Team Building: Definition & Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Example

Team building is a process that implies forming groups of individuals to achieve a target or a level of performance. Teamwork enhances the quality of work and decision-making. It increases productivity and innovation. Effective teamwork requires flawless communication amongst team members. Since efficient and effective teamwork gives a firm competitive advantage, team building is a long-term strategy in any organization. However, poorly handled teams can be disastrous for a company.

Teams can be of different kinds. Cross-functional teams are those that are temporary and only formed to complete a particular project. They contain at least one representative from each department who can constructively contribute to the project at hand. These teams are the most efficient ones since they contain the right blend of expertise. At KFC, cross-functional teams work on new product development. The teams in different KFC head offices generate a few proposals and present them to the brand manager. In the end, they reach a mutual consensus and agree on the best idea. Often teams are formed to solve problems and give suggestions for improvements. These are called problem-solving teams.

Yet another type of team is the self-managed team. Self-managed teams tend to operate without an obvious leader. They all assume leadership and responsibility for their own work. They look out for each other and work in collaboration towards the final goal. Finally, another newer form of team is the virtual team. These exist using the latest technology to communicate with each other. These teams are particularly useful in situations where team members are geographically dispersed and need to collaborate.

At the KFC outlets, all the employees are called team members. This concept of teamwork is instilled in them and they are led to believe that they are “team together, team apart”. There is always a dynamic person as the team leader who keeps the team spirit and motivation high. The basic idea is that they are all working towards achieving a common goal, which is customer satisfaction.

A feature that contributes significantly to successful teamwork is motivation. One of the most popular motivational models is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. This model is a pyramidal replication of the needs of a human being as he progresses in his lifestyle. KFC uses this model to the extent that it ensures that the employees’ basic needs are sufficiently fulfilled. Beyond that, KFC management believes that each individual is different and what motivates one is not the same as what motivates the other.

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