The 9 Belbin Team Roles Test

Belbin Team Roles

A famously useful way of determining strengths and weaknesses in a business, the 9 Belbin Team Roles is a long-standing theory that has changed the way companies work and interact with each other.

Devised in the 1960s before being published by its creator in the early 1980s, this personality test places individuals into one of nine types of worker that can be found working at any company today. If you’re working with a completely new workforce or you’re still trying to determine which roles would suit your employees best, then have a look below and see if you can draw out any ideas.

The Principle

The brainchild of Meredith Belbin, the Belbin Team Roles (also known as the Belbin Team Inventory) is a behavioural test aimed at finding the most suitable candidates for the nine roles Belbin suggests. These roles can be translated to any existing company today and its employees, so have a read below and discover what they can mean for yourself and your business.

The History

After studying at Henley Management College (now Henley Business School), Belbin spent an extensive spell of time studying the factors that determined whether workgroups succeeded or failed. After making keen observations for a decade, he decided to run an experiment. A test was made with the aim to re-create work life, with participants taking these series of psycho­logical tests to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

After first thinking that higher-intel­lig­ence groups would succeed over the lower scorers, Belbin soon realised that balance and diversity within each group contributed the most to overall success.

What Are the 9 Belbin Team Roles?

In 1981, Belbin published his first book that defines the 9 roles (“Management Teams: Why They Succeed or Fail”). Within this, he defines these roles as such:

1. Plant

Creative and idea-generating. “The Plant” was named so as Belbin explained that every workgroup needs one in them. This type of colleague may often struggle to communicate their ideas to the rest of the group but are crucial when it comes to conjuring up the perfect idea or strategy.

2. Resource Investigator

When it comes to outreach, the Resource Investigator is your best friend. Whether it’s networking with other businesses or creating new oppor­tuni­ties, the Resource Investigator is the workforce’s best connection with the outside world.

3. Co-ordinator

Someone who is able to see the bigger picture and take themselves out of a project, the Co-Ordinator makes an excellent head of the group. Showing qualities such as maturity and confidence,  their role is to delegate tasks and help others stay focused on the job at hand.

4. Shaper

Extroverted and focused on the prize, the Shaper is an outgoing and confident teammate that pushes everyone to keep momentum and focus on getting the job done. Shapers often see ‘challenges’ rather than ‘problems’ and are always keen to find new approaches to tasks.

5. Monitor Evaluator

The logical and observant ones, Monitor Evaluators are best at observing processes and how they’re carried out. They tend to be impartial and unaffected by biases, allowing them to make clear & concise decisions.

6. Teamworker

Known for being the proverbial cogs that turn the wheel, the Teamworker keeps the process running smoothly. They tend to be great listeners and have an ability to diffuse tensions in order to get the task done.

7. Implementer

Efficient and driven by loyalty, the Implementer has the ability to take group ideas and bring them into fruition. They are also noted for their timekeeping skills as well as often taking on roles that others would prefer not to do.

8. Completer-Finisher

Known for being the perfec­ti­onist, the Completer-Finisher makes that extra effort to ensure everything has been done correctly. With a drive for accuracy and holding themselves to high standards, the Complete Finisher will often check and re-check the final product.

9. Specialist

Someone who is focused on learning & knowing everything about a role or task, the Specialist is the person to go to for a wealth of information. They show high levels of concen­tra­tion and above-average abilities in their particular field.

Additional Information

Have a look at our epic team building activities to enjoy with your employees. Working from home? We also host virtual team building activities and virtual Christmas parties too!

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