What Is the Purpose of a Team?

Updated June 24, 2022

The purpose of a team is the motivating force for why employees do what they do. Having direction in what their team is working toward can help individuals feel more encouraged to work and have a collective identity. Understanding ways to make a more purposeful team can help your organization attract and engage employees. In this article, we discuss the purpose of a team, explain why it's important to know and provide a list of tips for making a more purposeful team.

What is the purpose of a team?

The purpose of a team is the reason for the actions they perform in their organization. This is what helps keep them aligned and fulfilled toward reaching their company's objectives and goals. The team purpose is why they exist and can motivate employees in their work. Organizations use groups of skillful individuals to accomplish a common goal together.

Related: Team Mission Statement: What It Is and How To Write One

Why is knowing the purpose of a team important?

Knowing the purpose of a team is important in giving an organization meaning and direction in their efforts. It is what binds team members together as they work for a common purpose. When individuals know their team's purpose, they can understand how they can make a difference. The purpose of a team is to determine how a unique set of people can use their skills to accomplish a goal at a specific time. A clear team purpose can help motivate individuals into action. Some benefits of knowing the purpose of a team include:

  • Creating awareness and inclusion

  • Bringing a collective identity

  • Attracting and engages employees

  • Helping create a partnership with other organizations

  • Defining a shared future

Related: Why Is a Company Mission Statement Important?

How can an individual be a great team player in the workplace?

One of the best ways to be an excellent team player in your workplace is to communicate effectively. This includes updating team members about the status of your project as well as using active listening skills when others talk to you. Another way to be a great team player in your organization is to be flexible and willing to take on extra work to help the group.

Tips for making a more purposeful team

Here are some tips to help you in making a more purposeful team:

1. Write a team mission statement

To help your team have a clearly defined purpose, brainstorm with employees to compose a team mission statement. In your team mission statement, describe what your team does, who they do it for and why they do it. This also should align with your company brand and values. An example of a team mission statement is "To be a lending hand to those in need of a loan." Once your team mission statement is complete, consider hanging it somewhere where all the employees can see as a reminder.

Related: 54 Powerful Mission Statement Examples

2. Discuss your vision regularly

Purposeful teams have regular discussions about their organization's vision. Let your employees know why the company exists and what impact their actions have. For instance, a business may present employees with an annual update that shares their numbers and overall impact for the year.

3. Be open to feedback

To help your team meet its purpose, evaluate behaviors that may be interfering with your performance. Conduct feedback for individuals and the team overall to identify areas of improvement. It can also be helpful for management roles to ask their employees for constructive criticism as well so that they can make adjustments and continue doing what others feel is going well.

4. Participate in team-building activities

In order to understand the effectiveness of your team, consider participating in team-building training activities. Here you can discover how individuals work together and find the strengths and weaknesses of your team. These activities can help foster collaboration in working toward a mutual goal.

Related: 30 Team-Building Ideas for the Workplace

5. Commit to milestones

Setting milestones is a way to work toward accomplishing a team goal. This helps everyone understand what needs to be achieved. Continually keep employees informed about the progress made and what the organization is looking to accomplish next.

6. Consider employee talent

When assembling teams for projects, consider the talent employees exhibit and how they combine with other employees. This is where a team can be more effective than individual effort since it has resources to multiple skills and levels. During specific projects, select individuals who you feel may work best on it based on their experiences.

7. Create a team charter

Another way to help make your team more purposeful is by creating a team charter. This is a document that gives team members instruction and provides your team's objectives. Team charters also include project components, such as budgets and deliverables, to help you plan ahead.

Related: How To Create a Project Charter (With Tips and Examples)

8. Hire purpose-focused employees

Seek employees who are purpose-focused when looking to expand your team. To do this, find employees whose values align with your organization's. Those driven by purpose create positive additions to your team when they know what they are working toward. Also look for employees who match the current company culture and would get along with the current employees.

9. Connect the team's purpose with the overall organization

When building your team purpose, connect it with your organization's overall purpose statement. This helps build alignment with the company and helps individuals set their priorities. Consider how your team supports the organization's mission and is part of the bigger team.

10. Share your purpose stories

To connect to your individual job in a deeper way, consider sharing your purpose story. It can be helpful to hear your coworkers share their purpose stories as well to encourage you to work hard. Sharing your purpose stories can help the team find a common reason for why they do their work.

11. Update your purpose

Over time, consider updating your team's purpose. As your stakeholder's needs change, so does your team's goals. The purpose of your team evolves and is ever-changing.

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