When talking about team building, much attention is given to long-term teams instead of temporary teams. Long-term teams are typically required when they fulfill the main functions of your organization, such as sales teams, health and safety teams, employee motivation teams, etc. Such teams are consistent fixtures within your organization. Even if members of the teams rotate in and out, the focus and function of a long-term team never change.
What Are Temporary Teams?
Organizations form temporary teams to address one specific problem or to complete one specific project. Temporary teams (also called project teams or tiger teams) are often disbanded when the group achieves a specific outcome.
Fun Fact: Although the term seems to have originated in the military, NASA is well known for putting together “tiger teams” of engineers and scientists from different backgrounds and disciplines to find answers to complex problems.
Examples of Temporary Teams
To have an efficient, sleek organization, your leadership team needs to recognize when it is best to form a temporary group to complete a project.
Which of the following kinds of teams is always temporary?
- A group of employees assigned to update an organization’s award policies.
- A tiger team of experts from different departments created to identify the root cause of a specific flaw found with a product and find a solution to fix it.
- A team developed to explore the best approach to address a market disruption.
All of these examples are great at illustrating the use of temporary teams.
If you have been assigned to lead a temporary team, you may be wondering how to best approach this task. The good news is that you were probably selected for the job because the organization’s leadership feels you have the skills necessary to take a lead role in completing this project. So, dazzle them with your success by following these tips for building a great temporary team.
Tips for Building Great Temporary Teams
Before you begin work, make sure you thoroughly understand the project. Consider your project’s parameters and requirements so that you can hit the ground running when you meet with your team for the first time.
However, we know that you might be nervous as you face this task. After all, you may be tackling a new issue or problem. There may be no one to turn to within your organization for advice or suggestions.
Here are some tips for leading a successful temporary team.
Provide a concise, clear target outcome and timeframe.
Too many teams last longer than needed because no one has defined the target outcome. Make it clear that the team is temporary and that success is demonstrated by the fact that the team is no longer needed. This is counterintuitive in the business world.
Embrace task achievement as the priority.
While trust and respect are always needed for peak team performance, long-term relationship management is not as essential when working with temporary teams. If you feel it is necessary, build-in time for the team to get to know each other in a facilitated, structured way. Otherwise, focus on task achievement as the priority.
Provide the necessary infrastructure.
When bringing together a team from different parts of the organization, you must provide the necessary tools and infrastructure. This may include a dedicated video meeting room, templates or examples of deliverables.
Celebrate the team’s success.
Everyone wants to be acknowledged for a job well done. So, when your team completes the work, pause to thank and reward them however you can. This provides emotional closure and marks the team’s success and impact.
Pryor Learning Courses Offer Strategies For Leading Your Team to Excellence
Whether you are leading a temporary team or seeking advice on long-term leadership, Pryor Learning courses offer winning strategies. Here are some of our best training opportunities for those constantly searching for ways to improve in the workplace.
Leadership, Team-Building and Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors
This one-day, live-online seminar is perfect for forward-thinking managers who want to learn how to turn their employees into super-productive, motivated temporary team members. Specifically, you’ll learn:
- Five simple steps for creating no-fail, successful game plans.
- Clever solutions to maximize your ability to think on your feet.
- How to avoid over-communicating (or over-coaching).
- How to deal with stress, pressure, and anxiety from leading a temporary (or full-time) team.
This team-building training transforms temporary teams into a cohesive, coordinated group. Enroll in Leadership, Team-Building and Coaching Skills for Managers and Supervisors from Pryor Learning.
Inspiring Employee Motivation and Engagement
Are the employees making up your temporary team excited for the additional challenge, or do you find them unmotivated and unengaged in the project? Unfortunately, employee engagement levels have fluctuated dramatically since the pandemic. Learn how to lead a temporary team in a post-pandemic world by enrolling in Pryor Learning’s live three-hour interactive seminar called Inspiring Employee Motivation and Engagement.
This course benefits business owners, temporary team leaders, human resource professionals and anyone leading employees who are stretched too thin.
Some of the key takeaways from this Pryor Learning course include:
- Strategies to motivate others to perform at their personal best consistently.
- Techniques to solve repetitive problems and dilemmas.
- Insights on working with different age groups.
- Tips for using assertive, persuasive, and high-impact communication to advance buy-in and motivate your team.
- Ways to recognize and reward employees that foster, engage, and inspire others.
In essence, you’ll learn how to motivate your temporary team to work well together to complete your assigned project.
Building Teamwork One Individual at a Time
Does your temporary team HAVE TO SUCCEED? Here’s a class for all your team members, regardless of their position or experience, that prepares them to work together to achieve a common goal.
This digital-download, one-hour webinar brings to light some of the pitfalls that occur when working within a group.
Your temporary team will learn the behaviors of a helpful team member, including:
- Establishing and following ground rules for your team.
- Guidelines for clear and concise communication.
- Preventing disruptions in team meetings and maintaining team focus.
- Tips for overcoming barriers to productive communication.
- Which negative and inhibiting behaviors influence group productivity.
- The basics of balanced participation.
While temporary team leaders can undoubtedly benefit from Building Teamwork One Individual at a Time, consider prepping your employees who aren’t used to working collaboratively with this team-building seminar – especially if your project MUST SUCCEED!
Coaching Skills – Beyond Basic Supervision
Is your temporary team divided? Do you have problem participants, frustrated top performers and unmotivated members? Then your team doesn’t need a supervisor – they need a team leader with a vision and excellent coaching skills.
Learn how to get your team back on track with Pryor Learning’s Coaching Skills – Beyond Basic Supervision. This one-hour webinar will show you how to adjust your strategies and provide new tactics to get your team on track.
You’ll learn how to unleash your team’s potential by:
- Identifying the best communication methods for your team.
- Discovering what motivates your team members.
- Learning how to be a resource for your employees who are struggling.
- Ensuring you have the right people doing the right jobs on your team.
The best thing about this course is that it can be on your screen within minutes –you can digitally download this webinar. Once you see what a difference the content makes in improving your coaching skills, you’ll be excited to bring the course to your whole team. Request onsite training by filling out our online form.
Other Things to Remember When You Are Tasked With Leading a Temporary Team
Are you excited, nervous or a combination of both as you face your new leadership role? You may be excited to prove your worth as a leader by attacking the position with vigor. After all, when selected and managed well, temporary teams can have a significant impact on moving an organization forward.
As you look forward to leading your temporary team (project team or tiger team), we offer these two final pieces of advice:
First, learn as much as you can. After all, famed lawyer Wendall Willkie once said, “Education is the mother of leadership.” Learn strategies for completing this project by enrolling in a course offered by Pryor Learning. Pryor Learning offers 17,000+ training options, including 12,000+ live seminars across the U.S. and Canada and more than 5,000 online courses within our mobile-friendly learning platform. Learn leadership strategies from industry leaders and academics from these award-winning courses.
Also, remember the importance of leading a team in a delicate, nuanced manner.
Consider this quote from philosopher and writer Lao Tzu: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
Give your team members a goal, timeline, infrastructure, and direction. Once these are established, make necessary, periodic adjustments and let your team shine.