Team work has become of importance to many organizations and businesses as it is widely practiced in modern environments. Team work is a method used to enhance productivity, motivation, innovation and skill through commitment of employees in an organization. The key purpose of this report is to assess and analyze the importance of teams by looking at roles that emerge within a team, factors that influence team performance and how leadership behavior impact team effectiveness, efficiency and high performance.
Outline of Team/ Group Roles
A set of individuals with appropriate skills working together is a team. However, certain roles emerge within the team that makes each more than a person with skill. Implementation is the first role of a team whereby ideas are turned into actions after a well-thought plan (Gardner, Gino & Staat, 2012). Secondly, a team takes on a coordination role whereby the goals of the organization the team works for are promoted through effective decision making. As such, delegation and manipulation of ideas is sometimes practiced so that goals can be achieved. Thirdly, teams have a role of exploring opportunities through innovation through communication whereby initial enthusiasm of the other team members are maintained from the beginning to the end of the project (Gardner, Gino & Staat, 2012). Observation is another role that can emerge within a work team. During the observation, processes and formulas are identified including challenges and obstacles identification which helps the larger goals of the team by limiting hindrances.
In practice, these roles emerge when team members build working relationships that are beneficial to individuals and businesses or companies (Grant, Gino &Hoffman, 2011). These relationships can be fostered through enhanced listening skills which hinder conflicts from arising. There are also different people in a team and with the diversity; the perfectionists might want to work without the complainers in order to finish tasks in time. However, it is the role of the team in such a situation tomotivate the other members of the team so as to enable them to perform at similar levels same as the rest of the group members (Grant, Gino &Hoffman, 2011). Passionate knowledge and skill delivery are another practical means through which roles that emerge within a group can be achieved. Moreover, the person giving the skill and knowledge delivery takes up another role of guidance though not his or her professional skill but still manages to use it to bring everyone on the same page. Since teams have different life cycles, roles will emerge in every stage of the cycle requiring effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity from each member.
Factors affecting Team/ Group Performance
Three main factors affect team performance in every organization and or business. First, management practices which encompass aspect of values and beliefs. In a working group, different individuals with different values and beliefs interact to achieve a common goal (Bass, 2008). Without a clear set of organizational values and beliefs, conflicts will arise among group members making it hard for them to accomplish their given tasks. Subsequently, the management practice of division of labor can affect team performance positively or negatively.
On the positive side, the division oflabor allows employees to specialize in a given line and be perfect. It also allows employees to know their responsibilities within the group and carry them out within the required time (Edwards & Lambert, 2007). On the other hand, division of labor may affect a team negatively especially if other team members are overworked while others get a free ride. With this challenge, we address the issue of motivation whereby how employees are motivated affects their performance within a group or team.
Motivation takes various forms such as recognition of innovation, work is done by an employee exceptionally and also excellent improvements. Other than recognition, employees can be motivated through frequent training and also bonus rewards such as increased salary or paid vacation. In addition to that, the lack of motivation makes employees isolate themselves or detach from the organization and team core activities after finishing their tasks (Anderson & Brown, 2010). This prevents innovation and creativity leading the performance of the team to a dormant and failing state. The size of the team is another external factor that impacts team performance.
Working with a very large group sometimes yields ineffectiveness due to poor coordination and lack of competition. Moreover, in small teams or relatively medium teams, there is positive competition among the members that result inthe completion of tasks. Thirdly, there is the external environment impact on teams which include organizational rules and policies (Anderson & Brown, 2010). When an organizational rule doesn’t enhance job enrichment and employee expansion then job dissatisfaction is increased and employee absenteeism including turnover rates also increases. With these increases, the team organization is adversely affected as goal achievement will not be reached despite much time wasted on team role sharing and responsibility delegation.
Leadership Behavior Impact on Team Performance
Vital to the team reaching its organizational goals is the leadership as explained by Bass (2008) because a leader can influence the cohesiveness of the team heavily. Leadership in teams can be informal for self-managed groups or formal with both exerting influence on the team. Since the leader facilitates, envisions, and synergizes teams’ performance and norms, commanding and controlling leaders often get low performance from the rest of the team especially if the role is informal (Bass 2008). In addition to that, a commanding leader makes the team to be inefficient in their work output because very few people appreciate a leader who just gives orders and does not lead by example in executing activities. On the other hand, leaders who have mastered effective communication tend to be attractive to the team in both formal and informal group settings. These leaders influence the team through their words stirring up hard work through motivation leading to goals accomplishment.
In this sense, a high performing group system has a leader who embraces diversity, acknowledges the work and effort of the team members, and improves the job satisfaction of the team (Edward & Lambert, 2007). Concurrently, leaders who improve cohesion among the group members have been known to economically improve the employee work output which also reflects in the employee earnings. This means that leadership style is strong enough to make an organization and team successful depending on the behavior that the leader will take on. The level of communication is also important in improving the cohesion synergy in a team due to increased lateral communication between and within-group members and the leader. If employees are new in an organization, then the leader has a greater communication, motivation, and control role to play as opposed to other team members. This is because the new members have to learn teamwork, master their responsibilities, and deliver their output with perfection.
It is clear that team roles, effectiveness and productivity are based on cohesiveness which is reinforced by the team leader. It is also important to note that the type of team structure and size should not only enhance productivity but also provide employees with an opportunity to develop their individual skills. In this sense, job enrichment through self-development and employee empowerment generate productivity. To achieve desired goals therefore, the team and the leader have to be in sync with each other and organizational goals.
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- Grant, A., Gino, F., & Hofmann, D. (2011). Reversing the extraverted leadership advantage: The role of collective employee proactivity. Academy of Management Journal. In press.