COURSE WORK UNIT 10
1 Features of effective team performance is to ensure the team has clear objectives, must stay focused and continuously support each team member while trying to achieve the end goal. This is achievable as long as each member of the team is aware of their role and responsibility. At the same time, the manager must be able to identify each team member’s strengths and weaknesses and appoint roles according to their ability therefore, maximising on the team’s strengths as a result achieving good outcomes. Where a team member has a weakness in a certain area, the team manager must ensure that she provides the necessary tools such as training if there is need for training or shadowing a member of the team who hold strengths in that area so that they have better understanding of what is expected of them. Open communication is also important for a team to accomplish the desired outcomes and this is gained by members articulating their feelings, expressing their plans and sharing ideas and understanding other team member’s viewpoints
As stated by Tuckerman (1965) if an organisation has a motivated leader, it will inspire the team to perform well as well as exceed the many areas expected of them. For a team leader to inspire those she works with, she must upgrade her team’s morale and performance by way of reaching out to her team which could be by having a team building workshops and brain storming sessions. The team leader must be transparently clear with the company mission and goals so that the team feels that they are part of obtaining these objectives.
2. When you bring a diversity group of people together, this on itself can bring challenges because communication and relationship issues will occur. It is necessary to make sure you bring on board people with different talents in-order to achieve the necessary goals. The leader leading the team must have strong leadership skills because conflict among the team is inevitable therefore, it is necessary for the person leading the team to invest in conflict resolution skills e.g. counselling training. Conflict comes into play when there is no acceptance or understanding of each other’s differences.
Although team members will be working as a team, each team member must have a clear understanding of their role to avoid conflict and confusion. Where there is lack of understanding one’s role, the team will fail to carry out its mandate.
3. Some of the challenges experienced by established teams is when new policies or IT software is introduced into the organisations. The team leader might get resistance from team members who might be set in operating in their old ways which means the organisation will not achieve the desired goals. When there is need to re-train, it requires the team members to take time out of work, which creates a vacuum at the place of work and may require hiring short term staff. Therefore, in such situations, it requires good leadership skills to balance the team’s work load as well as allowing them enough time to train for the new requirement.
Other issues to be considered are having team members who fail to complete tasks assigned to them due to poor meeting attendance, not participating in meetings, resulting in failing to generate new ideas and perspectives.
Where there is lack of moral and consistency, challenges can arise for established teams.
Some of the challenges faced by established teams are:
• power struggle and having team members with no pre-defined agenda
• not having enough skills and support could prove a challenge.
• members who reject new ideas and cannot see outside the perspective, resulting in negativity within the team.
• members agreeing to everything to avoid conflict
4. Where a team has to re-train so that they become more resourceful and effective, the team leader should make more time for training. In the event a team member fails to meet required tasks, the team leader should conduct a work appraisal in order to identify weaknesses that need to be overcome. In the instance where a team member lacks the required skills, the team leader should provide the training and frequent supervision. Instances where team members reject new ideas, the team leader should be able to demonstration the positive aspects of the new ideas by way of holding regular meetings and putting up information posters to remind the team why the new ideas are important e.g. the use of cleaning clothes in homes – green for working in the kitchen sink, red for the toilet and bathroom, yellow for kitchen surfaces etc. In cases where there is low staff moral, this could be overcome by holding regular meetings and allowing staff to express themselves. In such meetings, it affords staff an opportunity to have their input considered. We currently have a feedback app where the staff can have an input on the running our services. During a work appraisal meeting, this a good time praise the work that the team member has done – this way, morale is boosted. It is also a time to discuss any concerns the staff might have.
5. Being a manager, one is required to play a variety of roles. Therefore, as a manager, one should be versatile. However, being a manager is not one size fits all as there are managers with various styles of managing.
There is an autocratic leader, who believes that their decisions matters above all. This type of team leader does not leave room for input from others including their subordinates. Such a leadership style is not ideal for the healthcare sector as it involves shift patterns where there is need to accommodate individual circumstances and feedback from staff is important for continuous improvement in providing a high-quality service. However, this type of leadership is found in small organisations where it is run by one leader who is not answerable to anyone else. Another aspect of an autocratic leader is that, their desire for the business to succeed, creates mistrust with other team members as result, they believe only they have the company’s interest at heart and no one else.
Democratic leadership style is in two ways, the leader leads as well as allow others’ input. As defined by Gastil (1994) democratic leadership is: “Distributing responsibility among the membership, empowering group members, and aiding the group’s decision-making process”. This style allows positive input from subordinates which gives them a sense of belonging. It differs from autocratic and laissez-faire in two ways, compared to an autocratic leader, a democratic leader expects an employee to have self-confidence and a good understanding of the requirements of their position. While the laissez-faire likes to delegate to experts in the field, democratic leader participants in the decision-making process. Although a democratic leader allows others to participant in decision making, he takes great responsibility in safeguarding against pitfalls.
Laissez-faire leadership is a laid-back leadership style where a team leader employs staff with the necessary expertise but has little or no involvement with the decision making in the organisation. In this leadership, team members are given little support or none. The problems that arise from such a leadership style is that team members are unsure of themselves because there is no one to give them the support they need which could encourage laziness, as a result minimal effort is put in resulting in little productivity.
Although one could look at this leadership style as having a team leader that fully trust her team members to make the right decisions it could also come across as lazy as there is no support given team members to achieve the necessary goals.
However, this style can work with a team that is committed, understands the direction they are taking and are able to work independently. It can also work where the manager is new in the organisation –it allows the new manager time to analyse the new environment and at same time giving the new manager to adjust to the new position while production continues.