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Dear Workforce How Do You Identify Strengths and Weaknesses When Putting Employee Teams Together

I am specifically interested in being able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of team members so they can be encouraged to use their strength for improved performance, as well as complement each other. I have heard about Belbin self-inventory tests [a personality-based test that measures whether an individual is suited for working in a team environment] but wondered if other tests might be able to help.
April 21, 2005
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Dear Strengthening:

Assessment tools promote teamwork by helping you identify people who possess the character traits needed for a given team. Choosing the right assessment for your needs is both an art and a science.
Consider using a test that profiles the cultural fit of both the team and individual members. Find out what is important to the individuals being considered for a specific team. Do they value innovation in the workplace? Or are they more concerned about a stable work environment? How attentive are they to detail? What about personality: are they easygoing or aggressive by nature?
The answers to these questions should give you insight into why an individual may or may not belong on a particular team. You may discover that the person you're considering for one team is actually better equipped to serve on a totally different team.
Remember the two aspects of facilitating team performance. First, you must know the characteristics of the team as a whole. Second, understand the characteristics and traits of each individual chosen for the team. In other words, success or failure rests on making sure you place the right people on the right team.
Although they help indicate whether someone is suited for a given team, Belbin-type tests fail to consider that each team is different, defined by its individual members (each of whom has different motivations). Using such a test to make team assignments, therefore, may not give you what you're looking for.
SOURCE: Charles A. Handler, Ph.D., PHR, Rocket-Hire, New Orleans, June 9, 2004.
LEARN MORE:Picking the Right Assessment Tools.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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Dear Workforce Newsletter
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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