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.
1. 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.
2. 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
3. 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 is a good time to 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.
4. 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, therefore, 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 to the team members in order to achieve the necessary goals.
However, this style could work with a team that is committed, understands the direction they need to take and are able to work independently. It can also work where there is a new leader in an organisation –it allows the new leader time to analyse the new environment and at the same time giving the new leader time to adjust to the new position while goals and mission continue to be achieved.
5. It is important there is integrity in an organisation starting from management down to the bottom. Integrity is established and maintained by ensuring that promises are kept and the truth told at all times, although it can be difficult, it is necessary for the team players to have faith in the organisation. For there to be trust in an organisation, there is need for consistent actions in turn it gives the team a feeling that they are trusted in fulling the organisation’s goals. The team leader should be reliable for trust to exist among members of the team. The team must be open and transparent at all times. As a manager in an organisation, the first task would be to assess the level of trust among my team members. Then I would devise a development programme that would forge a positive environment in the work place.
The following steps are used to achieve the above:
1. While dealing with subordinates, importance of honesty is emphasised. Both negative and positive aspects of the business must be laid bare and no grey areas left.
2. I ensure that all employees are involved in achieving the company goals, which in turn make them feel as part of the organisation.
3. Appreciate the team’s input and encourage creativity and that they continue to share new ideas in order to improve the service
4. Making them feel that there a part of a team and any achievements that the company gains, they would benefit as well.
5. All goals are set as a team not as individual goals therefore, employees are happy to accomplish a shared vision.
Although I endeavour to implement the above, it also comes with its own challenges when at times the team members the government implement new policies as some might disagree with the new policies. As most policies require either retraining or more reading, this can be difficult if there is no trust between management and the team members.
As mentioned above, accountability and trust exist when you speak the truth and not withhold information – this way you create a strong team around you.
7. Compare methods of addressing conflict within a team.
When there is conflict between staff members, it is important that it is dealt with immediately. While listening to the individuals, it important that you summarise the discussion so that they feel that they are being listened to and you are willing to resolve the issues surrounding the conflict. While mediating, it is necessary that both sides are listened to without interruption or show body language that might come across as negative or that you are taking a side.
Although conflict can be looked upon as negative at times it is necessary as it can help to resolve organisational policies that may not be clearly understood by staff. As stated by Nelson (1995) there are five methods of handling conflict: “Direct Approach, Bargaining, Enforcement, Retreat, and De-emphasis. Each can be used effectively in different circumstances”.
1. Direct Approach – is considered the best way to resolve conflict in an organisation because
8. Identify the components of a positive culture within your own team
As a manager, I always try and ensure that there is high morale within the organisation by having an open-door policy to all my staff. Taking constructive criticism without making it personal. This is achieved by encouraging working as a team, effective communication, setting goals and plans and each role is made clear.
Encouraging team work; I find that where there is emphasis on team work, staff are willing to go an extra mile by assisting others that seem to struggle in meeting their expectation at the same time promoting a high standard of service.
Goals and plans; all staff has clear understanding of their goals and what is expected of them as a team and a plan is put into place on how to achieve the goals set and what should be consider as priority while supporting others that might need assistance. As an organisation, our mission statement is; we succeed as a team not as individuals.
Communication: our team members are encouraged to share ideas, information and providing feedback on areas that might need improvement. This is achieved by having regular meetings where staff can express any concerns or give any feedback that might help the organisation’s standards to continue to grow. All feedback is taken on board and where there is need for change, then change is implemented. A newsletter is then circulated among staff with changes that has been discussed – this way, it gives our staff a sense of belonging and that they are being listened to.
As a manager, I find that I tend to take on all responsibilities e.g. doing the client’s care plans, doing the rota etc. These are some of the work-load that I could delegated to other members of staff, this also an opportunity to have a better understanding of the business and giving them an opportunity of taking up more responsibilities. In turn it would allow more time for me to concentrate on promoting and growing the organisation.
9. Identify the factors that influence the vision and strategic direction of the team
As a manager of a small organisation, it important that there is a strategic plan put into place in order to tackle unforeseen challenges that the organisation may encounter. The care sector is a dynamic sector, as a result, situations are constantly changing therefore, this helps in keeping pace with these changes.
To achieve this, there must be a vision and the direction the organisation is looking to take as a team. The main constraints that seem to affect the organisation are usually, finding the appropriate staff, funding, partnerships and securing the right contracts within the geographical area we are working in.
When implementing a strategic vision, I meet with my team every 6 months and put into place a strategic plan that will guide us through half of the year. My team is involved in the strategic planning of the organisation because it allows them to participate in company’s vision so that, the team understands the direction the organisation is going. It is important that we set a realistic strategic vision that I know my team is able to fulfil. During the planning, we look at the following:
• Training – does our staff need extra training in-order to fulfil our vision
• Systems and procedures – what systems and procedures do we need to into place
• Roles and responsibilities – a structure is put into place as to who is responsible for what role
• Resources – do we have the resources in implementing our vision
When we have gone through our strategic plan, we then look at what we are looking to achieve whether it is achievable. We then continue to monitor progress and whether there is need to re-adjust our plan. With strategic planning, it is something that we have to continuous do if are to meet or visions and goals.
10. Evaluate how the vision and strategic direction of the team influences team practice, giving examples where possible.