Perfecting Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

Group Dynamics: Understanding Team Member Roles in The Workplace

Last Updated on March 27, 2022 by Milton Campbell

How Do Team Member Roles and Responsibilities Effect Group Dynamics?

Team holding puzzle pieces representing the puzzle of team member roles.

Team member roles and the people you have in those roles have a huge effect on group dynamics and the success of the team. Putting the right people together on a project can be the difference between the success or failure of the team. This is a crucial step for project managers and supervisors.

Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t always mean putting your best employees together. I have put my best employees together on a project and they failed to perform to my expectations. On the other hand, I’ve put weaker employees on a project and they far exceeded my expectations. This is all due to how well team members complement each other and work together toward a common goal.

Table of Contents

Team Member Roles and Reponsibilities Defined

Team Leader Role and Responsibilities

The team leader is responsible for guiding the group and keeping them on task. This is the project manager. Project completion is the responsibility of the team leader. Conflict resolution and leading by example are skills of a team leader. The best team leaders are highly respected by the rest of the team members. They also have good values and ethics that are in line with the company’s and are committed to the success of the company.

Visionary Role and Responsibilities

Visionaries constantly think of new ideas to make things better. Visionaries express their vision to the rest of the team and are also good at discussing why the change is needed. Often, the visionary will motivate others with their vision. They always look at the way things are and want to improve on them. Visionaries may have a hard time looking past their ideas and seeing others’ ideas. This is why the leader needs to ensure all team member’s voices are heard.

Motivator Role and Responsibilities

The motivator is very good at getting people excited to work. They make the job fun for many. The motivator might use humor, hard work ethic, or even a little friendly competition to keep the team motivated. Motivators are great to have on almost any team because a happy team typically gets more done than an unhappy team.

Networker Role and Responsibilities

Image of a network of people representing the networker team member role.

The networker is a people person with many various connections. They are great at building and maintaining relationships not only within the team but also external to the team. Their vast network is used to help the team get assistance or resources needed to get the job done. These people can be very useful in projects that require a lot of multiple agencies or departments to make it happen.

Workhorse Role and Responsibilities

The workhorse is the person that just wants to work. Normally, workhorses just want to be told what to do and how to do it. Workhorses advance projects very well if they are given a good direction. They normally don’t have much to contribute to the planning part of a project. Use workhorses in the production part of a project to best utilize their skills.

How to Use Team Member Roles in Team Selection!

Selecting the right team members to fill the roles on a project is crucial to the success of the project. Filling all roles on every project is not necessary and one person can fill multiple roles. For example, the leader might also be a visionary and a motivator.

First, you need to decide what kind of project your team will be engaged in. What is the mission of the team? What are the goals of the team? Is the project a simple project or a more complex project? Answering these questions will help you decide what kind of team you are looking for and also what team member roles are important to the success of the team.

The selection of team members relies heavily on what the team’s mission is. For instance, if the project is simple and focused more on production, you will want a team more focused on workhorses. You may not need to fill roles like visionary and networker. On the other hand, if the project is something more complex like designing a new product, you want to focus on visionaries and may not need to fill the role of a workhorse on the team. The mission of the team ties directly into who will be on the team.

What if the Team is Already Formed?

Even if the team is already formed this information is still useful. Especially if the team is not as successful as you would have hoped. Look at your team and determine which roles are important for the mission of the team. Which roles are not being fulfilled? You can use this information to add members to the team to fill those roles or you can help one of the members do a better job of filling that role.

Group Dynamics in the Hiring Process

Image of a boss, leader, supervisor, manager interviewing a person.

Team member roles also come into play in the hiring process. When you are making a selection for a position, you need to not ensure the candidate is qualified, but you want to make sure the candidate is a good fit with the team you already have in place. Even the best candidates can underperform if they don’t fit in with the team. This doesn’t mean hiring an underqualified candidate but keep your team in mind when filing positions.

For more information on hiring see 13 Ways to Ensure You Always Hire the Right Person.

Bottom Line

The importance of group dynamics can’t be understated to the success of the team. Understanding team member roles and how they work together will put your team in a better position for success. Having the right people in the right roles can make life easy for a supervisor. When you have a team that runs like a well-oiled machine, everything becomes almost automatic and it gives you time to focus on other aspects of the job.

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Milton Campbell

I'm passionate about personal and professional development. I started Growth Tactics to not only share the knowledge I've gained as a manager and leader but also improve my skills. My vision is to help people be the best versions of themselves. Let's grow together.