How to Attribute Roles in Team Building

8th April 2022
Team building roles

Team member roles in a group

A functional team is usually composed of individuals with different roles and responsibilities, working together towards shared objectives, and generally, the roles each member takes on is decisive on the success of the team. We have selected a few roles we think are essential to any team in any different setting, so read on to find out more!

What are the key roles in team building?

It is essential to build a sense of trust between team members when working in a team environment and to achieve that, it is important to set expectations from the start, and thus set clear roles and responsibilities for each individual.

Team Leader

All teams usually have a team leader; the team leader does a lot of coordinating and ensures that everyone is working towards a common goal. Moreover, they make sure that all members are engaged in producing an output together. So needless to say, the team leader must be chosen carefully as they play a major role in building the team spirit.


The next essential role would be the one of a mediator. When members are working so closely together and have to deliver results within a limited time, conflicts tend to arise. Therefore the mediator ensures that all individuals communicate with each other and collaborate without causing any disruptions to the whole team.


The third key role in our opinion is the timekeeper; the timekeeper makes sure that all tasks are completed on time and that the team is not falling behind schedule. Usually, the timekeeper works closely with the team leader ahead of starting the activity to agree on the schedule to follow. It is the timekeeper's responsibility to communicate with all members throughout the activity and inform them of the time they have left to complete each step.

The rest of the roles might differ depending on the team building activity, and although every single role matters in the success of the teamwork, we believe that the three roles mentioned above are the key ones to keep in every team setting.

How to define roles in team building activities

The best way to define roles in team building activities is to take some time prior to starting the activity to understand each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Now, this can be less challenging if you’ve been managing the same group of people for some time, but if you’re organising a team-building event to break the ice between new members, then the best thing would be to ask members directly about the skills they feel they’ve developed well in the past.

In the process of understanding strengths and weaknesses, you also have to assess all tasks that need to be completed and communicate with the team the process they should work through in addition to the end goal. Communicating openly with members about goals and expectations should help the process of defining roles much easier.

As a last resort, you can always ask for members to volunteer to take on different roles!

Defining roles and responsibilities in the workplace

Defining roles and responsibilities in the workplace can be duplicated based on how it is done for team building activities, in the way that it is necessary to take the time to understand members’ strengths and weaknesses before assigning a role to them. The benefits of going through this process are numerous, but here are the most important ones in our opinion:

Increased productivity - the more that members understand what’s expected of them, the more autonomous they will be and the better they will manage their time to complete their tasks.

Less confusion - defining roles clearly means that members know what they have to do but more importantly, they know what their colleagues will be working on, therefore they’ll know exactly who to approach if any questions or issues arise.

Fewer resources wasted - now from the company’s point of view, setting the right expectations and assigning the right responsibilities to members means fewer resources spent on misunderstandings.

As you’re probably able to tell by now, defining roles and responsibilities in team building can turn out to be very beneficial to members, especially in terms of putting to the test skills they’ve previously acquired or working on new ones. This process can easily be replicated in the workplace environment and guarantees efficiency and better allocation of time and resources when done the right way. So make sure to take the time necessary to get a better understanding of your team’s strengths and weaknesses and what it is capable of achieving.