Organisational support - training, HR Management

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There is a widespread inaccurate assumption that people know how to work in teams. It is all too common that organisations implement teams without providing training for employees. The content of training needs to cover three types of competencies that are important for effective teamwork:

  • Technical competence: how to complete the task. For example, a team of computer programmers need to have a thorough understanding of the computer language that the code will be written in.
  • Task-related competencies: setting of team goals and strategies to guide the team's work.
  • Interpersonal competencies: coordination and conflict resolution.


Often, too much emphasis is placed on technical competence, with insufficient emphasis given to building teams' task-related competencies and their interpersonal skills. It is important that training for these competencies be directly related to the work that teams will do. Efforts need to be made to ensure that principles learnt when away from work are transferred to the work setting. Training teams together rather than training members separately is preferable, because it:

  • helps teams develop and test-run processes such as coordination
  • enables team members to build trust, which is a necessary precursor to sharing information and knowledge
  • facilitates the development of a 'transactive memory system', which is a shared awareness and ability of the team to identify and process information. For example, teams develop an awareness of which team member has knowledge on what topic, an important element of creative problem solving.


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