5 Phases of Team Growth for New Businesses

Launching a new business can be a difficult task, especially for startups. As a team leader, it is important to have confidence in your own work, however, this is not always enough. It is essential to ensure you hire the most suitable and skilled personnel available.

Are you familiar with the anime series, One Piece? Don’t worry if not; it simply demonstrates that you’re not entirely consumed by geek culture. The One Piece anime series, based on the Japanese manga of the same name, has been running for over a thousand episodes, making it the longest-running series of all time. Although the show is fictional, consider the team building strategies employed by the main characters. They are a great example of successful collaboration in the startup world.

Luffy’s narrative centres on his ambition to fulfil his role as Pirate King. He has gathered a formidable crew to help him achieve this goal, and they have remained together for more than a thousand episodes. Interestingly, none of the crew had the same objective; none of them seemed to care about who would be the ruler of the pirates.

The team were able to overcome their differences and collaborate on the most important elements. Examining their development over time provides an insight into how to create an effective team. This is a great example, however, it is important to consider how this could be applied in a practical sense.

Most Importantly, Can Group Development Be Effective in Remote Teams?

As a young business, managing group growth can be challenging, particularly when team members are based in multiple time zones. This can make it difficult to arrange a meeting to ensure everyone has the necessary familiarity to work together effectively. How can we ensure this is achieved?

Recounting the adventures of Luffy and his crew is not applicable in this situation, as they have chosen to live on a ship. However, we have experience in remote working for over 10 years and can provide appropriate advice. To ensure the success of your business, we recommend finding and hiring highly-skilled IT engineers. In addition, you should also double-check all of your equipment.

Once your team is in place and the necessary equipment has been set up, it’s important that everyone is working together towards the same goal. Fortunately, you’re not alone in this challenge. There are numerous real-world examples, both successful and unsuccessful, that can help you identify at least five ways to improve your business.

The development of a group may be broken down into five distinct phases.

At Works, we specialize in assembling and recruiting remote teams, believing that, in the right circumstances, such teams can be more productive and cohesive than their office-based counterparts.

Over the years, we have dedicated considerable effort to helping businesses source the most suitable remote workers. Once the correct personnel have been recruited, we handle team building and team dynamics. Every situation is unique, though we have observed several trends that may be useful in identifying and resolving any issues concerning group expansion and teamwork.

The American psychologist Bruce Tuckman identified five stages of group development – forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning – in 1965. The benefit of this is that each of these phases have been given names, allowing for better understanding and management of group growth.

I need to know Tuckman’s stages of group development.

For over 10 years, we have been providing the best resources for start-up businesses to build successful teams. This article provides a brief introduction to the Tuckman Model and its relevance for remote working teams.

Beginning, or Forming

The initial stage for any new team, but especially for a start-up, is to become acquainted with one another, set goals, structure their work and allocate tasks. This will necessitate several meetings and revisions.

It is essential to emphasize the significance of psychological dynamics at this early stage. As the project and team dynamic evolves, some team members may become more dependent and look for guidance.

At this point, your management abilities will be tested. When managing a team, it is important to set achievable and clear goals that can be achieved. Make yourself available in case your team has any questions, and be prepared to adjust your strategy in response to their feedback.

It is imperative to remain vigilant throughout the onboarding phase, particularly for remote teams, as this initial stage may appear disorganized. Establishing dependable lines of communication and an appropriate structure for allocated tasks are the priority when integrating a new employee or forming a new team.

At this early stage, it is essential to prioritise building relationships over completing specific tasks; providing the team is working effectively, there will be a vast range of opportunities for development and expansion.

The Storming Phase

The name of this section implies that conflicts and competitiveness are likely to arise during this period. Every team member will likely have feedback or alternative ideas once the initial changes have been made.

As the team leader, it is imperative to assess whether debates are encouraging creativity and innovation, or whether they are hindering progress. What have your experiences been with ‘productive conflict’ in the workplace? It is necessary to prepare for this step and be open to it.

At Work, we are proud to have a diverse, multicultural team of employees from around the world. We are aware of the fact that different opinions and cultural backgrounds are to be expected in any human interaction. However, we also believe that constructive dialogue is essential for our company’s growth and development.

It is beneficial for remote companies to have a range of different perspectives and cultural backgrounds in order to achieve outstanding results. It is important to promote open communication during discussions, rather than finding someone to blame. Encourage your team to understand that different opinions do not lead to conflict, but can instead be used to generate new ideas and increase productivity.

Establishing a New Norm

In order to reach Stage 3, any internal team issues must be addressed. Your team members now look to you as their leader who can guide them to success, understanding that it is for the benefit of the company. By rearranging duties and tasks, your team is equipped with the ability to manage opposing views and encourage productive conversations.

Now that your team is fully unified, with roles and duties clearly defined, it is important to create a standard procedure. This is especially pertinent for distributed teams, to ensure effective communication, enable tracking of work and provide easy access to any necessary resources.

Putting It On Stage

The performance phase is an integral part of a group’s development journey. At this point, the team are demonstrating excellent results and are achieving their objectives. There is a renewed sense of enthusiasm, mirroring that of the initial stages. Through successfully resolving any internal issues, morale and confidence have been boosted. With this, the team no longer require your continual monitoring to remain productive.

At this stage, you are all working for the same objective. Your newfound faith is the pirate ship fuel for your business.

I congratulate you on your achievements to date. Many businesses, especially those in the early stages of development, do not make it past the second stage. You can be proud of the way you have managed the company. Above all, take pride in the fact that you have been able to build such a strong team; without them, you would not have made such progress.


Ten years after the publication of his initial work, Tuckman proposed the final stage. This is an opportune moment to consider any mistakes that have been made and to reflect on the progress of the team since the commencement of the project.

This final stage indicates that even the most successful teams eventually come to an end. As the personnel changes, so do the priorities. This period, commonly referred to as the “mourning phase”, follows the completion of a project and can leave team members feeling disorientated and less motivated to collaborate towards a common goal.

This final stage should not be seen as a reflection of your team’s leadership skills. It is important to identify new projects, objectives to stimulate creativity, and if possible, bring in new personnel to diversify the team working dynamic in order to retain a cohesive unit.

Does Group Development Actually Happen in Online Groups?

Yes, this is applicable regardless of whether you are a pirate or not. You and your team are responsible for ensuring that each of the five steps are completed effectively. Instead of viewing these as distinct stages to follow, consider them as part of an ongoing process.

No single rule can guarantee success in any endeavor, but this is especially true for distributed teams and start-up businesses. With dedication, flexibility and determination, you and your team can reach your goals.

Please be aware that we are here to provide support throughout the entire process of recruiting and managing a virtual team. If you would like further information before establishing your new remote business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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