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Instructor: Mrs.

Carolyn Odonkor

Using Team in Organization

A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, common performance goals, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.

A brief look at a dictionary shows that "group" usually refers to an assemblage of people or objects gathered together, whereas "team" usually refers to people or animals organized to work together. Thus, a "team" places more emphasis on concerted action than a "group" does. In common, everyday usage, however, "committee," "group," "team," and "task force" are often used interchangeably.

In organizations, teams and groups are quite different. A group is two or more persons who interact with one another such that each person influences and is influenced by each other person. We specifically noted that individuals interacting and influencing each other need not have a common goal. The collection of people who happen to report to the same supervisor or manager in an organization can be called a "work group." Group members may be satisfying their own needs in the group and have little concern for a common objective. This is where a team and a group differ. In a team, all team members are committed to a common goal.

    A group can also be defined as two or more people who interact with each other to accomplish certain goals or meet certain needs. As these definitions imply. overriding team goal or objectives. A team is a group whose members work intensely with one another to achieve a specific common goal or objective. The two characteristics that distinguish teams from groups are the intensity with which team members work together and the presence of a specific. all teams are groups but not all groups are teams. .

and most experts are a bit more specific in defining teams. A more complete definition is. performance goals. and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.• • A team is a group with a common goal. A team typically includes few people because the interaction and influence processes needed for the team to function can only occur when the number of members is small. Several facets of this definition need further explanation. "A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose. But teams differ from groups in other ways. too. .

by our definition. then someone from outside the group must be giving directions. fully developed teams are self-directing.• When many people are involved. Regardless of the name. If they are not. so the group cannot be considered a true team. self-managing. meeting goals. and holding themselves accountable. . they have difficulty interacting and influencing each other. and autonomous. utilizing their complementary skills. mature.

so the group cannot be considered a true team.• When many people are involved. .managing. mature. and autonomous. they have difficulty interacting and influencing each other. If they are not. and holding themselves accountable. utilizing their complementary skills. meeting goals. by our definition. self. then someone from outside the group must be giving directions. fully developed teams are self-directing. Regardless of the name.

scientific. and make decisions about the directions of the team. or business skills may be necessary.• • • Teams include people with a mix of skills appropriate to the tasks to be done. legal. technological. First. Second. some team members need to have problem-solving and decision-making skills to help the team identify problems. evaluate alternatives. the team needs to have members with the technical or functional skills to do the jobs. determine priorities. Some types of engineering. Three types of skills are usually required in a team. .

and recognize the interests of all members of the team. resolve conflict. and matures. direct questions and discussion. members need interpersonal skills to manage communication flow. as the team grows. develops. However. team members will come to have more of the necessary skills. especially when the team first convenes. provide support. Not all members will have all of the required skills. different members will have different skills. .• Third.

which makes all decisions and takes all actions in pursuit of the goal. unlike a work group.• Having a common purpose and common performance goals sets the tone and direction of the team. in which members merely report to the same supervisor or work in the same department. A team comes together to take action to pursue a goal. an activity that builds strong identification and fosters commitment to the team. . Teams often spend days or weeks establishing the reason for their existence. The purpose becomes the focus of the team.

social norms regarding dress code. attendance at meetings. Usually. Agreeing on a common approach is especially important for teams because it is often the approach that differentiates one team from others. and what will and will not be included in the team activities. The team's approach usually covers how work will be done.  This process also helps team members develop trust in one another. norms of fairness and ethical behavior. tardiness. the defining purpose comes first. followed by development of specific performance goals. .

If the members translate accountability to an external manager into internal. or mutual. the group moves toward acting like a team. accountability. Mutual accountability is essentially a promise that members make to each other to do everything possible to achieve their goals. as in the traditional approach. Finally. and it requires the commitment and trust of all members. . the definition states that teams hold themselves mutually accountable for results rather than merely meeting a manager's demands for results.

The clearly stated highly performance goals and the common approach serve as the standards to which team holds itself. With this promise. . members maintain and strengthen the trust necessary for the team to succeed. It is the promise of each member to hold herself or himself accountable for the team's goals that earns each individual the right to express her or his views and expect to get a fair and constructive hearing.

three other differences between groups and teams become important: job categories. authority. . and reward systems.    Because teams are mutually accountable for meeting performance goals.

Tens or even hundreds of people may have similar job descriptions and see little relationship between their effort and the end result or finished product. . members have many different skills that fit into one or two broad job categories.  Job Categories The work of conventional groups is usually described in terms of highly specialized jobs that require minimal training and moderate effort. In teams. on the other hand.

. the person's role usually changes from decision maker and controller to that of coach. the team discusses what activities need to be done and determines for itself who in the team has the necessary skills and will do each task. makes the decisions. If a "supervisor" remains on the team. facilitator. Authority In conventional work groups. the supervisor directs controls the daily activities of workers. decisions. or one who helps the team make. The team. rather than the supervisor.   Neither workers nor management worries about who does what job as long as the team puts out the finished product or service and meets its performance goals. In teams.

Such a pay system tends to promote the flexibility that teams need to be responsive to changing environmental factors. employees are usually rewarded on the basis of their individual performance. or their job classification. In conventional settings. . team members are rewarded for mastering a range of skills needed to meet team performance goals. their seniority. In a teambased situation. and rewards are sometimes based on team performance.  Reward Systems How employees are rewarded is vital to the longterm success of an organization.

depending on career tracks or team needs. gain-sharing systems. and team bonus plans.  Skill-Based Pay Skill-based pay systems require team members to acquire a set of the core skills needed for their particular team plus additional special skills. Some programs require all members to acquire the core skills before any member receives additional pay. Three types of reward systems are common in a team environment: skill-based pay. .

they share in the profits they helped generate. when business conditions or other factors beyond their control make it impossible to generate improvements over the preset baseline. Employee reaction is usually positive because when employees work harder to help the company. division. employees may feel disappointed and even disillusioned with the process. or plant. Gain-Sharing Systems Gain-sharing systems usually reward all team members from all teams based on the performance of the organization. Such a system requires a baseline performance that must be exceeded for team members to receive some share of the gain over the baseline measure. On the other hand. .

 Team Bonus Plans Team bonus plans are similar to gain-sharing plans except that the unit of performance and pay is the team rather than a plant. or the entire organization. a division. Each team must have specific performance targets or baseline measures that the team considers realistic for the plan to be effective. .

Employee benefits. .     The best reason to start teams in any organization is to recap the positive benefits that can result from a team-based environment: Enhanced performance. Reduced costs. and Organizational enhancements.

and customer service. and react better to customers. Such enhancements result from pooling of individual efforts in new ways and from continuously striving to improve for the benefit of the team . quality. including improved productivity. Enhanced performance can come in many forms. resulting in more output for each unit of employee input. Working in teams enables workers to avoid wasted effort reduce errors.

manager-based system. making decisions about their work. and really making a difference in the world around them. employees have a better work life. identification with work. teams give employees the freedom to grow and to gain respect and dignity by managing themselves. human dignity. Teams can provide the sense of self-control. hierarchical. . and sense of self-worth and self-fulfillment for which current workers seem to strive. As a result. Rather than relying on the traditional. and make less use of employee assistance programs. face less stress at work.

creativity. Other improvements in organizations that result from moving from a hierarchically based. Employees feel closer and more in touch with top management. Employees who think their efforts are important are more likely to make significant contributions. directive culture to a team-based culture include increased innovation. and flexibility. . Use of teams can eliminate redundant layers of bureaucracy and flatten the hierarchy in large organizations.

empowered teams are free to throw it out and develop a new way. . If the "same old way" does not work. With increasing global competition. the team environment constantly challenges teams to innovate and solve problems creatively. organizations must constantly adapt to keep abreast of changes. In addition. Teams provides the flexibility to react quickly.

especially if they developed their managerial skills under the old traditional hierarchical management philosophy. Managers have expressed frustration and confusion about their new roles AS coaches and facilitators. .  The costs of teams are usually expressed in terms of the difficulty of changing to a team-based organization. Some managers have felt as if they were working themselves out of a job as they turned over more and more of their old directing duties to a team.

may feel that their jobs are in jeopardy as teams do more and more of the technical work formerly done by technicians. Often technical people have been assigned to a team or a small group of teams and become members who fully participate in team activities. such as technical advisory staffs. Some traditional staff groups. New roles and pay scales may need to be developed for the technical staff in these situations. Employees may also feel like losers during the change to a team culture. .

. efficient. and the organization. If top management is impatient with the slow progress. teams may be disbanded. returning the organization to its original hierarchical form with significant losses for employees managers. It takes a long time for teams to go through the full development cycle and become mature. and effective. Another cost associated with teams is the slowness of the process of full team development.

middle managers. As a result. The losses in productivity and efficiency will be very difficult to recoup. employee confidence in management in general and in the decision makers in particular may suffer for a long time. If top management gets impatient with the team change process and cuts it short. the hard work of employees. never allowing teams to develop fully and realize benefits. Probably the most dangerous cost is premature abandonment of the change to a team-based organization. and supervisors is lost. Management must therefore be fully committed before initiating change to a team-based organization .

some team make or do things. One easy way to classify teams is by what they do. for example. management teams.  Many different types of teams exist in organizations today. and problemsolving teams. and some teams run things. .' most common types of teams are: quality circles. work teams. some teams recommend things.

Quality circles are teams that make recommendations. . Quality circles (QCs) are small groups of employees from the same work area who meet regularly (usually weekly or monthly) to discuss and recommend solutions to workplace problems.

evaluate alternatives. and various technicians responsible for all patients on a floor or wing in a hospital comprise a work team. include all the people working in an area. Rather than investigate a specific problem. a work team does the actual daily work of the unit. and recommend a solution or change. orderlies. The nurses. making decisions regarding how the work of the team is done. and do the daily work. . are relatively permanent. Work teams tend to be permanent.

 The difference between a traditional work group of nurses and the patient care team is that the latter has the authority to decide how the work is done. Work teams are teams that make or do things. the entire team is responsible for all patient care. and by whom. When the team decides how the work is to be organized or done. it becomes a self-managing team. in what order. to which accrue all of the benefits described in this chapter. .

 Problem-solving teams are temporary teams established to attack specific problems in the workplace. After solving the problem. meaning that team members come from many different functional areas. . Crisis teams are problem-solving teams created only for the duration of an organizational crisis and are usually composed of people from many different areas. High-performing problem-solving teams are often cross-functional. allowing members to return to their normal work. the team is usually disbanded. Problem-solving teams are teams that make recommendations for others to implement.

They are relatively permanent because their work does not end with the completion of a particular project or the resolution of a problem. Management teams coordinate work teams and consist of managers from various areas. Management teams must concentrate on the teams that have the most impact on overall corporate performance. . The second most important task of management teams is to coordinate work between work teams that are interdependent in some manner. The primary job of management teams is to coach and counsel other teams to be self-managing by making decisions within the team.

They are similar to problem-solving teams because when the product is fully developed and in production. the team may be disbanded . Product development teams are combinations of work teams and problem-solving teams that create new designs for products or services that will satisfy customer needs.

Virtual teams may never actually meet together in the same room their activities take place on the computer via teleconferencing and other electronic information systems. and other communication utilities  . Virtual teams work together by computer and other electronic communication utilities. members move in and out of meetings and the team itself as the situation dictates. sharing files via the Internet. Engineers in the United States can connect audibly and visually with counterparts all around the globe. electronic mail.

so decisions are made much faster. print. . or specification. All participants can look at the same drawing. With electronic communication systems team members can move in or out of a team or a team discussion as the issues warrant.

the teams go through a number of phases: Phase 1: Start-Up Phase 2: Reality and Unrest Phase 3: Leader-Centered Teams Phase 4: Tightly Formed Teams Phase 5: Self-Managing Teams . During this period. often taking two to five years.      Implementation of self-managing work teams is a long and difficult process.

Much of the initial training is informational or "awareness" training that sends the message that top management is firmly committed to teams and that teams are not experimental. In phase 1. The steering committee usually starts the training at the top. and the training and information are passed down the chain to the team members. team members are selected and prepared to work in teams so that the teams have the best possible chance of success. .

and the interpersonal skills necessary to work with people in the team and throughout the organization . the roles and responsibilities of teams. training covers the technical skills necessary to do the work of the team. In general. compensation. how they work. how teams were selected. the administrative skills necessary for the team to function within the organization. and job security.  Training covers the rationale for moving to a team-based organization.

team members and managers report frustration and confusion about the ambiguities of the new situation. For employees. unfamiliar tasks. more responsibility. as important as it is. All of the training and preparation. . is never enough to prepare for the storm and backlash. and worry about job security replace hope for the opportunities presented by the new approach. After perhaps six to nine months. Some managers make the mistake of staying completely away from the newly formed teams.

and sometimes to protect teams from those who want to see them fail. feel the unrest and confusion. Managers. The change they supported results in more work for them. to foster the right type of communication. to monitor team performance. managers need to be very visible to provide encouragement. thinking that the whole idea is to let teams manage themselves. . to help teams acquire needed resources. In reality. too. to act as intermediaries between teams.

members are learning about self-direction and leadership from within the team and usually start to focus on a single leader in the team. the team begins to think of itself as a unit as members learn to manage themselves. However. In addition. Managers begin to get a sense of the positive possibilities of organizing in teams and begin to. teams usually long for a system that resembles the old managercentered organizational structure. . As the discomfort and frustrations of the previous phase peak.

The new leaders can either be company appointed or team appointed.   withdraw slowly from the daily operation of the unit to begin focusing on standards. they need to encourage the rise of strong internal team leaders. and resources for the teams. The second important issue for this phase is to help each team develop its owm sense of identity . systems. Two important things must happen in this phase: First. regulations.

However communication with external teams begins to diminish. Such teams are usually extremely confident of their ability to do everything. managing their schedule and resources. and interterm rivalries can turn sour. They are solving problems. leading to unhealthy competition. the team covers up for underperforming members. and resolving internal conflicts. The fourth phase of team implementation is when teams become tightly formed to the point that their internal focus can become detrimental to other teams and to the organization as a whole. .

Probably most important. mature teams are flexible taking on new ideas for improvement. Team members are taking responsibility for team-related leadership functions. true teams are meeting or exceeding performance goals. and doing whatever it takes to meet the strategic objectives of the organization . Phase 5 is the end result of the months or years of planning and implementation. and tasks. Managers and supervisors have withdrawn from the daily operations and are planning and providing counseling for teams. roles. (making changes as needed to membership.

First and foremost. Third. teams always need to improve their internal customer and supplier relationships within the organization. individuals and teams need to continue their training in job skills and team and interpersonal Kills. Partnerships among teams throughout the organization can help the internal teams continue to meet the needs of external customers. several things need to be done to keep them on track. . Although the teams are mature and functioning quite well. support systems need to be (constantly improved to facilitate team development and productivity. Second.