Assessment Activity 1A: Short Report (Graded) You work for an organization that is struggling to maintain its presence in the market. Increased competition has forced profit margins down, meaning the organization has spent the past few years cutting unnecessary expense anywhere it can. As a result staff are working hard, teams are competing for limited resources, morale is lower than ever before and now turnover has hit a high point with talented workers leaving to work elsewhere. Attempts to ‘pay’ them more money to stay (despite the tough budget position) have not been successful. Exit surveys have revealed that it is not the work people do not enjoy; they are not leaving because of that. They are leaving to work in organizations that have a reputation of a positive culture, high team morale and visionary leadership. Their feedback has been the culture here has changed over the past few years and teams now fight against each other, blame each other, work in silos and have no real leadership and understanding of the direction of the company. The Executive Team have decided they need something to change before things get any worse, and clearly just offering more money is not the answer. They have come to you to undertake some research and present to them what you believe needs to be done to resolve the issues. In particular they recognize that teams are no longer effective, and are in fact often working against each other. Your task is to research the following and present to the Executive team your findings and recommendations: Research what are the characteristics of an effective team. Provide some examples of effective teams and what makes them different/better than other teams. How could you develop these characteristics within your teams? i.e. what actions should be taken / how? How might you measure team effectiveness, culture / climate, staff satisfaction etc? What should happen with the results of such measures? When should you measure? What needs to be done to improve teams and individuals understanding of organizational / department/division / team / individual goals and objectives? In your research you have identified most teams are in the ‘forming’ and ‘storming’ stage of team development. This is due to poor leadership, ambiguous goals, and changing team membership as people leave and new people join the team. What specific strategies would you suggest to take teams beyond the storming stage? How would you maintain teams at the performing stage once they are there? Generally the culture needs to improve. How might you achieve this? To address the above it is suggested you create a ‘scenario’ or ‘case study’ for you to focus on – be creative. In your introduction provide an overview of the organization, what it does, the environment in which it operates, structure etc. Then approach the above points in a way that best flows for the information you which to present to the Executive team. You do NOT need to address these points consecutively – structure your presentation in a way that is engaging and provides clear direction and recommendations for consideration. You have been asked to undertake this research and present a short report (recommend approx. 1000 words) to the Executive team. Assessment Activity 2: Research Assignment (Graded) Answer the following questions in your role as manager. If you are not a manager look at how your manager undertakes these activities and consider the improvements that could be made (or put yourself in the position of manager and consider how you would undertake this). Describe the team you are answering the following questions based on. Include who the team is, numbers, member ‘make up’ etc. Looking at the ‘stages of team development’ describe at what stage you believe this team is. Explain why you think this. Review a set of plans (e.g. Annual plan, business plan etc.) for your team and address the following: How were the plans developed? Consider the level of consultation held between management and team members and discuss the appropriateness of this. What strategies do you use to encourage team members input into the planning / decision making of the team? What worked well and what improvement / changes would you make? How? Looking at the goals / objectives of these plans comment on: How measureable these are? i.e. are they SMART goals? How are team goals / outputs clarified with staff? Are there clear KPI’s associated with delegated responsibilities? What role does the manager take in supporting the team and individuals achieve these outcomes? What improvements could be made to the above process? As a manager you are required to assist team members take responsibility for their work. Part of your role is to ensure a sound process of delegating tasks and clarifying responsibilities. Detail a process you would follow in order to effectively delegate work to team members. As the manager / leader of a team it is important you service as a positive role model. What are the characteristics you demonstrate (or would expect to demonstrate), and actions you undertake, to ensure you do so (or would do so). Why is it important the manager / team leader demonstrates these? What are the consequences of: i. Not demonstrating these? ii. Demonstrating these? 6. Communication is an important factor in determining success in the workplace. Clarify how as a manager to ensure regular communication of information to the team. Discuss as a manager you would provide feedback to team members to recognise both good performance and areas where performance needs improving. Use the titles below in a table to review current communication strategies used by the team and identify improvements: - Stakeholder (consider team members, internal to team and organisation, and external to team and organisation) - Current communication strategies (i.e. how and when) - Positives / Negatives of current strategies - Plan to improve 7. Discuss how problems within the team are addressed. This should relate to conflict, poor / under performance, etc. Detail a process to follow in which to identify, address and resolve these problems.