Improving Worker's Performance through the Use of Teams

Improving Worker's Performance through the Use of Teams

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Introduction
In the subject of organisational behaviour, teams and groups are classed to be the backbone of the organisation because an organisation that forms a team or a group is likely to meet its objectives. The reason why organisations form a team and a group is to ensure that employees influence each other to meet a common goal. However, the use of teams and groups from a manager's point of view is to improve the performance.


Groups
A group could be defined as “A psychological group is any number of people who interact with each other, are psychologically aware of each other and perceive themselves as a group” (Schein, 1988: 1). There are different types of groups and they are formal and informal or temporary and permanent, for example: a group can be put together for one event such as a jury for a court case (informal and temporary group). The formal group takes the professional approach whereby this group is form set of objectives and co-ordinates its activities in order to meet the goals set; whereas the informal group is made up of individuals that influences other people’s behaviours and the structure for an informal group is flexible or loose (Hodgetts and Hegar, 2007; Dutt, 2008).

There are different kinds of groups and they are counteracting group, co-acting (coaching) group and interacting group (Rahim, 2011; Jain, 2005). The counteracting group is the kind of group that interact with each other which creates a conflict whereas the co-acting group is formed on a temporary basis for example: students that comes together to carry out a one-off project. Additionally, the interacting group is a little complex because this group is formed to achieve its goals when individuals’ tasks are completed and this kind of group is used during a project work which involves constructing a building whereby individuals have to work together in order to complete the task.

Teams
However, a team could also be defined as “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable” (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993: 5). There are different types of team and they are: interacting teams, cross-functional teams and self-managed teams; in addition, these teams have good characteristics that help a team achieve its goals (Pride et al, 2010; Daft, 2008). Moreover, these teams have common goals that must be achieve and the interacting teams ensure that the functional areas of the organisation are met regularly to discuss the important aspects of the business such as quality, efficient and cost.

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The cross-functional teams are formed for a shorter duration as these teams bring its skills and expertise to help resolve other issues that may have occurred in a different department within the organisation (Daft, 2008). Furthermore, these teams could change policies and practices that are not working and implement different policies and practices that will bring success. The self-managed teams have more power as these teams could change the way tasks are organised and empower employees to make vital decisions which could contribute towards the overall organisational objectives. In addition, individuals within the self-managed teams are empowered to carry out roles such as setting overall goals for teams and recruiting team members.

Stages of team development
An effective team is based on implementing the right theories in order to navigate a team or a group properly. However, it takes a long time to put a solid team formation together as it requires stages that needs to be implemented before the team agrees to a common goal. The stages of team development was established to create a high performance team/ or group and Tuckman (1965) points out the five stages of team development which are (a) forming (b) storming (c) norming (d) performing and (e) adjourning (Nelson and Quick, 2007; Butterfield, 2010). The forming stage is the introductory of the team whereby team members meet each other to discuss what they are going to be doing. In addition, some team members might not like this stage as individuals do not know each other and sometimes, individuals might be anxious while some team members might be excited to be in this particular team. The storming stage is the challenging part for most project managers as team members began to ask questions that relates to the project. However, the storming stage brings interpersonal issues which may lead to conflicts that may empower team members to ask the project manager what their tasks are based on; in addition, some skills are established during this stage such as active listening and relationship building (Butterfield, 2010).

The norming stage is when the team comes together and start working effectively as a team in order to undertake its tasks and meet the objectives that are set. The project managers at this stage ensure that team members are going towards the right direction whereby managers give constructive feedbacks so that the individual could improve in areas where the individual is lacking. The performing stage is when the team meets its common goals, the interpersonal crises among team members are resolved and structural problems are non existence as the team is performing on the highest level (Jain, 2005). The adjourning is the end of the project whereby team member might feel poignant because they are leaving the team that have been together for weeks or months. The adjourning stage is also referred as the mourning and it is important for the project manager at this stage to organise a celebration event for the team in order to praise the team for meeting its objectives.

Beblin’s team roles
The Beblin’s team roles were created to give team member different roles and Beblin noted that putting team roles in place could create an effective team. Beblin created nine roles that need to be given within a dynamic team and the nine roles are categorised in three groups which are: action oriented, people oriented and thought oriented (Butterfield, 2010). The action oriented roles are for individuals that are known be the shaper, implementer, completer-finisher; however, the people oriented roles consists of co-ordinator, team worker and resource investigator whereas the thought oriented roles are made up of plant (creative people), monitor-evaluator and specialist (Butterfield, 2010; Cameron, 2008).

Conclusion
This paper shows that an effective team could be formed if the stages of team development and Beblin’s team roles are implemented. This paper shows that the dynamics of a team and how a team contributes towards ideas to meet the overall objectives of an organisation; whereas a group comes together for a specific task and then the group is disintegrated. However, this paper shows that a group and a team have its own individual characteristics and these characteristics should be considered when forming either a group or a team.


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