Although few scholars differentiate between the work groups and the work teams, but there is as such no distinction between the two terms. Work teams and groups are composed of atleast two members and sometimes more than two members. Teams are mostly there to perform the tasks organizationally and all the team members have the same goals. The members of the group interact socially and they communicate to make the goals of the organization successful. The members of the team influence each other for the overall improvement in the performance of the individual as well as the organization (Digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu, 2015). A team is a grouping of people where each and every member of the group possesses a certain expertise. The members of the team are capable of individual decision making and they work in mutual understanding towards the betterment of the organization. The purpose of the team is to is to achieve the goal of the organization (Zaccaro, Rittman and Marks, 2015).
Teams in a contemporary workplace
The organizations day by day are becoming leaner, flatter and more agile. The main job of the organization is to satisfy the needs of the customers. The jobs are becoming too critical with each passing day. The jobs in the organization are becoming time bound and global in nature. These factors are making it difficult for the employees in the organization to work individually on a particular job. The contemporary workplace is seeing the teams as the basic unit of work in the work place. In today’s world, the companies are trying deliberately to remain competitive in the business (Glasl and Ballreich, 2015). The companies are deliberately trying to reduce the work force as well as restructuring the organization people and processes. The effectiveness of the teams within the organization is based on the structure of the organization, the contribution of the individual members of the team and the processes of the team.
The organizational structure is based on the following areas like specified tasks, adequate resources, distinct roles, suitable leadership, clear purpose, appropriate culture and relevant members. The above structural characteristics are discussed below:
- Specified tasks- the teams of the organization need to perform specific tasks in the organization and contribute to the organization. The teams need to have purpose, attitude and ability to do a job (Organizational Effectiveness Discovering How to Make It Happen, 2015). The tasks of the teams must be motivating enough and the members of the team must share the responsibility for the achievement. For example a health care team must clearly define the complex and the inter-related patient care regime which each member of the team must perform and address to.
- Adequate resources- the teams in the organization must be provided with enough resources. The resources can be financial resources, professional education and technical support. The cost for creating and maintaining a team needs to be sufficiently recognized and the adequately resourced.
- Distinct roles- the roles of the individual members of the team needs to be clarified and as well as understood by all the members. It is also to be kept in mind that the roles of the people in the team are influenced by the individual expectations, interpersonal and organizational factors (MICKAN and RODGER, 2015). The individuals need to settle their roles in the organization so that they are able to perform meaningful and unique tasks; as well the roles of the individuals in the team can be interchanged.
- Suitable leadership- if the tasks of the team are critical then the team needs to have a leader. The team’s stage of progress should be reflected by the Leadership. The leaders need to have a focus on the vision of the company. They should facilitate the setting of the goal, evaluate achievements and educate. The team members become confident enough if the leaders carry out their responsibility properly.
- Clear purpose- the members of the team needs to have a clear mission statement, a particular behavior and assumptions of the work being undertaken. When the mission statement of the organization are circulated and the members of the team are fully aware of it then only the team will be able motivated and engaged in the work and take forward the goals of the organization.
- Appropriate culture- the teams of the organizations need to have integration and recognition in the organization (Schroeder, 2015). The organizations on the other hand should clearly define the expectation and the accountability for all the members of the team. The cultural needs of the organization are to transform the shared values of the organization into the behavioral norms.
- Relevant members- the teams in the organizations should have the right number of people in the team. The members of the team need to have an appropriate mix of the interpersonal skills as well as the urgency of the delivery of the tasks (Member Roles and Team Effectiveness within Large Hospitality Organisations, 2006). There must be a homogenous and a heterogeneous mixture of the skills, backgrounds and the interests is preferred by the company.
How the organizations utilize the teams
A large number of the organizations embraced the use of teams in the workplace. It is very common to hear that the companies are committed to build a culture which is team based. The companies use their teams for every aspect of their business. They are engaged from process improvement to improving the quality of the products and also to innovate, to develop the products and also corporate celebrations (Innovation in Organisations, 2012). It was seen in an survey that the companies engage the teams on special projects as well as in the handling of the improvements and the innovation tasks. The work of the organization is accomplished by the teams who are seen by the companies as a vehicle for the enhancement of the profitability and the productivity.
Obstacles to the organization effectiveness
The success of the business or the company is aligned with how far the employees of the company are associated with the strategic goals of the company. To achieve a sustainable effectiveness of the organization the companies must make the teams understand the parts that the individual members of the organization needs to do. The company should also engage the team to various jobs in the organization. The strategic alignment can be achieved by a “fit-for purpose” model which is capable for an effective people and work culture and system.
Every organization despite of the country or the industry seeks effective results which are of superior quality. Several business strategies are built to achieve those. These strategies are centered on the teams who make the goals of the company being fulfilled (Katz and Lazer, 2015). If the structure, leadership, roles and capability of the teams are not aligned then the organizations face trouble in implementing their strategies. The organizations needs to have effective leadership skills which will in turn enable the employees to be more engaged in the work and they are more willing to work for the and help the organization in achieving the goals.
It can be said that the teamwork is a complicated phenomenon. The organization needs to be supportive and the individual contribution of the team needs to be realized for an effective team work. Every team needs to have clear purpose in order to be effective. When the mission of the organization is in sync with the purpose of the teams then the teams can be more supported, integrated and resourced (Mealiea and Baltazar, 2015). The team members also need to recognize as well as value their contributions in the team. Once a team has developed a clear structure of their works, they need to maintain that position through clear co-ordination and communication (Team Communication, 2015).
Obstacles to the team effectiveness
The organization employs the teams in order to boost the effectiveness and the productivity. It needs to be kept in mind that by only putting a team in work does not ensure any productivity or good result. The teams are a complex structure; they are dynamic and thriving entities which completes with problems and personalities of their own. The communication and the relationship issues get magnified as the number of members in the team increases. Even if the teams are not trained, they do not have any vision and goal then it can lead to a disaster for the company.
Ineffective communication among the members of the team as well as the company leads to the failure of goals and is considered as one of the many barriers to the effectiveness of the team as well the organization (De Meuse, 2015). Without the effective communication the conflicts remained unresolved and the information did not flow out to the company and the effectiveness of the teams was lost. It is not very fruitful to put a team to work without proper training nd it can ultimately lead to failure of the individual as well as the team.
The team leader has certain distinct roles to be performed in the team. The leader must have a vision that is aligned to the company’s goals and the leader must motivate the members to function effectively in the team. Poor leadership often leads to derailed efforts of the team. Moreover the lack of clarity off the jobs among the members of the team is another barrier to the success of the team.
How the business can be effective
Every organization is composed of teams which are permanent or temporary. In some organizations the teams are formed when they are needed. Teams are now an integral part of the organization and they are considered as a vehicle for the productivity and the profitability. The teams which are empowered are more likely to work better than an individual working on the same project. The organizations form the teams for the purpose of solving the problems of the business (Teamwork and high performance work organisation, 2015). The teams need to be properly trained and supported with the resources in order for them to work productively and effectively. Firstly the organizations need to train the members of the team in order to start an effective communication. The communication is very essential for the free flow of information within the team and also outside the organization. The roles of the team members need to be defined properly while a new team is prepared. Secondly the company must empower the teams to think on their own so that the teams can accomplish what they want to do and what they want to achieve. They must figure out how they will work together and what the end results will look like (Working Well, 2015). The organization only needs to guide the teams in accomplishing their tasks and needs to motivate them to achieve the goals of the organizations. The company must make the team participate in organizational culture by providing a development process and improving the skills of the team members. With higher productivity the satisfaction of the job also increases. With proper guidance the teams are able to participate in creative decision making, improve in the working relationships and flourishing productivity. This will in turn lead to the effectiveness of the business.
A team becomes successful when the members of the team learn how to work together and they have acceptable and clear goals (The organisational context for teamwork, 2015). There need to be mutual respect within the members of the team and they cooperate and communicate openly with each other and more often. The teams have the potential to become the most powerful driving force behind the success of the organization. But a highly task oriented team is hardly found and it takes time and proper leadership to mature in to an effective team.
Once the teams with in the organization shave a well defined and clear structure, the members of the team needs to maintain that by constant cooperation and coordination (The Critical Role of Teams, 2015). There should be constant education and support given to the team and for the development of the team. The team members need to take joint decisions, they need to properly manage the conflict within the team and the company as well as be more effective. All this criteria needs to be incorporated in the team members so that the team is more effective and the teams can contribute to the effectiveness of the company or the organization. It is also necessary for the organization to build an effective team with specialized and skilled people for the effectiveness of the organization.
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