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Analyse and critically evaluate the effectiveness of a group or team you are familiar with, and to make recommendations about how this group or team can be further developed.

Background on Countdown and its Sales Team

Woolworths Limited or presently called by the name of Countdown in New Zealand is not only the 2nd largest retail organization of the nation of New Zealand but at the same time one of the largest ones of the world in terms of the annual net revenue which they generate (Countdown, 2018). Furthermore, with the framework of this particular enterprise the sales team is one of the most important entities and is mainly imbued with the role of selling the diverse products as well as services offered by the concerned enterprise.

The purpose of this report is to analyze the sales team of Countdown and the manner in which they operate. Furthermore, the report will analyze this particular team of Countdown through Tuckman’s Model of Team Development, namely, forming, norming, storming and performing. In addition to these, the report will also discuss about the kind of leadership which is being used for the effective management of these teams and also the overall effectiveness of these teams. Finally, the report will also provide some recommendations through the use of which the concerned company can enhance the effectiveness of these teams.

I would firstly take the help of the information which is being provided by Countdown at its official website for the completion of this report. I would also like to take the help of various kinds of surveys as well as questionnaires and if possible would interview some of the existing employees of Countdown for the collection of the data which is necessary for the completion of the report. For the completion of the report I would also take into consideration the various kinds of team building theories as well as models which have been propounded by the scholars in the past like Tuckman and others.

Teams can be seen as the conglomerate of similar kind of individuals who specialize in doing almost the same kind of tasks or job roles (Gallardo, 2015). In the recent times it is generally seen that the various enterprises take the help of various diverse kinds of teams like self-managing teams, virtual teams, cross-functional teams and others (Gallardo, 2015). However, many experts are of the viewpoint that the primary reasons why the majority of the business enterprises take the help of these diverse kinds of teams are not only to enhance the effectiveness of their enterprise but at the same time to enhance the overall performance of their concerned enterprise (Levi, 2015). Therefore, it would be apt to say that these diverse teams have emerged as an indispensible part of the modern day business world.

Team Development Stages of the Sales Team

The sales team of Countdown at Auckland location is at the stage of performing as per the Tuckman’s Model of Team Development. It is significant to note that there are some 6 new employees within the team however the majority of the members of the team belonged to the experienced category and have extensive experience in the sales department. Furthermore, it can be said that this particular team is a cross-functional team since they are not only imbued with the responsibility of selling the products or the services offered by them to the customers but at the same time to effectively understand the needs as well as the requirements of the customers and offer the kind of products or services that would be the most agreeable with them. Moreover, it is also seen that at various points of the year they are also required to indulge in various kinds of promotional activities as well.

The company currently has more than 111,000 employees at its disposal and of these the majority ones belong to the sales section of the company (Countdown, 2018). These sales personnel in turn are segregated into various smaller groups depending on the supermarket to which they are related and these teams in turn are being taken care of by various team-leaders and regional managers.

The supermarket of Countdown in Auckland, New Zealand is not only one of the largest ones of the nation of New Zealand but also one of the most visited ones in terms of the number of people who visit this particular supermarket on annual basis (Countdown, 2018). The supermarket under discussion here provides a wide range of products as well as services to the customers starting from groceries to petroleum and other important products (Countdown, 2018). The sales-team of this particular location is not only imbued with the role of effectively understanding the needs as well as the requirements of the customers but at the same time to sell the products to the customers who visit the store as well. Thus, it would be apt to say that the sales team of this particular location is one of the most important entities of the concerned organization. The sales team of this particular location consists of around 39 individuals and they are being handled by a team-leader who in turn is answerable to the manager of the supermarket. In addition to this, the sales team of this particular location is also required to effectively promote the products as well as the services offered by the supermarket to the customers.

The Role of Team Leadership in Effective Management

  Tuckman’s model of team formation is one of the most important frameworks which are being commonly used by the various individuals for the formation of effective teams (Folger, Poole & Stutman, 2017). This particular model of team formation outlines four important stages of the process of team formation, namely, forming, storming, norming and performing (Folger, Poole & Stutman, 2017). It is generally seen that the various organizations like Countdown take the help of this particular model of team formation for the process of formation of the various teams that they have within the framework of their organization. As already mentioned, the sales team of Countdown at Auckland is at the stage of performing wherein they are required to perform as per the expectations of the company. The stage of forming can be referred to as the stage when the different members of this particular team initially joined the organization and were just a conglomeration of diverse individuals with no common goals (Cameron & Green, 2015). The second stage of norming was the stage when the diverse members of the team acted as individual entities and thus had to deal with numerous conflicts (Natvig & Stark, 2016). The third stage of storming when the various conflicts of teams were resolved not only by the team leader of the team but also by the various individual members of the team themselves(Natvig & Stark, 2016). Finally, the stage of performing that is, the current stage of the team is the stage wherein all the individual members of the team are not only performing as the goals and the target set for the team which was commonly agreed upon by them but also the vision and the mission of the team are in synchronicity with the vision and the mission of the organization (Natvig & Stark, 2016).

The organization structure as well as the behavior of the modern day business world is starkly different from the ones of the past decades (Bolman & Deal, 2017). This can be attributed to the fact that the processes of globalization and the reliance of the contemporary business enterprises on the modern innovation has not only made the business world much more competitive but at the same time has made it imperative for these enterprises to take the help of innovative organizational structures as well as behavior which in turn contribute in a significant manner to enhance the efficiency and the effectiveness of these enterprises (Katzenbach & Smith, 2015). Thus, it is generally seen that the various teams have emerged as one of the most important constituents of these modern day business enterprises.

Recommendations to Enhance the Team's Effectiveness

The concept of leadership has emerged as one of the most important ones within the framework of the contemporary business and it is generally that the prospects of any business enterprise depends to a large extent on the quality of the leadership or the style of leadership which is being followed within the business enterprise (Bolman & Deal, 2017). It is a reflection of this particular fact that various styles of leadership have gained prominence within the framework of the modern business world like the situational style of leadership, transformational style of leadership, transactional style of leadership and others.

During the process of telephonic interview with several members of the sales team of Countdown revealed the fact that team leader and also the manager of the Countdown in Auckland, New Zealand follow the situational as well as the transformational style of leadership. It is generally seen that during the course of their working together the team leaders and also the manager of the supermarkets come across various diverse kinds of situations wherein one particular fixed style of leadership is not adequate (Bolman & Deal, 2017). In other words, there are various circumstances wherein the team leaders and also the managers are required to act or make decisions depending on the merit of the situation or the things that the situation demands and it is precisely here that the situational leadership style becomes very important (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Some of the members of the team even revealed the fact during the course of their working together they come across various situations like the shortage of employee, shortage of products, decrease in the number of sales made by the members of the sales team and others and the team leaders are required to act in these situations as per the merit of the situation. Thus, they are of the opinion that the use of the situational leadership style has contributed in a significant towards the success of this particular team. In addition to this, there were other members of the team who revealed the fact that there are various kinds of situations wherein the team leaders also take the help of the concept of the transformational style of leadership and try to lead the members of the team by example. One of the members of the team even revealed the fact that there are certain circumstances wherein he is unable to handle to situation and the team leader intervenes on behalf of him and at the same time helps in making the sale for him. It would be apt to say that the use of both of these leadership styles has contributed in a significant manner towards not only the stability or the cohesion attained by this particular team but at the same time has contributed in a significant manner towards the success attained by them (Reimer, Russell & Roland, 2017).

There are other members of the team who felt that the team leader takes the help of the Leadership Member Exchange theory of leadership for the purpose of providing leadership to the team members. Thus, following the precepts of this particular theory there exist a “two-way (dyadic) relationship” between the team members and the team leader and this helps in a significant manner in the effective management of the concerned team. 

In addition to the above mentioned ones there were a few members of the team who felt that the intervention of the senior managers of the company and others would impact the performance level of the team in a significant manner. Most of them were of the viewpoint that there it is often seen that the team works in an isolated manner with no concrete information about the things that are going on in the other branches of the company or the things that are happening in the company as a matter of fact. Furthermore, it is generally seen that the members of the team and also the team leaders are only concerned about the targets and also the incentives which they get. Moreover, at times it is seen that the team leaders are not able to effectively motivate the members of the team as well. In addition to these, there were others who complained of favoritism and complained that inspite of performing better than the others they never got the respect or the appreciation that they deserved. Thus, the members of the sales team are of the opinion that the intervention of the senior managers and others would resolve these issues in a significant manner and at the same time would help in the enhancement of their performance. 

The effectiveness as well as the efficiency of a team depends on various factors like the style of communication which is being used for conveying important information to the various members of the team, the roles or the tasks which are being assigned to the different members of the team and other (Salas et al., 2015). As already mentioned there are about 39 members in the team under discussion here and the majority of them are assigned the role of selling the products or the services offered by the company under discussion here. Furthermore, some of the senior members of the team are even required to groom as well as guide the new members of the team so that the team is being able to achieve the target given to them. Thus, some of the senior members of the team are assigned the role of mentors and at the same time are required to work in conjugation with the other members of the team. The team has a Watsapp group through which all the important information is being conveyed to the different members of team. Furthermore, for official purposes like leave taking, shift timings and other relevant information the company takes the help of an official Gmail email account. In addition to this, formal one-one communication is also being used for the process of communication. The majority of the decisions within the team are being made by the team leader however the different members of the team do have a say in the decisions that are being made. It is generally seen that the decisions which affect the different members of the team are being made taking into consideration not only the senior members of the team but all the members of the team.

Interactions with the various members of the team under discussion here revealed the fact that the team for the process of attaining effectiveness takes into effective consideration five important entities namely, team members, team leadership, team relationships, team problem solving and organizational environment. The team members, leadership and relationships have already been mentioned. The problem solving process in the team is not only undertaken by the team leader of the concerned team but at the same time the senior members of the team as well. Furthermore, some of the members of the team even revealed the fact that whenever there is such a situation usually a meeting is taken wherein all the members of the team are encouraged to place their opinions or viewpoints regarding the problem. The organizational environment at the supermarket is a very congenial one for work and the different members of the team are encouraged to take the help of innovative methods for the achievement of their targets. In addition to this, the organization at the same time tries to create a continuous learning environment wherein the different members of the team are not required to wait for the diverse training programs to enhance their skill sets. Therefore, it would be apt to say that the team has been able to achieve effectiveness on the score of all the mentioned factors. 

Conclusion and Recommendations

To conclude, teams have emerged as one of the most important entities of the various business enterprises and in a way it can be said that they have contributed in a significant manner towards the efficiency as well as the effectiveness of these enterprises. Thus, it is generally seen that the various business enterprises take the help of this particular concept to further enhance the prospects of their enterprise. However, it is significant to note that the effectiveness as well as the efficiency of a particular team depends on a variety of factors like team members, team leadership, team relationships, team problem solving and organizational environment. Thus, the business enterprises need to take into effective consideration all these factors to further enhance the efficiency as well as the effectiveness of these teams.

The overall analysis of the team reveals that the team is an effective as well as efficient one yet at the same time there is a room for improvement. The group under discussion here can take the help of the concept of “total quality management” to further enhance the performance as well as the productivity level of their organization. The use of this particular strategy is not only likely to help the concerned company to maximize the performance as well as the productivity level of the individual members of the team but at the same time it will help them to enhance the overall productivity of the organization itself. The concerned organization can also take the help of the concept of employee engagement for the purpose of enhancing the engagement level of the employees. It is generally seen that the teams which have a higher level of engagement are more likely to perform better than the ones with lower levels of engagement level.

  • The concerned organization must conduct weekly sales meetings in order to ensure the efficiency and productivity of the sales team. As the sales team of Countdown is typically led by its sales manager, it is highly essential for him to integrate the team engaged in proficiently delivering sales revenues.
  • Countdown as operating in the highly competitive retail market of Australia must employ to effective process of business networking that is identified as a low-cost method of acquiring prospective new consumers, stakeholders as well as supplier contacts. This process can take place through advanced digital media via membership communities as well as topical communities such as LinkedIn and Quora.
  • Goal setting theory can be applied to the recommendations that suppose that people possess specific demands and aspirations in order to accomplish the factors for which they aim to establish specific objectives for themselves (Gallardo, 2015). Thus Countdown must adopt elevated goals in order to produce advanced outputs and organizational growth.
  • Furthermore, fundamental aspects of expectancy theory suppose that an individual develops high level of motivation by the professed outcomes of the actions performed (Salas et al., 2015). Thus the concerned company must approve these theoretical understanding in order to ensure specific job attributes which would persuade these needs.

References

Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2015). Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

Catherine, C., Mattarelli, E., Andrea, P., & Luca, G. (2015). Changing Collaboration in Knowledge Work: Design Implications for Jobs, Teams, and Organizations. In Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Countdown Supermarkets - New Zealand’s leading supermarket brand. (2018). Countdown [online]. Retrieved from https://www.countdown.co.nz/

Folger, J., Poole, M. S., & Stutman, R. K. (2017). Working through conflict: Strategies for relationships, groups, and organizations. Routledge.

Gallardo, T. (2015). Virtual Teams vs. Traditional Teams. Leadership.

Hogan, R. (2017). Personality and the fate of organizations. Psychology Press.

Katzenbach, J. R., & Smith, D. K. (2015). The wisdom of teams: Creating the high-performance organization. Harvard Business Review Press.

Kitchin, D. (2017). An introduction to organisational behaviour for managers and engineers: A group and multicultural approach. Routledge.

Levi, D. (2015). Group dynamics for teams. Sage Publications.

Natvig, D., & Stark, N. L. (2016). A Project Team Analysis Using Tuckman's Model of Small-Group Development. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(12), 675-681.

Reimer, T., Russell, T., & Roland, C. (2017). Groups and teams in organizations. The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication, 1-23.

Salas, E., Shuffler, M. L., Thayer, A. L., Bedwell, W. L., & Lazzara, E. H. (2015). Understanding and improving teamwork in organizations: A scientifically based practical guide. Human Resource Management, 54(4), 599-622.

Sarangi, S., & Shah, S. (2015). Individuals, teams and organizations score with gamification: tool can help to motivate employees and boost performance. Human Resource Management International Digest, 23(4), 24-27.

Simpson, M. K. (2014). Unlocking Potential: 7 Coaching Skills that Transform Individuals, Teams & Organizations. Grand Harbor Press.

Thompson, C., & Rohn, J. (2016, May). Leading Design Teams and Organizations. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1108-1110). ACM.

Warrick, D. D. (2016). What leaders can learn about teamwork and developing high performance teams from organization development practitioners. Performance Improvement, 55(3), 13-21.

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