organizations, and many other undertakings?
The fact is... Team has always been associated with matters
that involves people. From sports to business organizations
to professional associations to what have you.
Yet, management at times feel threatened and may even take
credit away from the team when improvements are made.
Often, they fail to realize that their own involvement in team
activities will promote trust and cooperation between them
and their subordinates... thereby, enhancing their own reputation
as effective Leaders. (Deborah Harrington-Mackin)
Now then, why create such a "fuss" with Teams?
- Teams make it easier and faster to reach objectives.
- Teams create harmonious and friendly working environments.
- Teams promotes cooperation while drowning "competition".
- Teams increases flexibility in task assignments.
- Teams improve self-worth, thereby, affecting motivation.
- Teams respond faster to change.
- Teams furthers creative problem-solving techniques.
- Teams encourages healthier communication.
- Teams come up with better decisions as a result of greater commitment.
to start a Team is to accept that there would be birth pains as well.
Since members would be required to change, they could have difficulty
leaving their "hats" at the door. Because of that, Team formation could
be time-consuming and therefore, would naturally take a longer-time
to produce initial results. So, whether you are part of the Team or not,
the Team would then appear confused, disorderly and out of control.
All of these, however, are just part of the adjustment period...
that should not, in any way, discourage Management from supporting
Teams. After all, in the long run, Teams make organizations run like
"If you do not believe in cooperation, look what happens
to a wagon that loses a wheel." - Napoleon Hill
So... How Do We then Form A Team?
First, always be guided by an achievable goal with a specific objective.
Then, decide on what type of team(s) to create for that purpose.
Here are the Types of Teams with their basic description (DHM):
- Organizational Policy-Making Teams (Multifunctional). Identifies major areas of concern/opportunity. Articulates organizational needs. Sometimes called Quality Councils. Can function as the organization's management team if so empowered.
- Task Force (Cross-functional). Sometimes called Process Improvement Teams or Product Launch Teams.
- Department Improvement Teams (Functional). Restrict scope of activity (select problems and identify solutions) to within the department.
- Quality Circles. Includes members from functional areas who work together on specific quality, productivity, and service problems. Have first-hand knowledge about a task but may not have the power and authority to transform ideas into action. Although often temporary in nature, QCs serve as a forerunner of self-directed work teams.
- Self-Directed Work Teams (Functional). Limited to a particular work unit. Functions semi-autonomously; and are responsible for controlling the physical and functional boundaries of their work and for delivering a specified quantity and quality of a product or service within a specified time and defined cost. Note, however, that the shift to self-direction represents change, and with change comes resistance.
- Self-Managed Teams (Functional). Operates with varying degrees of authority. Contract with management to assume management responsibility in addition to performing its specific jobs, including planning, organizing, directing and monitoring. Identifies, analyzes and solves task and relationship problems.
let's get to the Basics of Team Functioning:
- Forming a Team. When in some cases, having the Team define its own goal means that the Team will take longer to get started on specific tasks than if a design team or steering committee had determined the initial goal.
- Determining the Level of Authority. When a Team is created to perform a specific task or to deal with a specific issue, it should be assigned a clear level of authority, defining the limits within which it may act autonomously.
- Establishing Team Membership. A Team can comprise a complete working unit or can include people from throughout the organization, including hourly staff and Top management. The critical issue that surfaces wjtb Team membership is inclusion and exclusion. Members on a Team begins to flaunt their special status; while employees not on teams are often left behind to "do the real work", and resentment grows. Generally, a Team that is experiencing problems or has suddenly entered into a new phase of development will not readily welcome a new member; if problems exist, members may use the new member to avoid confronting them. The larger the percentage of new members on an existing Team, the more resistance there will be to their inclusion. For Best Team functioning, a minimal amount of training should be required of all team members in such areas as interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills.
- Determining the Optimal Team Size. If the Team's goals and tasks are complex and demand considerable skill, small teams (from 6 to 12 members) are most effective. If tasks are relatively simple and redundant, Teams can be sufficiently large to provide something meaningful to manage. If the Team is responsible for a task requiring a lot of technological know-how, the team size should be large enough to include people who can perform the job, as well as those who can manage - and even design - the product (a cross-functional team). The decision about Team size must be based on how willing members are to help the team function smoothly.
- Orienting New Members. Orientation of new members is the responsibility of the team, not the new member. To shorten the startup time for a new member, make sure he or she is properly oriented for the team, its members, and its work to date. Orientation should occur within thirty days of placement on a team and should include: (a) An overview of training specific to that team. (b) A review of the team's history and it's purpose in forming. (c) A review of team minutes, with an emphasis on decisions made to date. (d) The sharing of all pertinent information and date. (e) A discussion of roles and responsibilities agreed to by the team.
- Using Member Substitutions. A substitute person is a person who sits in for a team member when he or she is unable to attend a meeting. Substitutes are used when members sit on several teams and have occasional scheduling conflicts.
- Removing a Member from the Team. Removing a member from a team is an act of tremendous significance for both the member and the team. When a person is asked to leave or chooses to leave a team, it is up to the team to handle the situation as effectively as possible. Once the teams has determined that a team member is not working effectively, a procedure that basically follows these steps has proved to work with most teams.
- Handling Resignation Requests. In the normal course of events, Teams can expect to lose up to 30% of their members in the first year. Resignation requests should be presented to the team in writing. Whenever a resignation occurs, every effort should be made by the team to conduct an exit interview to determine why the member has resigned.
Key Points On Getting Started on Team Building:
- Describe Key Activities the team is expected to undertake, including specific objectives to be achieved or strategies, recommendations, or analysis to be performed. Require work plan, charts, reports, and presentations, if necessary.
- Identify The Results Expected of the team, such as improvements, savings, gains, and benefits.
- Identify The Resources Available to the team, including the team adviser, subject matter expert (SME), or single point of contact (SPOC).
- Identify The Type Of Frequency of Reporting and the Communication expected of the team, including who should receive copies of the team minutes and any interim reports.
- Identify Any Nonnegotiable Requirements of rules the team is expected to adhere to or that it needs to be aware of.
- Identify The Skills And Abilities necessary for the team to accomplish its task.
- Identify The Authority Level the team will have - what decisions it may or may not make and any spending limitations.
- Identify The Owners' Roles and Responsibilities (if applicable).
- Select A Core Team to build the first meeting agenda and to identify the first step. Select an interim facilitator for the first meeting.
Assigning Team Roles... Team roles should be assigned and/or
clarified at the beginning of each team meeting.
A healthy team allows members to be flexible in their roles.
This flexibility may be encouraged by rotating duties and responsibilities.
Here, Participative Leadership is a requirement of an effective team.
All team members must develop team leadership skills.
The facilitator must neither dominate the team nor decide team rules alone.
Therefore, supervisors have the greatest role change during the transition
to teams, and most need training to gain confidence in the new role.
Management plays an important role here, helping the supervisor cope
with the loss of power and control.
With Management support, the eventual success of the Team now really
depends on the member's commitment.
Share this paragraph (from Business Desk Reference) with team members
who believe that "doing your own thing" is all that matters.
My supervisxr txld me that teamwxrk depends xn the perfxrmance xf
every single persxn xn the team. I ignxred that idea until my supervisxr
shxwed hxw the xffice typewriter perfxrms when just xne single key is
xut xf xrder. All the xther keys xn xur typewriter wxrk just fine except xne,
but that xne destrxys the effectiveness xf the typewriter. Nxw I knxw that
even thxugh I am xnly xne persxn, I am needed if the team is tx wxrk as
a successful team shxuld.
As we know... "In Unity, there is Strength."
To be that Ultimate Team-Builder, Be that Relationship-Builder who can see Beyond.