A group of people working together for a common goal is a team. The Teams are driven by a particular set of activities. The team requires collaboration for achieving a particular objective or goal.
When a group of individuals work together and perform various activities and tasks to achieve a specific goal is referred to as teamwork. The goal or objective of individuals may vary such as to make a decision, write a document, to deliver a service, or create any product. Teamwork goals and aspects differ from individual work. Responsibility and tasks are shared equally to achieve a reliable and efficient outcome (Driskell, Salas & Driskell, 2018).
Teams in the workplace
The ultimate efficient example of teamwork is sports teams. Take the example of a basketball team that consists of individual players. All of these players cooperate and contribute equally towards a goal to win the game. The process of teamwork is entirely similar in business settings where most of the projects are completed by teams, and individuals accomplish goals by sharing activities and various tasks to get the outcomes. Teams in a business organization are predominant, and employees need to own the necessary skills to work efficiently with other individuals in a team.
Every organization or business company comprises of teams, and every individual is a member of a specific team assigned to do a specific project. Most of the teams who produce reliable, long term and successful outcomes are permanent because they are responsible for all activities. Take an example of a nurses' team working in a maternity ward offering medical care services to new mothers. Patients get stable care from the team of nurses with other related tasks involved. While in other situations, the team is formed to fulfil a temporary purpose, often referred to as project teams who own defined foundation and outcome is connected to achieve a certain goal.
Usually, teams are formed by organizations to accomplish complex tasks that seem impossible for an individual. Teams are effective to work together on specific projects that demand various skills and expertise. Take an example of the new products and their development process that involves customer needs and specific requirements and the product design as well as the entire construction process to meet customer needs. According to the project needs, a new team to develop a product will be formed that owns sufficient knowledge related to the customer along with skilled engineers and designers (Baert & Govaerts, 2012).
Lines of reporting and responsibility in the team
Any concerns related to the job role or clients must be reported immediately, it is considered as a responsibility of an employee, and if there is any issue related to the project, it must be reported to the project supervisor to resolve the concern as soon as possible. Due to some reason, if a supervisor does not resolve the issue, the concern must be resolved by higher management who keep track of every task and responsibility assigned to the team members to record the functionality of an entire team.
Every individual in a team is assigned a specific task, and clear objectives to every person are defined. This enables the members to seek proper guidance or help before a task was assigned. A proper plan helps to meet the deadlines. A team must check the progress regularly to know they are on the right track and when they require a catch-up.
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined to every individual in a team. This enables them to learn their place in the project and develop a better understanding, along with information about the roles and responsibilities in a certain project. Somehow, individuals can stop other members of a team from meddling in others' work. Every individual understands their responsibility well; this lets the team develop less conflict and work dynamically to achieve the target or goals optimally in a limited span.
Positive and effective communication
Better communication is a reliable and successful aspect of teamwork. Communication among the team members needs to be effective and essential. All team members need to speak to one another and participate in a discussion to eliminate any misconceptions. Good communication helps to know the objective, role, and impact of hard work and effort each person will be giving on a project. To resolve any problem, conflict, or project related issue, it is good to develop effective communication. A team leader must lead the team in an optimal direction, and all members must voice their mindset to participate in a team.
In teamwork, confidentiality also plays its role. It enables team members to respect each other values and feeling even after knowing the project conflicts which needs to stay within the team fellows once resolved. This also means that the work done by the team must remain confidential to achieve team success.
Values of own Organization
Organizational values, including the firm, business, and company must set specific ways people work. The working attitude must be defined to avoid future conflicts. An organization also needs to look after the individuals of the team, which enables employees working in a team to benefit more to the organization. Moral values are essential in teams allowing them to work efficiently. Offering the teams good and optimal working conditions makes them feel appreciated and feel proud to work for the firm. To promote an effective and healthy environment for working, morals are paramount. Companies need to treat a team in a great manner, so they feel valued. Such companies produce better results and offer more productivity to achieve goals.
Common causes of conflicts in the team
Following are the common causes that develop negative conflicts
When members in a team focus on emotional and personal issues instead of substantive problems, conflict occurs. Take an example of Enrico who attends night school to complete his degree but works late at night and also spends most of the time doing research and focus less on the job. In such a situation, other members need to stay relaxed and confront Enrico to ask for his complete participation. Other members can ignore Enrico's behaviour, but tensions in a project will keep on growing, or members will complain to the supervisor or head of the project. All of these options and factors will lower the performance of the team.
Competition over supplies, money, information, technology, or other related resources can also cause conflict among the team members. Take another example of Maria, who uses laboratory in the afternoon, but Jason overstays than his allotted time, enabling Maria's work to suffer. Maria can deny Jason's attitude or deny anything he demands or can complain to other team members.
Due to the external work conditions, team morale can be low due to fears and doubts about downsizing or the competition of being beaten by the market. It is important for the managers to understand that the external conditions are affecting the performance of the team (Sculli, Fore, Sine, Paull, Tschannen, Aebersold, Seagull & Bagian, 2015).
In order for the team to keep running smoothly, it is important that effective strategies for conflict resolution are designed. Conflict resolution can be made either openly or by conducting meetings that are private. At times, it is important to keep the matter confidential. Also, conflict resolution is a two-way communication where listening to both parties is important. It should be effective communication.
Own Role and Responsibilities in the team
While reflecting my own experience I look for approaches to better myself and help the new or fewer experienced individuals in dealing with their daily practice or employment job, in an everyday workplace as this will address their exhibition and workability, this will pick up their trust in their profession just as mine. I add to the advancement of ceaseless improvement inside crafted by the group by recommending various strategies for working securely and effectively in a social insurance condition; I express my perspective when require to do as such, just as taking on other individuals' thoughts and proposals to develop myself while dealing with my outstanding burden.
Contribution of other team members to the team
Smooth communication refers to decision making after the collaborative team effort. It is important to seek the opinions and suggestions when it comes to decision making. Thus, decision making if done with the participation of the team members will have a more explicit reaction.
Strengths and Weakness in working in the team
Strengths and weaknesses of teamwork are likewise included while working. The strengths include the increased efficiency; it allows the thinking of different minds on the same problem, mutual support and plenty of solutions of decision making. One of the most efficient benefits of teamwork is that the achievement of the organization is a collaboration. This advantage arises from several factors, each of which accounts for a different aspect of the overall benefit of teams.
Higher Quality Outcomes
Teamwork creates outcomes that make better use of resources and produce richer ideas.
- Higher efficiency: Since teams combine the efforts of individuals, they can accomplish more than an individual working alone.
- Faster speed: Because teams draw on the efforts of many contributors, they can often complete tasks and activities in less time.
- More thoughtful ideas: Each person who works on a problem or set of tasks may bring different information and knowledge to bear, which can result in solutions and approaches an individual would not have identified.
- Greater effectiveness: When people coordinate their efforts, they can divide up roles and tasks to more thoroughly address an issue. For example, in hospital settings teamwork has been found to increase patient safety more than when only individual efforts are made to avoid mishaps.
Better Context for Individuals
The team members and the teamwork are strengthened by the social aspect. It leads to higher performance. There are following to benefits of teamwork.
- Team members mutually support each other as they work on tasks while keeping the shared goals. The support helps in achieving the set goals.
- Profound accomplishment; there is a greater sense of accomplishment when the team collaborates and take collective responsibility of all sorts of the outcome.
The overall effectiveness of the team effort shapes the total value created by the teamwork. There is a broader set of benefits when organizations are driven by the teamwork.
The weakness of teamwork is the inability to effectively communicate with other team members. There are pitfalls in the collaborative working that individuals do not face. There may also be conflict in individual and shared goals. Following are some of the pitfalls that they may face;
Individuals Shirking Their Duties
There can be resentment based on shared responsibility as some of the individuals have to do less while some have to do more to make up for those who are not performing their duties well. This is due to the inability of the team to make clear cut norms for the individuals.
Lack of Trust
The lack of trust among the group members leads to miscommunication or sharing of wrong communication to keep their goals hidden which is another pitfall or weakness of the group.
Conflicts Hamper Progress
The conflicts have both positive as well as negative effects on the team and team performance. The conflict within the group can lead to delayed tasks, inefficient and non-serious attitude and performance of the individuals.
Lack of Teaming Skills
If the team lacks the collaboration skills, there is a deadlock on the performance of the team. This means that the conflict is irresolvable, and the function of the team is low in progress.
Missing Task Skills
The team may have trouble in achieving its goals when the team that does not have the expertise and knowledge needed to complete all its tasks and activities. The poor composition of the team leads to great risks.
Too Many Members
The team does not work effectively when the size of the team is big or has more members than required as it disrupts coordination and communication. Scheduling can be challenging (Belbin, 2012).
- Baert & Govaerts, 2012. Learning patterns of teams at the workplace. The Journal of Workplace Learning, 24(7-8), pp. 538-550.
- Belbin, R., 2012. Team roles at work. S .l. Routledge.
- Driskell, Salas & Driskell, 2018. Teams in extreme environments: Alterations in team development and teamwork. Human Resource Management Review, 28(4), pp. 434-449.
- Sculli, Fore, Sine, Paull, Tschannen, Aebersold, Seagull & Bagian, 2015. Effective followership: a standardized algorithm to resolve clinical conflicts and improve teamwork. Journal of Healthcare Risk Management, 35(1), pp. 21-30.