ability to work as a group and defend their place from their peers.
The primary focus of well-thought-out teamwork training is to break down any silos across departments or people in different positions in the same department.
It covers how team effectiveness helps people in an organisation make subtle changes in their approach to work or workplace behaviour to ensure an improved rhythm and performance for the group without cutting them on what gives them the edge.
Team training methods
As mentioned before, teamwork training depends on the organisation’s specific needs and is a highly customisable exercise. But here are some typical team training methods most businesses are most likely to employ –
The idea of on-the-job training is to help employees level up by providing practical exposure. Here, mentors overlook their work and offer them direct guidance in the actual work conditions to help them get accustomed.
It is one of the seamless team training methods given that it requires no additional space, no cost of setting up a classroom, or a temporary setup for the workforce. Some of the common on-the-job training practices include coaching, job rotation, and mentoring.
The rise in WFH workplaces has also led to the growth of another category of team training – virtual training.
Today, organisations have increased acceptance towards remote working. They have started conducting virtual training programs to help build a global team that works in unison irrespective of nationalities and other factors that differentiate them.
Virtual training is more expansive than other team training methods in most cases. It covers multiple needs, such as walking employees through the requisite software, group processes, and cross-cultural training.
Also read our article on “How to create a successful virtual reality training program?”
The concept of classroom training is simple – it creates a classroom-type experience, and the workforce goes through a series of presentation slides and activities.
Usually led by a qualified facilitator, it is generally conducted virtually or via a physical venue (on-site or off-site). These pieces of training are a great way to induct new employees or help them get used to new software.
Gamification is the new normal. Most modern business environments desire to be flexible and find nuanced ways to help their employees skill up. With gamification, managers can break down complex learnings into more accessible gaming mechanics-based elements.
Training for team building
Team-building training focuses on developing team bonding amongst employees. These endeavors aim to help employees connect with each other without worrying about hierarchy and other professional elements. It includes team games and activities, such as cricket, bowling, and more.
Conflict resolution training
Conflict resolution training helps in identifying problems and developing solutions as a team. With this, managers set conflict scenarios for teams to solve and gauge each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Soft skill team training
Soft skill team training refers to training habits related to interpersonal skills useful for the office environment and beyond. It can range from verbal or written, compassion, time management, and attention to detail.
Technical team training
With technical team training, employees learn about job-specific skills and ways to hone them. The learnings can range from basic skills to specialised ones.
While it may seem irrelevant to some, safety training is one exercise that should be a part of every workspace. It is vital because it informs the workforce of the possible challenges while performing their job.
In addition, it can also walk them through critical drills, such as evacuation plans, fire drills, and more.
Strategies and tips for team training
Here are some strategies and tips that would help you undertake an effective team training exercise.
Focus on becoming a mentor
The traditional office ecosystem was more of those about managerial positions trying to be a leader. But as time and approaches evolve, there is a shift towards being more of a mentor where company heads try to help employees hone their skills and shine.
Focus on team building
Your training should focus primarily towards team building. It should allow employees to engage and connect with one another in groups or via games.
Identify the training needs
Given the diversity of people in the team, it is imperative that they will have different needs. So it is vital for you to figure out the training needs for each of them and customise them as you move forward.
Consider different learning dynamics
Every individual has different learning styles and responds differently to training initiatives. So, it is vital for managers to conduct a variety of activities that enable the team to undertake meaningful progress. These can range from basic tasks, such as listening to more complex ones like preparing a bank reconciliation statement.
Let the workforce often take teaching roles
Suppose the manager believes that a particular individual in their workforce excels in a specific quality that others should also imbibe. In that case, they can be invited to take the opportunity to help others grow the specific skill too.
It would not only give such individuals the feeling of being a part of the team, but it would also enable others to take cues from their team members and move forward holistically.
Finding out how team members prefer learning
Given the dynamic nature of your workforce, it is apparent that they will have different learning preferences.
For example, while some prefer feeling and watching, others prefer assimilation and converging. So, the managers must take care of the learning preferences and devise training accordingly.
Invite trainees to bring in solutions
Out-of-the-box thinking is a skill that can help teams scale in the most hostile conditions. But for you to figure out that potential in your team members, it is vital to invite trainees to bring in solutions and force them to think.
Encourage, motivate, and reward
Training doesn’t always have to be about a specific skill or developing software knowledge. It can also be for showing the teams the way forward.
For this, managers can often conduct training that showcases encouragement and motivation and reward their employees handsomely to acknowledge their role.
While it is meaningful to conduct training to give employees opportunities to grow, it is vital to remember that it is an ongoing process and not a one-off thing. So, once you have undertaken training, don’t sit and relax.
You will have to gauge the improvement in your teams and figure out if there is any need to conduct follow-up training sessions or personal feedback to individuals or the team as a whole.
Continuous learning ensures that development remains a priority and that your team understands that improvement is more of a habit than a one-off affair. You can also avoid being obsolete if you constantly upgrade your team with new skills or expertise.
Training your employees is a vital part of your organisational growth endeavour. It will help your team feel valued and that they are a part of a dynamic environment. In most cases, training is a continuous process, and you can mix and match its different types to further optimise your team’s performance.
Co-founder and Managing Director
Stuart Harris, co-founder of Growth Academy Asia, has a vast background in corporate events and learning & development. As co-founder and managing director at Team Building Asia, Stuart has developed a large network of international clients over the past 20 years and brought an innovative perspective to the more traditional elements of team building, which lead to the founding Growth Academy Asia. With GAA, he aspires to disrupt the L&D industry with the immersive VR organisational and leadership programmes.