Importance of Teams
MT140 Introduction to Management
When there is a project that needs to get done, often times it is difficult for any one single person to accomplish it alone. In order to get these tasks completed, several people come together and offer their time and talents. These agglomerations of people are called teams. Teams play an important role in people’s lives. There are many kinds of teams aside from sports teams. In the business world, these teams are used to complete projects or develop new policies for implementation. “Teams also can increase productivity, improve quality, and reduce costs” (Bateman, 2012). Whatever the purpose of the team, there are different ways of building teams, and important things to consider when selecting a team leader so the team is as effective as possible.
In order to set themselves up for success, teams must be created effectively. There are many ways to go about it, but the backbone of the team are the members of it. In order to create a cohesiveness in a team, a manager needs to “identify the personality types and assess the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and allocate them with roles and responsibilities as per their strengths and competencies” (Rao, 2016). This is a tricky subject, as people are ever-changing. Just because they do an excellent job at their single-person tasks, does not mean they will be a contributing member of a team. But when the members of the team work well together, they will “align their energies and efforts toward organizational goals constantly” (Rao, 2016). A team that shows this kind of cohesiveness is likely to be more open with each other and “work hard at developing a common understanding of how they will work together to achieve their purpose (Bateman, 2017).” Most of the ideas for creating effective teams build upon each other, because team cohesiveness does not happen overnight. It takes time to develop. The best way to ensure that it develops is to, as a manager, “provide clarity of tasks to be executed. . . . [and] give them assignments and enough time to breathe to execute their tasks” (Rao, 2016). When employees have a clear goal in mind, as well as enough trust from their management to get the job done, they tend to strive hard for a positive output. Rewards and accolades provide a high incentive as well.
An effective team needs leadership that is also effective. Effective team leaders have several traits that are common among leaders and gives them greater abilities to motivate the team in the direction of achieving their goal. There are two important personality traits that effective team leaders have. They are scouting, and empowering. Scouting is where a team leader seeks out information from other sources, e.g. “managers, peers, specialists [in the project field], and investigating problems systematically” (Bateman, 2017). Seeking out additional information and input from a variety of sources allows for an even more robust field in which to grow ideas. Empowering is how a leader delegates his authority and tasks, is flexible regarding team decisions, and offers thought out and constructive coaching (Bateman, 2017). When team members feel appreciated, and trusted to get their work done, they are more likely to meet or exceed their goals.
Managers can ensure their team leaders are displaying the traits of effective team leaders by being accessible to team members. Some members of the team may fear reprisals from the team leader, or other members, if they voice an opinion that is not prevalent among them. To that end, making sure that a manager outside of the team is available to listen to concerns will alleviate some stress. If concerns are expressed, the manager can investigate the concern by having meetings with the team when convenient. This manager should also routinely check-up on the status of the project in general for an aggregate of information about how fast and correctly a project is being completed.
The changing climate of business is still highly competitive for employees seeking to climb the corporate ladder. However, more and more, teams are being used to further the goals of the company at large. The adage: two heads are better than one, accurately describes how teams can accomplish large tasks when they work together. When there are many people working hard to get something done, it can be done quickly and more efficiently. An illustration of this is if a child falls down a well, one person would need to come up with the entire idea of getting a rope, how to secure it, how to get it down to the child, get the rope around the child, and pull it back up. But three or four people, lead by one person who takes the initiative, can each come together and get the child out of the well faster.
Bateman, T., Snell, S., Konopaske, R. (February 2017). M: Management, 5th Edition [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from vbk://1260149749
Rao, M. S. (2016). Collaborate to build effective teams to achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness. Industrial & Commercial Training, 48(1), 24-28. doi:10.1108/ICT-01-2015-0010
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