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Uses of Belbin’s theory

Belbin’s Theory for Corporates – Leaders | HR Managers | Hiring Managers | Project Managers

There are different types of BELBIN reports that can help businesses in
terms of having the right fit for a job role.

“Suitability” or “Eligibility”?

Belbin’s reports measure job SUITABILITY as this is based on a person’s behaviour. You have options to choose from five different types of reports that will assist to make the right decision if you are to recruit a new candidate, work on a new promotion, restructure the team or if you need to put together a brand-new team for new project with dynamic needs.

  • WHEN You need to recruit new candidates.
  • WHEN Your Team’s performance is low.
  • WHEN You are struggling to meet deadlines.
  • WHEN None of the projects are on budget.
  • WHEN Regular conflicts occur within the team members.
  • WHEN You need to change the way your team works.
  • WHEN You need to restructure for more efficient outputs.
  • WHEN You are struggling to retain your employees long - term.
  • WHEN Your strategic goals are not aligned with project outputs.
  • WHEN Your team members are not suitable for the job though they are qualified.
  • WHEN You need to hire a new team or promote your team members.
  • By processing Belbin’s individual assessment and team Report, you will be assisted to identify the root cause for any of the above and similar issues.
  • After the root cause analysis, the reports will also guide you on what will be the best course of action to bring your team up to speed as per your expectations.
  • These reports are analyzed based on the answers that individuals, observers provide as the research is proven to be true and 1000’s of people have experienced the positive outcomes of these type of transformations individually and organizationally by giving priority to work intentionally with their most dominant strengths and preferred behaviors.

Individual Report Measures a person’s behaviour that is observable by others. This means that the output of this report is based on an individual’s self-perception as well as his/her observer’s perception about how they behave at their workplace or outside work.

Report provides a full view of one’s strengths and weaknesses, to understand where they are best suitable at work and what type of work that they should not undertake.

After a report is produced for an individual, it can benefit the individual as well as his/her manager to make decisions about their next steps in the career, work assignments, sharing responsibilities etc.

As this report will enlighten your understanding about one’s most preferred working styles and how to address the areas of improvements as all recommendations will be presented in the report to enhance an individual’s performance based on their strengths.

After an individual report is completed for members of your team, it would be ideal to put together all the members in the team to see how they would perform as a team, what are their strengths, and what are their allowable weaknesses to identify the best suitable working environment for the team.

The Team Report will reveal the member’s leadership styles, working styles and elaborate to present the best compatibility recommendations based on the outcome.

It is not necessary for a team to have all nine different roles; however, the team will be in a difficult situation if there is an imbalance in terms of having majority of team members having a common strength and the team is lacking other strengths which are required for better performance.

For example, for a team of 8 people, if 5 of them are having the highest strength as a “PLANT”, and second highest is “SHAPER” this would mean, you are operating with a team of people who would suggest several new ideas and others wanting to somehow get it done whereas you are lacking the expertise and will to actually complete the required work to achieve this new idea and implement it.

Belbin’s Team report will provide insights on how a team should be put together based on their strengths and preferred styles of work.

Working Relationships Report

This report would help to understand how best two people can work together. It helps senior leadership to ensure they make the right decisions on their corporate relationships.

Belbin Job Report

This report helps hiring managers and HR professionals to spot the right candidate with the right attitude to the job with suitable soft Skills. You do not have to take a risk of hiring someone highly eligible yet not certain on their suitability.

Belbin Job Comparison Report

This report is generated to compare the individual report to a Job Report. It helps HR professionals and hiring managers to profile the candidate’s suitability against the job specifications determined for a specific role. It suggests the potential performance outcome of an individual that is being selected for an interview.

Belbin’s Theory for Individuals

School Leavers | University Students | Looking for Career Progression | Looking for Career Change

  • Enables young students and those who are aspiring to step into a new career, to make learning and career choices that accelerate personal and professional growth, potentially preventing 'quarter-life crisis'
  • Helps recruiters on and off campus to place fresh hires in roles that allow them to blossom, enriching themselves and the role itself, thereby raising the bar on the effectiveness of that job role. No more square pegs in round holes.
  • Makes it possible for Talent Managers to 'catch them young'. identify and groom leadership through a well - understood talent pipeline, that offers truly individualized development paths.

How Belbin Measures Suitability

Job Requirement Sheet with 16 factors – To be filled by the Manager to whom the job holder will report to.

Step 01

BELBIN Team Role Profile of the job - Done by using inputs from Job Requirement & Job Observation

Step 02

BELBIN Team Role Profile of the person considered for the job - This gets generated from the Self Perception Inventory and 4 to 6 Observer Assessments

Step 03

Suitability Report produced by the BELBIN Inter place System, matching the BELBIN Team Role Profile of the individual under consideration and the Job Profile.

Step 04

Why Fortior Intel for BELBIN

We are accredited to use the theory

Our personalized service would enhance your experience to fully understand the report and make use of it to better perform at your current role, change your role to a better suited one or if you are an organization,
you would be assisted to ensure your teams members are placed at the right job role.

Real Experience

In 2012, a group of Google employees set out to investigate what makes some teams successful, while others fail. Sound familiar?

Here’s what Google’s working group discovered and how it relates to the research of Dr Meredith Belbin, over forty years previously.

Project Aristotle

Google named their project after Aristotle because of his famous quotation: "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". They began, as Dr Belbin did, by looking at various hypotheses for team success. They examined whether successful teams were made up of shy or outgoing individuals, those with similar interests, or those who socialised together outside of work. But across 180 teams in Google, none of these provided a clear indicator for team success.

IQ vs. EQ

In some teams, whilst individuals weren't necessarily those who had scored most highly for intelligence, they came up with ways to use each other's strengths. Some groups had strong leaders, whilst others were more fluid. The researchers eventually concluded that – rather than intelligence – what separated high‐performing teams from dysfunctional ones was how members of the team treated one another.

In working with teams at Henley Management College, Dr Belbin coined the term 'Apollo teams' for teams made up of high‐intellect individuals who spent a lot of time engaged in abortive debate. In 'Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail', Dr Belbin comments that: 'The lack of coherent teamwork nullified the gains of individual effort or brilliance.

So too in Google. Whilst the 'average intellect' teams didn’t appear to work so efficiently, their understanding of one another's moods and emotions helped establish trust and various other factors needed for success.

Group norms

The researchers discovered that 'group norms' were significant – in other words, the traditions, standards of behaviour and other unwritten rules which govern how people function when grouped in teams. For example, this included conversational turn‐taking, or adding time at the beginning of the meeting for team members to chat informally. After studying the groups for more than a year, the researchers found that being able to influence the cultural norms of the group was key.

Five factors for team success

Using their findings about group norms as a starting‐point, the researchers went on to identify five key factors for team success, and these findings tie in closely with the Lencioni model.
Here we examine these factors in a little more detail :

1. Psychological safety

Individuals need safe space to take risks and make mistakes without fear of recriminations. Identifying and communicating our Belbin Team Roles – the behaviours we tend to adopt in a team – gives individuals a positive language to share preferences and discuss shortcomings. In Belbin theory, 'weakness' is not a dirty word – in fact, we talk about 'allowable weaknesses' of a particular Team Role as simply flipsides of a Team Role strength – a trade‐off for playing a particular role to good effect.

2. Dependability

The team needs to ensure that work is done on time, and to a high standard. In Belbin terms, this means ensuring that there are those with Implementer and Completer Finisher behaviours present in the team. In particular company cultures – especially those which place a high premium on creativity and the beginning stages of a project – these roles can be neglected, with the result that the team starts well but delivers a poor result, or fails to deliver at all.

3. Structure and clarity

Clear roles, plans and goals are essential. Each person on the team needs to understand where they fit and what they have to offer. Belbin can clarify contributions, helping managers to assign work more effectively according to strengths. With a greater understanding of each other’s strengths, team members know who to consult and how project teams might shape up.

4. Meaning

Work should be personally important to each one of us. Gallup has shown that employees who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged at work. In other words, playing to our strengths allows us to take ownership of our work, knowing that we can excel at, and be acknowledged for, our achievements. Belbin can help individuals to recognize and maximise those strengths, and to use them to best advantage when interacting and working with others.

5. Impact

People need to know that what they do matters and creates change. Work is more than just labour, and Belbin can help people take their 'pulse' on what is important to them at work, enabling them to bring their ambitions in line with the goals of the organisation.

Data and discussions

As Charles Duhigg wrote in the New York Times :

"The paradox, of course, is that Google's intense data collection and number‐crunching have led it to the same conclusions that good managers have always known. In the best teams,members listen to one another and show sensitivity to feelings and needs.“

Here at Belbin, we’re fans of the scientific method. That's why we measure behaviour – it's observable, quantifiable and democratic: your team members can corroborate or contradict your own views, and those metrics can give you valuable insights into what you bring to the team, and how others understand that contribution.

However, we also know that data can only take you up to a point. Then it's conversations you need – with your manager, your colleagues, your team at large. Belbin can help open up those conversations, giving you a constructive, depersonalised language to help individuals and teams work to best effect.