Improving team effectiveness: 7 models to guide you

Improving team effectiveness: 7 models to guide you

Team effectiveness models empower you to troubleshoot performance and address key issues before they escalate to build a high-performing team.

Improving team effectiveness: 7 models to guide you

Team effectiveness models empower you to troubleshoot performance and address key issues before they escalate to build a high-performing team.

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Cultivate a high-performing team by understanding and implementing team effectiveness models.

These models offer profound insights that help teams streamline existing processes, alleviate bottlenecks, and boost productivity.

Plus, in a crowded digital space where having a website that stands out is key to your company’s success, you need an ace team to craft seamless and innovative online experiences. A cohesive and high-performing team helps you deliver projects on time, address changing user needs, and capitalize on emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI).

Read on to learn how to build a great team using team effectiveness models.

Understanding team effectiveness models

Effective work teams consist of skilled individuals who function as a cohesive whole.

It’s easy to gather a collection of talented individuals, but without cultivating great team dynamics, that’s all they are: a collection of individuals. To transcend this, you need to align each team member with overarching team objectives, deploy their strengths so they can effectively balance out others’ weaknesses, and create a culture of open communication.

Team effectiveness models encourage this alignment. They’re organizational systems that enable a company to build teams for specific projects or goals by promoting cohesion and often relying on good leadership. To measure team effectiveness, these models also stipulate key performance indicators (KPIs) based on team member performance or production rate and quality.

Why is team effectiveness important?

Team effectiveness is crucial for individual team members and the group as a whole, with benefits first influencing the group and eventually trickling down to individuals.

Effective teams:

  • Are more resilient to arising challenges. A cohesive and effective team is better equipped to navigate and overcome challenges because they can leverage their collective strengths to balance out individual weaknesses and find innovative solutions. And their clear communication habits reduce conflicts and misunderstandings that might slow the issue resolution process.
  • Experience positive synergy with coworkers. Effective communication and the reduced conflict that results also lead to better overall team synergy. Everyone feels empowered to combine their skills and achieve collectively.
  • Encourage company-wide growth. Great teams clearly understand the bigger picture — and their unique value in accomplishing these high-level goals. These groups are focused and committed to contributing meaningfully toward the company’s long-term vision.

Thanks to the benefits above, individuals often enjoy the following advantages to team effectiveness:

  • More professional empowerment. A sense of empowerment emerges when team members feel their contributions are valued. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation.
  • More focus. When working on an effective team, everyone clearly understands their role and responsibilities. This enhances individual focus and reduces errors and wasted time working unproductively.
  • Productivity. Because each person’s strengths are leveraged, project work is optimized and efficient. This increases overall productivity for individuals and the whole.

7 team effectiveness models

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to choosing between team-building models. Each approach below works best for different team dynamics, industries, and workspaces.

To help you find the right approach, we’ve put together a list of seven team effectiveness models and why they might be a good fit, given a team’s characteristics, challenges, and objectives.

1. Katzenbach and Smith model

The Katzenbach and Smith model emphasizes the importance of team roles and how they impact team performance. This model categorizes teams into four types based on their primary focus:

  • Working teams that produce tangible outputs
  • Management teams that are responsible for coordinating activities
  • Parallel teams that provide recommendations
  • Action teams that make immediate decisions

This model works best for teams with distinct roles and tasks that require specialized focus. Teams with clear roles are efficient because each member focuses on their expertise, which reduces redundancy and promotes specialization. This ensures that individuals complete tasks with precision, contributing to overall team efficacy.

2. Tuckman’s FSNPA model

Tuckman’s model highlights the stages of team development:

  • Forming
  • Storming
  • Norming
  • Performing
  • Adjourning

It recognizes that teams go through these stages in their journey toward high performance and productivity.

Let’s say you’re part of a newly formed website design team. Initially, members may be polite and cautious (forming), then conflicts might arise (storming), followed by the establishment of norms (norming), leading to optimal performance (performing), and finally, the project’s completion (adjourning).

This model is best for teams undergoing significant changes or embarking on new projects because it provides a road map for navigating different developmental stages. By acknowledging the natural stages of team development, teams can anticipate challenges and better understand the group dynamic while leaders quickly enable effective adjustments at each stage.

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3. LaFasto and Larson model

The LaFasto and Larson model emphasizes five elements that are crucial for team success:

  • Clear goals
  • Defined roles
  • Effective processes
  • Solid relationships
  • Supportive context

By addressing these fundamental aspects, leaders ensure that teams have a shared purpose, structured processes, and a positive environment — so, a cohesive and productive work atmosphere.

This model best suits cross-functional teams with diverse roles where clarity, processes, and relationships are pivotal for success. For instance, designers, marketers, and developers might all work on the same website project. By adhering to the five elements of the LaFasto and Larson model, you can focus on:

  • Setting clear goals to deliver a fully functional website by a certain deadline
  • Defining roles so each team member is clear on their responsibilities and how their work affects one another
  • Dictating effective, collaborative workflows that streamline development and remove bottlenecks
  • Building solid relationships between team members to drive collaboration
  • Creating a supportive environment to encourage innovation

4. T7 model

The T7 model focuses on seven characteristics of effective teams:

  • Purpose
  • Talent
  • Buy-in
  • Performance goals
  • Approach
  • Accountability
  • Results

This comprehensive approach ticks all the boxes to ensure every teammate is ready and willing to hit both individual and team goals — and that these goals are relevant and purposeful.

Teams tackling complex projects will enjoy this broad and holistic method as they try to align everyone’s efforts and achieve various collective goals.

5. Hackman’s 5-factor model

Hackman’s model considers team efficacy based on five factors:

  • A compelling direction
  • An enabling structure
  • A supportive context
  • The right team composition
  • Competent coaching

Hackman’s model works best for teams facing structure, composition, or leadership challenges because it provides a systematic approach to enhancing these critical aspects.

6. Lencioni’s model

Lencioni’s approach focuses on overcoming five common team dysfunctions:

  • Absence of trust
  • Fear of conflict
  • Lack of commitment
  • Avoidance of accountability
  • Inattention to results

This model functions as a diagnostic tool that guides teams in recognizing and tackling specific dysfunctions that might impede performance. It provides a structured framework for teams to address these challenges head-on and fosters a healthier team culture characterized by trust, open communication, commitment, accountability, and a collective focus on achieving results. Through targeted interventions and a commitment to continuous improvement, teams can transform identified dysfunctions into strengths, driving overall team effectiveness.

This model works best for groups that are struggling with interpersonal dynamics and communication issues. For instance, to overcome the fear of conflict, you might actively foster an environment where diverse ideas are encouraged and openly discussed to enhance creativity and innovation.

7. Google model

The Google framework focuses on:

  • Psychological safety
  • Dependability
  • Structure and clarity
  • Meaning of work
  • Impact of work

These factors create an environment where team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable. This, in turn, encourages the group to innovate, voice opinions, and grow.

The Google model best suits innovation-focused and research-oriented groups where fostering a psychologically safe environment is crucial for creativity. For instance, in an agile web development team, psychological safety ensures that team members feel comfortable proposing and experimenting with new ideas that lead to breakthrough website solutions.

How to implement a teamwork model

A high-performing team is built, not born. You’ll need to put in some effort to bring together a group of individuals with unique skill sets and traits into a cohesive, functioning whole.

Here are a few things to consider when implementing a teamwork model.

Select a team effectiveness framework

Start by choosing a team effectiveness model that aligns with your organization’s goals and values. You might consider established models like those discussed above or work with fellow company leaders to define one specific to your team.

Engage and align your team

Once you’ve chosen a model, loop in your team. Introduce the model, emphasize its relevance for achieving collective goals, and explain how it helps boost team performance.

To reduce friction, actively involve team members in the adoption process. You might conduct workshops and training sessions to ensure everyone grasps how their individual roles contribute to the team’s success within the framework.

Cultivate a culture of collaboration

While creating a culture of trust and collaboration is generally a good practice, a collaborative, open environment is especially crucial for implementing team effectiveness models. By establishing open communication channels, you encourage the free exchange of ideas and build a team in which diverse perspectives are not only welcomed but valued.

To do so, you can use collaborative tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to facilitate real-time communication and file sharing. You also might establish platforms or forums where team members can openly share insights or use collaborative design tools that help team members communicate seamlessly.

Maintain consistent team check-ins

Regular check-in sessions help you assess how closely your team is adhering to the teamwork model, address challenges before they escalate, and celebrate achievements for both individuals and the group. These sessions should serve as a platform for continuous improvement.

To implement this, conduct weekly or biweekly retrospectives where the team reflects on recent projects, discusses what went well, suggests improvement areas, and reiterates how the teamwork model contributed to success. Then, you and your team can use this feedback to make informed adjustments and ensure ongoing framework efficacy.

The right tools for encouraging effective teamwork

Team effectiveness models provide the road map to better cohesion. They encourage groups to address common dysfunctions, establish clear roles and responsibilities, and foster a culture of trust and collaboration. And all this leads to greater collective success — what more could a team ask for?

Webflow Enterprise takes this transformation to the next level by providing a powerful web design platform that facilitates seamless collaboration. With Webflow, team members can work concurrently without stepping on each other’s toes. It also empowers cross-functional team contributions. Check out one example of how Webflow empowered a marketing team to effectively contribute to web development.

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Loved by designers. Trusted by enterprises. Bring Webflow in-house at your company with advanced security, custom traffic scaling, guaranteed uptime, and much more.

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Last Updated
March 18, 2024
Webflow for Enterprise

Loved by designers. Trusted by enterprises. Bring Webflow in-house at your company with advanced security, custom traffic scaling, guaranteed uptime, and much more.

Learn more
Learn more