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About categorizing the needs of teams

Each team has individual needs

What does our team really need? And what are suitable team building measures to address that? These questions pose great challenges for managers and HR departments. Not only group size, budget and other general conditions must be taken into account, but above all the individual needs of the team. On the one hand, these reflect areas of development in team structure and group dynamics such as role allocation, self-reflection and communication culture. On the other hand, team needs can also be fun, relaxation and reward. The term need describes a necessity or a requirement, as in Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs (1954).

The requirements of a team thus form the basis for the demand for team building. The goal of team building is to meet the needs in the best possible way and to help the team to develop and grow. In contrast to training, team building focuses on interpersonal relationships, collaboration and fun.

Research has defined four different components of team building: goal setting, interpersonal relationships, problem solving and role clarification. These components serve as an orientation for the selection and design of team building activities. In addition, different stages of team development were defined (Tuckman & Jensen, 1977). These are phases that groups go through and which are characterized and accompanied by certain characteristics.

GREWP supports teams in exactly this selection – to find the right team building measure for the individual needs of the team.


The stages of a team


Figure 1. The three categories of the needs-scale.

The basis of our needs-scale is the division into three sub-categories (see Figure 1):

Plant. The team is at the beginning of its existence or shows fundamental fields of development. The group must first grow together and the foundations for effective cooperation must be laid. This includes solving conflicts and creating a we-culture. It is also necessary to define the roles of the individual members within the team.

Grow. The team has already grown together as a group, the cooperation works well. The goal is for the team to become more satisfied and performing and to further develop certain characteristics. We call this phase the growth phase, in which the members improve their communication, increase self-reflection and intensify the cooperation as a whole.

Earn. The team has proven itself as a group. This can be either a permanent state or it can refer to a specific common goal, such as the successful completion of a project. The team has earned a reward for this, in the form of fun, distraction from everyday work or relaxation.

This three-part structure reflects the aforementioned “states” of a team and at the same time defines various functions of team building. Each team can be in one of these three states at any time, regardless of the team’s cohesion and maturity. The three categories are subdivided into individual needs, which represent the necessities and demands in the respective phases. Your team may also have needs from different phases, but these serve as a good first orientation.


The needs-scale made by GREWP

Figure 2. The complete Needs Scale


Finding the matching team building activity

Team building should not only be fun but also result in the desired lasting effects for the team. In order to achieve this, it is firstly necessary to be aware of the stage the team is in and what the team wants to work on. GREWP’s needs-scale maps these phases and the respective needs.
The needs-scale is the cornerstone of the search process in our marketplace. This allows you to select the team building activities that fit your needs and to benefit from these activities in the long run. What do you really need? Let us define this together for your team.

Find the right team building


Tuckman, B. W., & Jensen, M. A. C. (1977). Stages of small-group development revisited. Group & Organization Studies, 2(4), 419-427.

Maslow, A. (1954) Motivation and personality. Harper

Rasmus Sinn | Working Student Business Psychology at GREWP