Thursday, 29 August 2019 14:57

Team development to meet business objectives

As September approaches, the impending back-to-school feeling isn’t reserved just for the kids. With the workforce back to full strength we can expect a surge of activity, so it’s vital to meet any training and development needs early-on to ensure a fully functioning team. As managers, we need to identify skills gaps so that we can organise appropriate individual training plans which meet the needs of the immediate team or department, and are aligned to the wider organisation’s goals.

Approaching the development of a team presents a number of challenges above those for an individual’s development. Individual strengths and weaknesses need to be considered alongside the different learning styles and personalities. You may consider starting with a simple personality profiling system to help you establish this. We use Belbin Team Roles and this is discussed as part of the content of our Team Member and Team Leader training courses.

When establishing development needs it might help to consider a tiered approach:

  • What are the goals of the business? Look at both short and long-term goals including any new projects or contracts that throw up new challenges. Sharing companywide objectives will help individuals understand their own contributions.
  • The goals and objectives of departmental teams will be driven by the wider corporate goals, so adequate and appropriate resourcing is key; even if a department is just one person.
  • Finally, the individuals within teams need to be equipped to fulfil their own roles and meet their objectives.

We might have to rely on our experience and personal knowledge of individuals when deciding if and what development needs are appropriate. Even when we think we have the right team configuration comprised of individuals with the correct skills, we must continue to set SMART objectives and hold individuals and the team as a whole to account. Regular and frequent reviews and 1-2-1 meetings will establish any shortcomings. If it’s a skills or knowledge gap then this can be remedied with an amendment to the individual’s training and development plan.

Encourage individuals to take the opportunity to identify their own development needs which can then be concurred with your own observations. This will allow them to take ownership and create buy-in.

Remember that different training methods exist which might be appropriate for differing learning styles. As well as classroom based learning, one-to-one coaching can often be effective for specific individual needs. A “buddy” or job-shadowing format can also be a good solution for sharing the experience of existing staff amongst new-starters and colleagues.

Committing staff to external training and development can create its own challenges. Business objectives still need to be met so sending staff on a training course en-masse can’t always be achieved. After years of delivering training for businesses, we have established that one day per week over four weeks works best. The impact of staff absence is minimised, and opportunity is created to apply each day’s learning in the workplace, allowing it to embed before the next day of the course.

Let’s remember to celebrate success also. Attaining an industry recognised standard or achieving a qualification should be applauded and shared with other members of the team. Sometimes the celebration may come simply because a team member has pushed him or herself outside their comfort zone. Maintain sight of the fact however that the ultimate purpose of the development is to enable the individual to meet his or her objectives for company-wide benefit.

Contact us for information about the funded training we have available for businesses in Bristol, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. We’ll also help you conduct a Training Needs Analysis to ensure you maximise the benefit. Call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 1845 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 May 2022 10:50


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





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We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.