Assessing Teams

Using Belbin to assess teams

Simons Group has used Belbin profiling for 15 years. Paul Hodgkinson, chairman and CEO, says the idea is to get people to understand their behaviour, which then allows a team to operate most efficiently.

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"Simons is a reliable, relationship-based property solutions business. We want to be the first choice for our customers, suppliers and employees, and for people to want to be a part of our business." - Paul Hodgkinson, Chairman

Simons Group has used Belbin profiling for 15 years. Paul Hodgkinson, chairman and CEO, says the idea is to get people to understand their behaviour, which then allows a team to operate most efficiently.

New recruits have a Belbin profile done at induction. In addition to getting observations about individual behaviours, a report on their team can be generated. It means that on the first day on site for a new project, staff can talk to each other about how they operate and can look at their team report to see what the strengths are.

"That's a helpful thing to know, right early on, where the individual skills, capabilities and behaviours are in the team."

"Although some people regard the outcome as a bit like reading your star signs, it does allow for a conversation about how the team is working." And if a team is not gelling properly on a project, the company might re-run the Belbin exercise and use it to make adjustments.

Paul says the world of construction tends to assume that a brilliant piece of design will deliver a brilliant building, but he disagrees.

"We can give a fantastic project to a crummy team that is dysfunctional and they really will manage to screw it up," he says. "On the other hand we can give a quite badly organised piece of work to a fantastic team and they really will pull it all together."