Human Resources and its Relationship to Team Building

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Human Resources and its Relationship to Team Building

Posted by Mitzi Branvold | Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Building a successful team is a challenge that will affect every organization looking to grow a successful business. Whether you are an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, manager, employee, teamwork, and team building are a part of your work life. Typically, when we think about this topic, we put it in the hands of managers in each department. However, for consistency and cohesion, HR departments should give company-wide guidance. Below are the initial steps managers can take to build effective teams, which HR departments can use and specify according to organizational culture. This Forbes article succinctly states the concept of team building as mastering “the art of people.” And what are HR departments for, if not to positively impact the human beings that run their companies?   

When you Google “how to create great teams?” there are over one billion results returned. With so many differing opinions on what criteria creates an optimal team, where do you start? This article will help guide you through the most critical factors involved in building teams that make a lasting impact on your business. As you’ll see below, there are several truths to team building that have survived and thrived over the decades.    

First, the most important characteristic when building effective teams is to remember that they are human. It might sound obvious, but it bears acknowledgment. To understand which people will work well together, you have to get to know them. Human beings bring with them not only all of their work experience but their life experiences as well. Understanding how they communicate and how they prefer to be communicated to is essential to effective teamwork. Here are several assessments that can help to understand better the people with and for whom you work.    


  1. The Loyalist Team assessments by the Trispective Group: The book is also a useful tool to give your employees an understanding of why and how they are teamed together.
  2. Insights Discovery: Insights determine a person’s aptitude in four significant areas; two in extroversion and two in introversion.
  3. CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder 2.0): CliftonStrengths gives individuals a better understanding of their innate aptitudes and how to use those strengths in a team setting.

Team Norms 
Second, team norms. These are a set of standards that the teammates themselves create to determine how they will interact. Each teammate has to agree to uphold the standards set, which increases trust and integrity. The teammates themselves must create these standards, though guidance should be given if needed. In this Harvard Business Review article, “How to Create Executive Team Norms – and Make The Stick,” the author provides a 5-step practice to developing team norms and how to put them into practice. Even though it states that these steps are for executives, they can effectively be used by any team, no matter the hierarchy.   

Lastly, we will focus on agility. “Agile” is a term most frequently used in the IT industry relating to the process of product development. However, given the nature of work in the twenty-first century, entire corporations need to learn how to be agile. For that transition to happen, individuals and teams must learn and become comfortable with agility at every corporate ladder level. What is “agility?” In a business context, agility means the ability to be flexible and actively iterate on ideas/products/processes/procedures to create efficiencies that keep up with the changing industry trends and competition. Markets are moving at increasing speed due to technology, and your business must keep up. Having an agile mindset will help your organization stay relevant. Here are three terrific articles on staying agile:

  1. Don’t Let Teamwork Get in the Way of Agility: Harvard Business Review, May 2020
  2. Agility in the Time of COVID-19: McKinsey & Company, November 2020
  3. Three Digital Strategies to Improve Accounting Firm Agility: CPA Practice Advisor, September 2020

When organizations understand their employees’ strengths and weaknesses and provide practical teamwork guidelines, positive results follow. By providing educational resources to employees, the organization benefits and gives employees a sense of ownership over their positions, increasing company loyalty. Having an agile mindset within teams is the basis for a truly agile organization. Teamwork, on every level, is essential to building a successful organization. By following the advice above, your organization will be on the best path to creating unstoppable teams.