Perfecting Team Member Roles and Responsibilities

Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Milton Campbell

How Do Team Member Roles and Responsibilities Affect 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 impact 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 projects, and they didn’t perform up 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 Responsibilities Defined

Below we will discuss some typical team member roles and responsibilities.

Team Leader Role and Responsibilities:

The team leader guides the group and keeps 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 change is needed. Often, visionaries 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 make sure all team member’s voices are heard.

Motivator Role and Responsibilities:

The motivator is very good at getting people excited about 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 externally to the team. Their vast network is used to help the team get the aid or resources needed to get the job done. These people can be very useful in projects that need a lot of many 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. If given a good direction, workhorses advance projects very well. 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 use their skills.

How to Use Team Member Roles When Making a Team!

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 many 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 choice of team members relies heavily on the team’s mission. 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?

This information is still useful even if you have a full team. Especially if the team is not as successful as you would have hoped. Look at your team and decide 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 choosing a candidate for a position, you need to not only make sure the candidate is qualified but also 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 under qualified candidate but keep your team in mind when filling positions.

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

To Wrap It Up

The success of the team is dependent upon group dynamics. Understanding team members’ 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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