6 Reasons To Have Different Roles In A Team & Why You MUST Define Them
April 8, 2021
Businesses of all shapes and sizes rely on teamwork to accomplish various tasks. By clearly defining functions and responsibilities from the offset the team will understand what is expected of them, which in turn will motivate individuals to complete their share of the project. It may seem like additional work before a project has even begun, but by assigning specific positions within a team you will enhance the overall group dynamic and see heightened levels of productivity.
Understanding how to develop the different roles in a team for your workforce is absolutely essential to your company’s success. In today’s blog post, we’ll be discussing the six key benefits of having different roles in a group setting, and why it is so important you define these early on.
What are roles and responsibilities?
Roles refers to a position on a team, but these are not necessarily static and may develop throughout the course of a project. Responsibilities are the tasks and duties delegated to a particular position, the employee will be held accountable for the tasks that fall under their role. The clearer roles and responsibilities are outlined, the more likely it is an employee can assist in achieving the team’s end goals whilst succeeding in their individual position too.
So more importantly then, what is teamwork?
“The act of bringing several individuals together in order to efficiently and effectively complete a project.” Simply put, Together Everyone Achieves More – but only if they know what they are supposed to be doing! So, let’s take a look at why we need these different roles and how we can ensure they are clearly defined.
The 6 powerful reasons to have different roles in a team
Along with increasing team efficiency, creating functional roles and responsibilities provides several other benefits that could positively impact your business as a whole. As a team leader, if you are yet to implement different positions within a group setting, understanding these advantages may motivate you to in the future:
#1 Increased productivity
It may sound simple, but when a team understand what is expected of them, how to behave and what they need to accomplish you have a recipe for success. Those tasks seen as potentially ‘undesirable’ won’t go slipping through the net as each individual feels accountable, as a result, this will propel the group’s momentum forward.
#2 Improved communication
Not only is communication improved when each team member understands the vital part another colleague plays, but it is also reduced which is key. When tasks are delegated to the relevant individual and everyone knows the responsibilities of one another, unnecessary phone calls and emails become a thing of the past. This, in turn, allows for enhanced focus and should see members completing their tasks in a timely manner.
#3 Better time management
With improved communication also comes better time management. In a high pressured environment, with deadlines looming it’s easy to overlook a minimal task but this could cause major issues further down the line. With different roles in a team, individuals can schedule their workload efficiently – you’ll then be able to identify any employees that may need support and avoid assignment misunderstandings, for example, a task being delegated twice to two separate team members. With every task assigned, not only will you be able to see the overall schedule of a project, but also ensure nothing slips through the net when deadlines approach.
#4 Morale boost
When an employee’s position in a group is clearly defined and they are successful within their role, the whole team will benefit as each member can see the overall end goal in sight, motivated, therefore, to complete their own responsibilities. Teamwork makes the dream work after all! This sense of achievement will boost momentum, and thus encourage increased levels of productivity. Furthermore, this same success will also contribute to the team’s heightened confidence in both this project and any future assignments.
#5 Eliminates unhealthy competition
We all remember the days back in school when one individual would try to claim all the credit for a group project, or perhaps one member was almost redundant, contributing little to the success but still securing their share of the final outcome. Leave the unnecessary competition in the classroom! By creating different roles in a team, you eliminate any bickering between colleagues over who completes a specific task. Fairly distributing responsibilities and assigning relevant tasks to the correct positions will see you avoid needless conflict. Instead, team members will be able to nurture and form positive working relationships that will serve the business long into the future.
#6 Identifies areas of weakness
Everyone has their own areas of strength, and of course weakness. Some individuals may have a cross over in skills, and this is not to say there are both not a valuable asset to the company. But, by assigning positions in a group you can identify where you are potentially lacking specific skills required to effectively complete an assignment. If you can uncover these ‘gaps’ before presenting a new project to a team, you can plan ahead and add an additional member or offer support to develop an individual’s skillset. As a result, your team won’t feel overstretched or disheartened as they understand they have all the ability to reach the end goal.
Why you MUST define team positions
So, why exactly is it so critical for you to define positions within a group setting? When you have a team that each has a clearly defined role, the members will be able to align and function highly effectively together. Tackling problems that may arise and achieving end goals will see this collaborative unit not only survive, but thrive. This is critical for your business to succeed as failure to define these roles may leave members feeling lost and tasks uncompleted.
There are two main categories that roles will split into: those with decision-making powers, and those without. Both should actively participate and listen to the other when completing a project, with the member/s with leadership responsibilities providing additional support and direction to their colleagues. These two categories may have several divisions such as sales, operations, finance and research dependent on your company’s structure and desired outcome for the team.
How do you define different roles in a team?
It’s clear to see that having several roles within a team is critical to your business’ success and growth. When an individual member understands their responsibilities, they can take ownership and as a result, produce high-quality results for the group. But how do you go about defining these positions?
#1 Determine what needs to get done
Make a list of what exactly needs to get done to ensure this project is completed to a high standard, this will give you an idea of the tasks that will require delegating. It’s important to note what your team currently have in the works and look at past assignments too to create the full picture. Ask yourself, is this achievable? How did we fair with previous projects of this sort? Recognise and base your decisions accordingly.
#2 Allocate leadership/decision making roles
Whilst it is important to promote equal footing in the exchange of ideas and discussions etc. you want to encourage efficiency and reduce unnecessary waiting times to ensure a project’s success. Outlining where authority lies can keep an assignment moving forward when questions of ‘can I?’ come cropping up, and provide reassurance to all within the group.
#3 Refer to job descriptions/identify relevant skillsets
If you are struggling to delegate a certain task – be it ‘desirable’ or not, consider looking back at job descriptions alongside past projects, interests and an employee’s interpersonal skills. A combination will ensure you assign the right tasks to each individual – and don’t forget, you can also ask! Your colleagues will value your choice to listen to them and it may even provide further insight into how the team would work best.
#4 Get feedback from the team
Finally, it is important to get feedback from the team once you have decided on these positions. Roles are not always static and may adapt throughout the life-cycle of a project, so don’t be afraid to reassign where needed if you find a task that may suit another team member better. Without considering feedback, you may find an assignment becomes severely delayed which would be disheartening for the whole team.
The take-away: Different roles in a team
Having multiple positions within a team and by ensuring these are clearly defined, you will effectively and efficiently be able to complete projects. As a result, you will see your business achieve its goals and continue to develop which is vital to surviving such competitive markets. However, it’s important to note that these roles may adapt and change throughout the course of an assignment; developing a strong team requires some flexibility. Listening to your team members thoughts and playing to their strengths will see a successful, confident working group environment.
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