Teamwork and cooperation require that team members establish
expectations for how they will work together.
These expectations, or team
norms, are ground rules for behavior.
Each team should isolate a set of norms that becomes its “code
norms are not specifically stated and team leaders mistakenly assume
that acceptable normative behavior is understood by all, even new hires.
It is important for a team to agree upon its norms so they can be
clearly acted upon, passed on to new employees, and reevaluated
periodically to fit the changing work environment.
teams establish behavior norms, it is imperative that leaders make an
effort to follow-up and reinforce them.
Fortifying norms informs new participants, supports efforts to
confront violating members, and reaffirms ongoing values.
Below are three actions to support team norms:
Tutor new team members.
Select a mentor or "buddy" to inform new participants
about your team norms and expectations.
Provide informal feedback when appropriate.
feedback when team members breach team norms.
Although this is not easy to do, below are five feedback
principles that may help:
feedback immediately or shortly after the offending behavior.
the behavior, don't generalize.
criticism and language that sounds punitive.
it clear that your feedback is your observation or perception and
explain the impact that the behavior has on you.
I noticed that you arrived twenty minutes late for our meeting today.
Personally, I found this to be quite frustrating because I had to
back up and fill you in on what you missed."
certain that the person understands what you said and your purpose for
revisit your team norms. Ask
the following questions:
our team norms still viable?
we adhering to our norms?
we offering appropriate feedback?
our norms contributing to our success?