Understand how to establish an effective team
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For a team to be effective it is important that good working relationships exist between team members and between the team and the manager as this will lead to the benefits of more effective team working and improved morale through: Improved effective communications – team members will understand each other better and be willing to share ideas and give support to other team members. Potential conflict situations can be avoided Commitment – Team members will understand and accept the team goals and be willing to share in achieving them.
This will increase motivation Loyalty, openness and honesty- if this exists between team members then they will work together effectively and creatively by sharing ideas and working to solve problems Reduced conflict- If team members understand each other’s differences and accept them in a positive and constructive way these differences in background, attitude and experience can lead to new ideas, new ways of working and solutions that would not have previously been looked at. Increased productivity- If team members share goals and communicate effectively they will achieve better levels of productivity and quality Positivity – team members will approach challenges such as change in a positive way knowing they can rely on the rest of the team Reduced stress levels – support of other team members who are willing to listen and advise other team members can help to reduce stress levels
If these relationships are not built and maintained the following could happen: Destructive conflict
Poor customer services
Describe the behaviours which could develop and maintain trust at work
Why is it important to develop trust in the workplace
Trust forms the foundation for effective communication, employee retention, employee motivation and contribution of discretionary energy, the extra effort that people voluntarily invest in work. Many experts agree that trust is perhaps the most important element of a harmonious, synergistic and efficient work environment. Organizations that have trust amongst employees are usually successful, those that don’t frequently are not (TTG Consultants 2011). Deloitte have identified that 48% of employees will leave the organisation as a result of a “loss of trust” (Deloitte 2010). Research by Tway (1993) shows that trust is the basis for much of the environment created in the workplace. Trust is the necessary precursor for: Feeling able to rely upon a person,
Cooperating with and experiencing teamwork with a group,
Taking thoughtful risks, and
Experiencing believable communication.
10 reasons why it is important to develop trust and good working relations in the workplace are highlighted below: Improve performance/productivity
To avoid conflict
Get the best out of people
Constructive feedback (enables)
Helps build trust
Support other business units
Higher retention of staff
Buy-in on discussions
Building trust with the team is the best way to minimise conflict in the work place and develop effective relationships. There are many ways trust can be established and maintained at work 1. Establish and maintain integrity. It is the foundation of trust in any organisation. Integrity must begin at the top and then move down. This means, keeping promises and always telling the truth, no matter how difficult it might be. If a company’s staff has integrity, an organisation such as Anglian water can be believed.
2. Communicate vision and values. Communication is important, since it provides the artery for information and truth. By communicating the organisation’s vision, management defines where it’s going. By communicating its values, the methods for getting there are established.
3. Consider all employees as equal partners. Trust is established when even the newest starter, a part-timer, or the lowest paid employee feels important and part of the team. This begins with management not being aloof, as well as getting out and meeting the troops. This should be followed by leaders seeking opinions and ideas (and giving credit for them), knowing the names of employees and their families and treating one and all with genuine respect.
4. Focus on shared, rather than personal goals. When employees feel everyone is pulling together to accomplish a shared vision, rather than a series of personal agendas, trust results. This is the essence of teamwork. When a team really works, the players/team members trust one another.
5. Do what’s right, regardless of personal risk. We all know intuitively what’s “right” in nearly every situation. Following this instinctive sense, and ignoring any personal consequences will nearly always create respect from those around us. From this respect will come trust.
Explain the role of communication in developing effective team working
Good communication enables the team to understand, exchange and share information. Through company documentation and team briefings team members are able to understand the organisation’s policies and procedures and the requirements of their job role. This also enables them to understand team goals and objectives . Through team meetings problem solving , decision making and creative thinking is improved when all members of the team are involved and this feeling of involvement increase motivation and commitment. These team processes can often be better communicated and illustrated by the use of visual material such as charts and diagrams. Communication by e-mail or text means that team members can still stay in touch with the team even when away from the team One to one communication between team members enables support to be provided and development of skills and knowledge through coaching and mentoring.
All of the above contribute to ensure that the team work share their skills and work co-operatively together towards the team goals and objectives. It is the leader’s role to ensure that all this methods are used correctly. For example we hold regular ‘tool box talks’ which give me the opportunity to update the team on new procedure and other company issues that affect them. But I also make time for us to discuss any particular problems team members have encountered with their work that week and all the team are encouraged contribute ideas and suggestions and to discuss them.
Building the Team
Within an organisation there are usually a number of teams and groups. Teams and groups sound like they are the same but actually they can be very different
A GROUP can be defined as any collection or assemblage of persons or things, a number of persons or things ranged or considered together as being related in some way. A group may have different objectives but a common theme; they may have the same discipline. A group can be a collection of teams or individuals. A group can be about objects or people. An example within XXX could be a focus group from various departments within the business working on a project such as reducing the company’s carbon footprint. These groups can also be broken down into sub teams who have a common skill set required to resolve a particular issue.
A TEAM can be defined as a group of people united by a common goal or purpose. `A team is a number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable` Katzenbach & Smith. The team is usually developed with a mix of skills knowledge and expertise to reach the goal or complete the set objective. Team members understand the other individual strengths and weaknesses and work together. A team will have one leader and usually limited in size, they will work dynamically together to reach the set goals and objectives. An example of a team in XXX could be the CRS (customer service representative) team. This team deal with customer requests details on prices, difficulties customers have with accessing the companies IT systems and any enquiries from customers which require a face to face visit from a member of staff.
Teams will always have the same objectives and work towards a common goal. They may have differing disciplines and skill sets. The team will generally work for the same company; they need and support each other. The team tends to be focus about people rather than objects. Teams and groups can have different differences with reference to size, selection, leadership, perception, style and spirit.
Normally limited and pre determined. Usually set around the size or nature of the objective A group can be any size, in the workplace they are normally larger than teams Selection
Specific people required for skills, knowledge, attitude and expertise. Selection is usually around the task or objective Selection is not usually important.
Normally one leader
Often there is no set leader. Some people will take some leadership but are usually self nominated Perception of each other
Mutual understand of each other’s skills and knowledge. Work closely using the teams skills and knowledge. Everyone understands what role they play in the objective Usually group members are focused on their own wants and needs and look to an external leader. Style
A good mix of people with different personality types. They are co ordinated and often dressed the same. They cooperate with each other to complete tasks The style of a group such as a football teams fans are almost clones. They will wear the same clothes and sing the same songs. Spirit
There is a dynamic interaction and the team should be positive and focused on the objective Togetherness and passionate
Describe the stages of an established model of group formation Stages of group formation
Before we can understand what constitutes ‘’a team’’ we must understand the difference between a team and a group A group consists of a collection of people with no common objectives with no clear communication paths established, and no common values. A team is the opposite a collection to people with common objectives, goals and an established communication path usually connected together by a leader.
When a new team is developed it is believed that they will go through a number of stages before they are performing. Bruce Tuckman developed this theory in 1965. The stages that teams will go through are Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Since this theory was developed another stage has been added and is often know as mourning.
In this first stage new members come together and get to know about each other, this stage can be uncomfortable especially for the quieter members who would prefer to remain in the background. When I was first assigned my team many of the members had not met face to face and many members openly disliked other members because of hearsay, I quickly established regular team meetings where all members were sat together in the same team meetings, I found this broke the ice and helped dispel rumour and hearsay.
In this second stage group members start working together and finding what each others strengths and weaknesses are, members can fight for supremacy to dominate within the group it is up to the team leader to keep a close eye on this behaviour as this can be a useful part of team formation as it can be a good way of identifying new ways of doing things, but it can also be destructive. Although conflict is a part of this stage of team development it is up to the team leader to dispel any fears that members may have and keep them focused on the team goals. When I encountered this behaviour within my team I held my nerve and never allowed the more forceful members to bully other members in to making decisions that they were uncomfortable with, I made sure that I sought the weaker members views before coming to a decision, I also made sure that the more forceful members knew that I was the decision maker and I would never be forced in to making decisions.
In this stage the team begins to understand each other and starts to pull together to achieve team goals, members understand their roles and responsibilities leading to a feeling of cohesion, members start to enjoy the tasks given to them by the team leader and a feeling of mutual respect forms. My team is performing well in this stage and I feel that I have built up mutual respect with my team as I have proved to them several times that we all work together for the good of the team and achieve our goals, I have not blamed them when times have been bad instead we have learnt from these mistakes, but we have all enjoyed in the good times.
In this stage the team is working well as a whole with a good work ethic and attitude, team members can sort out their own disagreements without the intrusion of the team leader, any necessary changes can be explained and agreed by the team even if some members disagree because of personal reasons, and work can be delegated by the team leader. In my team I have regular ‘’job chats’’ were I see team members on a 1 to 1 basis to discuss their development needs, I have found these to be useful in finding out whether members want to learn a different skill within the department and whether they would like to take on more responsibility and train to be my deputy. I am now able to delegate some work to team members and my deputy and I have regular catch up meeting so I can keep him updated on team progress.
How a manager can benefit from knowing team members preferred roles as defined in an established team role model
Team members work very differently and prefer different roles within the team. It is a very useful piece of information for a manager to know because it will enable them to fit the right individual in the right role to make sure they are getting the best out of them.
Meredith Belbin identified clusters of behaviours, he termed these team roles. Each role has a combination of strengths and weaknesses.
The behaviours of the different team roles are:
1. Plant: The ideas person, a creative problem solver.
2. Resource Investigator: The people person.
3. Co-ordinator: The Chairperson.
4. Shaper: Brings energy and direction.
5. Monitor / Evaluator: Perceptive, identifies problems.
6. Team Worker: Peace keeper.
7. Implementer: Efficient, turns ideas into actions.
8. Completer / Finisher: Details person.
9. Specialist: The technician.
The roles may be grouped as shown below:
Action Orientated Roles – Shaper, Implementer, Completer.
People Orientated Roles – Co-ordinator, Team Worker, Resource Investigator. Cerebral Roles – Plant, Monitor-Evaluator, Specialist
For a team to be successful you need a mix of types. That doesn’t mean that all teams need a minimum of none different people. A person can have a mix of primary, secondary tertiary preferences in their Belbin team role profile. Thus to a certain extent all role types could be covered in a small team of three to four people The optimum size is thought to be about six to eight people.
It is rare that a team leader is able to pick a ‘perfect’ team based on the knowledge of people’s Belbin team roles. Once a team has formed, however, it is useful to know what roles are covered and potentially what gasps may need to be filled or improvised. This can be done by getting team members to complete a Belbin questionnaire or by simply getting them to review the nine roles and select the one they think is most applicable to them. I completed this activity with my own team and discovered that we had a number of team workers , and monitor evaluators and that I tended to fill the co-ordinator role.
However , interestingly we had no plants or resources investigator which explains why when we meet as a team we can have difficulty in being creative and coming up with new ideas or contacts we can develop. It is important therefore that I try to develop these behaviours of encourage one of my ‘team workers’ who has ideas but is reluctant to say anything to come forward more. If we get a new team member these are skills we should look out for.
Therefore by knowing ‘who is what’ the leader is better placed to assign roles and responsibilities to those with specific strengths and to be aware of potential shortcomings in the team. Ultimately, armed with the knowledge of team roles the leader can get team members to work together optimally.