Establishing Team Operating Principles

Establishing basic team operating principles greatly influences team communication and results. Operating principles are written statements that describe how group members will interact with each other and those we serve – clients, customers, stakeholders. By determining and committing to how the team will communicate, make decisions, resolve conflicts and interact with one another, we establish a firm foundation for developing an empowered and successful team that operates on shared trust.

What are team operating principles?

Simply put, they serve as ground rules to help the team function. To maintain a high-performing team, a sense of trust among members must be built based on honesty, consistency, respectful communication, predictability, and dependable actions over time.

“Business operating principles are the rules of the road that enable people to know what’s in bounds – and what’s out-of-bounds – in their companies and workplaces. Operating principles can serve as guides, helping people make sound decisions, building trust and enabling greater innovation” (Lynch, 2008).

During this workshop, participants will learn:

  • How to identify team values, and the desired reputation participants strive for internally.
  • To determine specific team behaviors that illustrate each key team value/brand attribute.
  • How to work together to create agreed-upon team operating principles to serve as ground rules to help the team function more effectively.
  • To define and outline how the team will hold each other accountable to the new operating principles, including recognitions of positive behaviors and how to address non-compliance in a respectful way.
  • Measures to ensure long-term success and utilization of team operating principles.