Teams have become a strategic tool in organizations’ success. Due to the recent financial crisis, organizations are restructuring themselves in order to be able to compete effectively and efficiently in the highly demanding market. Management in many organizations has agreed that teams are more flexible and responsive to the continuous changing environment than traditional departments. Teams have the capability to quickly unite, organize, coordinate, adapt and disband.

Contrary to the traditional belief, the success of a team depends less on how clever, talented or qualified employees are, and more on how they behave. Employees should be able to understand their team roles within a particular team; this will assist them in developing their strengths, managing their weaknesses and improving their overall contribution to the team.

Akhtaboot presents the nine roles that make up a balanced and successful team; each is grouped within three main types of employees.

Action Players: Result Oriented Employees

The Team Executive – Implementer

Have you never missed a deadline? Do you like to turn people’s ideas into positive action? Are you are willing to handle jobs everyone else avoids or dislikes? If you answered yes to all of the above, then you are an “Implementer”. Implementers rarely miss deadlines and are eager to turn decisions and strategies into defined and manageable tasks, sorting out objectives and pursuing them logically. However, most implementers are close-minded and inflexible.

The Doer – Shaper

Do you like to be challenged? Do you tolerate working under pressure? Do you usually say what’s on your mind? Do you do whatever it takes to achieve your goals? All the above characteristics define a perfect “Shaper” who gives structure and energy to the team and directs them towards achieving results. Yet, while they strive to achieve their objectives, Shapers sometimes forget to be sensitive to the feelings and perceptions of others.

The Perfectionist – Completer

Have you ever been frustrated from a teammate who worries excessively about minor details and refuses to delegate tasks? Sorry for the bad news, but you can’t kick him out of the team because nothing will be finalized without this annoying team member. What we call a “Completer” is a perfectionist who will often go the extra mile to make sure everything is just right. Completers are detail-oriented and motivated by their own high standards.

Saviors: Problem Solving Employees

The Genius – Plant

Don’t ever underestimate a “Plant”! He is quiet and silent, but when the time is right he astonishes the team with innovative and creative ideas. Plants are open-minded and willing to accept change. They are geniuses but have low communication skills, as they are unable to deliver and convince other team players of their ideas.

The Person Who is Loved by Everyone – Monitor

“Monitors” are fair and logical observers, they judge their colleagues based on what they actually see. In most situations and problems, Monitors will make the right decision, as they are unbiased and are able to see all options with the greatest clarity. They take everything into account; they move slowly and analyze all aspects of the situation. However, they can become excessively enthusiastic for some things without logical grounds, and they may face difficulties inspiring themselves or others to be passionate about their work.

The Know-it-all – Specialist

Have you ever felt that there is only one team member who you always can turn to when you are stuck or when you need information about a specific subject? He is the “Specialist” of the team. Specialists tend to be the most knowledgeable about their own particular field, as they are eager about learning and educating themselves. They are constantly working to improve their skills and wisdom. Specialists bring a high level of concentration, knowledge and expertise to the team, but they limit their involvement to cover this narrow aspect of team work.

Feeling Employees

The Leader – Coordinator

Have you ever felt deceived by a team member who only implies to others what they should do but he does nothing to help? Unfortunately, this team member is playing the leader role and he manages the team’s chaos. By default, the “Coordinator” becomes responsible for organizing tasks among team members. He explains group goals, sets the agenda and the timeline but does not dominate discussions.

The Fuel of the Team – Teamworker

“Teamworkers” are the oil that keeps the team engine running. They are good listeners and excellent in resolving conflict. The value of Teamworkers tends to show only when they are absent and when the team begins to argue and no one is there to solve the problem. Because of their unwillingness to take sides, a Teamworker may not be able to take decisive action.

The Thief – Resource Investigator

The “Resource Investigator” is enthusiastic; he vigorously pursues contacts and opportunities at the start of the project and passes his enthusiasm to other team members. He focuses his attention on building relationships outside the team rather than concentrating on internal issues. Unlike a Plant who strives to create new ideas, a Resource Investigator would rather steal them from outside parties. Yet, he tends to lose his energy by the end of a project and he starts to neglect small details.

The success of a team is not only about having all the above team member types, it’s also about the integration and coordination of these roles. Teams can be made up of 4 to 12 employees; therefore, it’s not necessary for a team to have all the 9 mentioned roles. Best teams, regardless of their size, try to utilize the benefits of each member’s role toward achieving a common goal, so keep in mind that wearing the same t-shirt doesn’t make you a team!