We get a lot of calls from teams that want to do some form of team building because their team members are:

  1. Not working together; just ignoring each other
  2. “Back stabbing”
  3. The newer team members and the veteran team members are not getting along for a wide variety of reasons.
  4. Other cliques or factions within the team are undermining others.
  5. “Rules” do not apply equally to all team members.

… and lots of other problems.


People want to do SOMETHING to fix the situation or at least help it get better. They will call a number of team building companies, including ours, and ask for advice; looking for an activity that will solve their problems. However, when we tell them exactly what they should do, they often elect to do a fun, lighthearted activity that brings people together, but changes little.


This happens because everyone wants to avoid conflict, open communication and honesty. They want to find a “happy solution” to a problem that could potentially harm the team and the organization as a whole. Though the solution can include “feel-good” and fun activities, without some positive yet serious discussion, change is not likely to occur.


Yes, it means that in order to achieve a higher functioning team, some egos may get bruised, but everyone needs to feel like part of the solution. For managers it means that you don’t use “divide and conquer” tactic, where you get people to trust you while you pit them against each other. It means you need to garner support for “change” and bring the group together to provide solutions as a team. Ask the team to take an honest look at themselves and how well they operate together. Tell them there are no right or wrong answers – and mean it when you say that they won’t be penalized for sharing their candid assessments of the workplace.


If you feel you can’t talk to them as a group, then start with a survey. Our Team Performance Survey is attached, and you can certainly modify it to fit your own situation and team. Once your team members turn in their survey (and these can be done anonymously), make sure you review the results with the entire team. It provides a way to start a meaningful discussion on team performance improvement.


In our next blog, we’ll reveal how we use the survey and continue the Team Assessment in order to get to REAL Team Building.


Team Performance Survey

Please rate your team on the following statements/attributes by placing an “X” in the appropriate box. A score of five is the best (or an absolute “yes”); one is the worst, with 3 being average or “so-so.”








1. Our team has open communication. We are open to hearing and discussing each other’s concerns.






2. We respect each other. I personally feel that I am a respected member of the team. 






3. We share credit for our successes as well as our shortcomings.






4. Management listens to our concerns.






5. Management is always open and available to hear my suggestions.






6. There is appreciation for each other.






7. We trust each other.






8. We have all the tools and training we need to be effective at our jobs.






9. I have clear direction on what is expected of me.






10. I feel comfortable giving my input and opinion to other team members.






11. My team members are glad to have my input and assistance.






12. I take time to assist/support my team members, and they take time to assist/support me.







13. If my teammates were asked to name a positive trait about me, I believe they would say:



14. If my teammates were asked what they thought I could improve upon in order to be a more effective team player, I think they would say: