Successful Work Teams
By Dr Nilsa Fleury, DeD, FPA-BM Director of Education
Competency, composition, and context for the team are not always present in the work environment. Many organizations apply different strategies such as training, workshops, conferences call, and face to face meetings to maintain the team-work performance. The effectiveness of team building comes from the skills and knowledge of the members and their engagement and synergy in decision-making.
Organization Requirements Teams to be a Success
The four c’s context, composition, competency, and change can better define requirements of the team to be successful. The first can describe the organizational environment of the team work relates to the context. High performing team are effective by meeting their goals, reward team performance, culture of the organization that support team work oriented process and behavior, and eliminating any obstacle created by the structure organization. In addition, the skills, competences, experience, and motivation define the composition of the team. Having the right people on the team to make the things happen is the issue.
The high-performing teams select skilled and motivated individuals; develop the member’s skills and their commitment to achieve the goals; cut individuals with lack of skills and motivation; manage differently the members; and make sure the teams are in the right size. Next, competency is defined by the team’s ability to communicate, make decisions, and manage conflicts. Further, the high –performing teams articulate and achieve their goals, build trust and commitment within the team, and solve problems. Lastly, the teams have opportunities to make necessary changes. To be effective high-performing teams need to change or adapt a new condition over time.
Solving Specific Problems
Unfortunately, organizations need to work with conflicts and disagreements and manage the individuals and teams to solve the problems. The best way to understand conflict is to view it as an expectation of what is to be done, when it should to be done, and how it is to be done. Leaders can also violate subordinates’ expectations when they do not recognize that they have a life outside of the workplace, micromanaging their work, and not giving rewards to them. On the other hand, subordinates violate team leaders’ expectations when they miss or are late to the meetings, do not complete assignments, and do not demonstrating commitments to support the priorities. Lastly, peers can also violate expectations when they do not share resources, do not respond requests in time, or do not share credit for a job well done.
Challenges for Building Effective Teams
A meta–competency to change team context, composition, and competency to improve team performance is viewed as the ability of teams to engage in team building. Effective teams work with activities that need to be reciprocal and interdependent; use the organizational structure to accomplish the goals; select the team members on the basis of clear criteria; train managers and team members; reward team members; set aside time for teams to be involved; help the members to develop a competency at team building, use appropriate technologies, and support managers and leaders to improve team performance (Dyer, Dyer JR., & H. Dyer, 2007). Great teams are developed with trust, commitment, and a vision to be successful.
A high performance team is prepared to develop tasks and be successful. In fact, not all organizations generate a compatible team. Competition and cooperation make people react to conflict (Ayoko, 2007). In addition, people engaged in competition and with differences have negative feelings, emotions, and doubts about future collaboration. Some organizations do not organize teams as they are supposed to and members do not cooperate with each other, which make the organization unsuccessful and without direction.
With the skills necessary to develop emotional intelligence, members enhance team work, improve group dynamics and increase performance (Gardenswartz, Chebosque, & Rowe, 2009). Further, organizations do not always want to know individuals’ feelings when the rules are being set up. Coaching teams for emotional intelligence is the way to create synergy and nurture creativity between the members.
There are different kinds of teams such as temporary teams, virtual teams, and interorganizational or alliance teams. Temporary teams are also called ad hoc committees, task forces, or project teams. Temporary teams are generated for a short duration and limited time. Virtual teams are composed with individuals from different locations, advances in communication technology, and lower the costs. In the case of cross functional teams, the members align their jobs with the jobs requirements (Pryor, Singleton, Taneja, & Toombs, 2009).
Different companies achieve synergy and use advanced technologies to create effective teams with diverse skills. Communication is also a great key to maintain openness between the members and other teams (Ayoko, 2007). Being on a team is being committed to each other, to the mission, vision, goals, objectives and strategies. It is also more than a rational decision or accepting tasks (Pryor, Singleton, Taneja, & Toombs, 2009).
Globalization opens opportunities to work in cross-functional teams, which is a great challenge. Working with diversity people can learn different values, beliefs, culture, and behavior. “Diverse team performed better than teams of members with a similar functional background” (Schaffer, Lei, & Paulino, 2008, p. 9). Diverse team shares more information because they do not know the others skills. Precisely, strategy development is essential to accomplish the goals related to project management. High diverse teams are associated with innovative design and product development (Schaffer, Lei, & Paulino, 2008).
Working in different teams, members become able to get experience and knowledge. Leaders and managers need to support the development of teams to be successful through the innovation and creativity. Building teams through context, composition, competency, and change can allow organizations to achieve their goals. Developing trust and commitment also permit the team to become more confident in decision-making (Frisch, 2008). Conflicts and adjustments are necessary to creativity and innovation. Training teams by emotional intelligence is a dynamic tool. Working with diversity is also a great is challenge for organizations in 21st. Century.
Ayoko, O. B. (2007). Communication openness, conflict events and reactions to conflict in culturally diverse workgroups. Cross Cultural Management, 14 (2), pp. 105-124.
Dyer, W. G., Dyer Jr., W. G., & Dyer, J. H. (2007). Team building. (4th. ed.) . San Francisco, CA: John Willey and Sons, Inc.
Frisch, B. (2008). When teams can’t decide. Harvard Business Review, pp.1-8.
Gardenswartz, L., Cherbosque, J., & Rowe, A. (2009). Coaching teams for emotional intelligence in your diverse workplace. ABI/Inform Global, 63(2), pp. 44-49.
Pryor, M. G., Singleton, L. P., Taneja, S., & Tooms, L. A. (2009). Teaming as a strategic and tactical tool: An analysis with recommendations. International Journal of Management, 26(2), pp. 320-334.
Schaffer, S. P., Lei, K., Paulino, L. R. (2008). A framework for cross-disciplinary team learning and performance. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(3), pp.7-21.