WORK IN A TEAM ENVIRONMENT
MODULE DESCRIPTOR : This module covers the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to relate in a work based environment.
SUMMARY OF LEARNING OUTCOMES
LO1. Describe and identify team role and responsibility in a team.
LO2. Describe work as a team member.
LO1: Describe and Identify team role and responsibility in a team
4 Types of Team Roles
Here are four roles for a team: Leader, Facilitator, Coach or a Member.
All these are the components of a team, but remember that these need not be exclusive. A leader can act as a facilitator and a coach as well at different times. It’s not necessary that the team will have one individual as a leader, one individual as a facilitator and one individual as a coach and members. The leader depending on the situation can act as a coach, facilitator or a member.
The role of a leader to provide direction to the team, vision to the team, motivation to the team and establishes ground rules for working with each other. What sort of communication will happen, how things will be reported. All these ground rules are set by the leader. The role of leader, of course, is to make the successful completion of the team goal. So sets the goal, clarifies the goal, provides direction, and also if there are regular meetings to be held then the leader is responsible for preparing for those meetings and conducting those meetings effectively. Team leader assigns individual roles to team members.
Coach provides one-to-one support after training. If a team member has been trained with something, the coach is someone who provides support after the training. The coaching is one-to-one training and if there’s any problem team faces coach would be the first person to go to. These rules might overlap. A coach might be the same person as the team leader. When we are talking about coaching, let’s understand the GROW Model of coaching that will help us in understanding the coaching concept better.
R is for reality
O is for obstacles
W is for a way forward
Goal: In coaching, the first thing is to understand what the team wants to achieve? What is the objective?
Reality: Realizing what current reality is? Where are we today? What are the challenges this team is facing?
Obstacles: What stops the team from achieving the goal? What are the obstacles?
Way Forward: Those identified obstacles are to be removed by coach by providing all the support and steps needed to achieve the goal.
The role of members is to participate in team meetings, do whatever is assigned to them, and actively participate when it comes to brainstorming, idea generations or any other support they need to provide. Members actively engaged in the team.
What are roles and responsibilities?
Benefits of functional roles and responsibilities
Along with increasing team efficiency, creating functional roles and responsibilities provides several other benefits that could help your company as a whole. Understanding these benefits will motivate team leaders to implement them in the future if they haven’t already. Here are some of the benefits of establishing functional roles and responsibilities.
When teams understand what’s expected of them, they know what they need to work on. Having a clear definition of their responsibilities will increase your team’s overall productivity. This productivity will then lead to your team’s increased momentum and success in the long run.
2. Team success
By effectively delegating necessary tasks and having a set schedule, you’re setting your team up for success. Employees with clear duties and deadlines have all the tools they need to get the job done and achieve optimal success.
3. Increased morale and momentum
When an employee’s responsibilities are clearly defined and they are successful in their role, the entire team will benefit from it. Team success is a great way to build momentum for future projects, thus fostering more productivity. This same success will also contribute to the team’s heightened confidence.
Understanding your team’s goals and objectives is a great way to determine functional roles and responsibilities. When employees know what they should be working on, they’re more productive and have the ability to produce higher-quality content. Here’s how to develop functional roles and responsibilities in your team:
Make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed. This will give you an idea of how many tasks you’ll need to delegate. Make note of what your team is currently working on as well as previous projects. Were past projects met with success? If not, what could have been improved? Are there tasks that need to be completed but haven’t been? Recognize and delegate them to your team accordingly.
2. Identify strengths and weaknesses.
Noticing your team’s strengths and weaknesses is a great way to assign responsibilities as they pertain to their job descriptions. Once you have an idea of where an employee tends to shine, assign them tasks that cater to their strengths. If they show weakness in a specific area, consider assigning that task to another team member who can perform the task more successfully. This will help your team work more efficiently and help them gain confidence in knowing they can do what was asked of them. At the same time, it’s important to remember that employees should always be learning and expanding their skill set on the job.
Take note of every team member’s job description when determining their duties. An employee should be given tasks that adhere to what they were hired for in the first place. It’s also important to take into consideration their interpersonal skills, interests and past successes. A combination of their job description and their individual personality traits will help you better delegate your team’s assignments.
4. Get feedback
Asking for feedback can provide you with more insight into how to create functional team roles and responsibilities. By asking your team for feedback, you’re also showing them that you care about their opinion and insight. This will help foster a healthy discussion of their expectations within the company. Having a clear stream of communication with your team is key.
Team member roles and responsibilities
• Actively participate.
• Be an active listener.
• Take notes.
• Complete tasks and assignments.
Team leader roles and responsibilities
The main role of a team leader is to provide the team with direction and support. They’re also responsible for delegating tasks. To effectively lead a team, a team leader must outline not only the team’s main objective but the tasks each employee is responsible for. As an effective team leader, you should:
• Prepare material for your team.
• Maintain a team calendar or schedule.
• Schedule and hold meetings.
• Facilitate discussion.
• Communicate with team members.
• Assign responsibilities.
• Draft and deliver correspondence.
• Supervise team members.
• Support team members.
Build Positive Relationships Among Your Team Members
Ramp Up Your Engagement
Encouraging open communication and a free exchange of ideas through brainstorming, debate and constructive criticism. Here is where you can truly model good behavior, especially by asking questions, remaining open to alternatives and being clear in your own communiques. Effective communication is the most important element that successful teams share.
Devising a method for reaching a consensus. No matter what its size, no team is going to agree on every issue all the time. Team members should realize that they’re going to “win” some debates and not others – and should move on once the larger group has forged an agreement.* Ensuring that every team member has what they need before you “set them loose.” The right tools and resources could mean the difference between success and unrealized goals. If they’re truly vested in their mission, your employees should speak up about what they need from you.
Your employees may not realize it, but you’ll know: You’ve just planted the seeds of trust, which will underscore their efforts and fortify their bonds.
Turn the Key of Observation
Stay out of their way, especially at the beginning. From an employee’s point of view, there’s nothing worse than being entrusted with authority – and then having the boss hover overhead, second-guessing or commenting on every move. Positive teams thrive on autonomy; they sometimes just need a little time to develop faith in their own instincts.
Support the varying strengths of the team members. There’s nothing like a team environment to bring out people’s differences, and effective teams learn how to play to each other’s strengths while de-emphasizing the weaknesses. In this way, too, team members will take their cue from you.
Keep them in the loop on information or changes that will affect their work. It’s always best if The Official Word comes from the boss, not the employee grapevine.
Always follow up on requests. And if you don’t have an answer by an agreed-upon deadline, communicate that, too. They may not articulate it this way, but employees want to be taken seriously. Your interest and followup will validate this need.
Turn Up the Key Observation
Show appreciation for the teams’ efforts. Give credit and congratulate them with public praise, private, handwritten notes or a lunchtime pizza break. However you choose to lead the cheer, every cheerleader knows that enthusiasm is contagious. Hold periodic team meetings. Weekly meetings will demonstrate that you’re vested – and watching. And if semantics matter, as they often do, dispense with calling them “meetings.” Challenge the teams to come up with a word that captures their spirit. (One work team named their weekly sessions “The Bench,” a play off the words “benchmark” and how they were “bench-pressing” a seemingly heavy load.) Always keep your coach’s hat on. As you know by now, employees can approach you at the “funniest” times, and when you’re least prepared to deliver a pep talk or offer sage advice. Simply being available to them is a great way to convey you care – and a great way to model the behavior you want them to emulate as a member of a team.
Turn the Key of Engagement
Write a short mission statement for the teams. It may echo your company’s mission statement, but it also should be specific to the teams’ directive. All of the employees should understand and support the statement, which should immediately foster a sense of purpose.
Establish team goals (what the team is tasked to do) and objectives (how the team will achieve the goals). It’s vital that team members understand how their work will advance the company’s goals and how they round out the bigger picture.
Identify roles and ensure that everyone on the team knows what is expected of them. This is the time to set standards and deadlines and enlighten team members about your expectations.
Set ground rules, being sure to ask team members for their contributions so that everyone “buys in.” They should agree on the bigger issues, such as punctuality and sharing information freely, without being asked.
LO2: Describe work as a Team
• Working with a group of people to achieve a shared goal or outcome in an effective way
• Listening to other members of the team
• Taking everyone’s ideas on board, not just your own
• Working for the good of the group as a whole
• Having a say and sharing responsibility
A successful team is one where everyone’s unique skills and strengths help the team achieve a shared goal in the most effective way.
If you have good people skills you’ll make a good team player, and skills like communication and having a positive attitude make a team great.
Why are teamwork skills important?
Teamwork is vital if you want to work well with colleagues and teammates. You will probably have to work as part of a team in many areas of life; from class projects to planning a birthday party.
The better you work with others, the more successful your team will be in achieving their goals. Employees often need to collaborate or work with others to complete tasks and projects – having teamwork skills and experience will make it a much better experience.
Even if you work well on your own, using key life skills like self management, being a team player is a valued skill for most jobs.
What is the communication process?
The communication process refers to a series of actions or steps taken in order to successfully communicate. It involves several components such as the sender of the communication, the actual message being sent, the encoding of the message, the receiver and the decoding of the message. There are also various channels of communication to consider within the communication process. This refers to the way a message is sent. This can be through various mediums such as voice, audio, video, writing email, fax or body language. The overall goal of the communication process is to present an individual or party with information and have them understand it. The sender must choose the most appropriate medium in order for the communication process to have worked successfully.
1. Sender: This is the person that is delivering a message to a recipient.
2. Message: This refers to the information that the sender is relaying to the receiver.
3. Channel of communication: This is the transmission or method of delivering the message.
4. Decoding: This is the interpretation of the message. Decoding is performed by the receiver.
5. Receiver: The receiver is the person who is getting or receiving the message.
6. Feedback: In some instances, the receiver might have feedback or a response for the sender. This starts an interaction.
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you must concentrate your efforts towards building high-performing teams that can create a positive synergy around them. This not only helps increase the collective achievements of your company but also gives you the perfect platform to strategize for business development. Here in our discussion today, we will bring to you the concepts of team structure and the other related facets of team development and management.
Types of Team Structures
1. Problem-Solving Teams – This kind of team basically comprises of a few members, ideally from 5 to 12, belonging to a particular department coming together on a weekly basis to discuss and solve problems of their department functioning. Members give their individual suggestions for process improvement and after enough deliberation, present their advice to the higher management for further implementation. For example, Merrill Lynch, in the earlier days had created a problem-solving team to figure out a way to reduce the time taken to open a new cash management account.
2. Self-Managed Teams – While problem-solving teams were effective in recommending solutions, they didn’t have the power to implement them. Self-managed teams were built to address this challenge and apart from discussing issues, they were responsible for implementing the solutions and taking responsibilities for their outcomes. From making operational decisions to interacting with customers, self-managed teams are highly effective provided the members are motivated and driven to bring about positive change.
3. Cross-Functional Teams – When employees from different business functions but belonging to a similar hierarchical level come together to achieve a common task, the team is called a cross-functional team. The members bring their individual expertise from their respective work area and exchange information for a common cause. Whether it is finding solution to a development fault or coordinating complex projects, cross-functional teams are very effective if managed well. For example, the Boeing Company created a cross-functional team of employees from various departments like production, quality, and design engineering, tooling and information systems to automate shims on the C-17 program. Since the members belonged to diverse backgrounds, they were able to give different perspectives to arrive at the best solution. The team’s suggestions helped reduce the cycle time and cost, as well as greatly improved the quality of the program. While cross-functional teams are highly effective, they need good management skills to build trust and teamwork amongst the members and manage the diverse nature of the team.
4. Virtual Teams – In today’s world of internet and mobile technologies, it’s easier to manage physically dispersed members with the concept of building virtual teams. Members collaborate online, participate in video-conferences and discuss in real-time to realize a common objective. While virtual teams are easily manageable, the members sometime lack the motivation to find solutions or fail to trust each other due to absence of any direct interaction. These challenges must be addressed by monitoring the efforts of the members and recognizing their individual contributions.
Factors for Team Success
A team’s effectiveness depends on various factors such as context, composition, work design and process. Apart from team performance, managers must also measure member satisfaction levels to find out the productivity of the teams. There are numerous ways to increase the success of teams such as:
• Leadership and trust building are very critical to the team’s success.
• Provide enough resources like equipment, information, administrative support, motivation etc.
• Provide incentives through performance evaluation systems to further reinforce the commitment and team efforts.
• Team composition is also crucial for its success. Understand the abilities of the members and allocate roles and responsibilities accordingly. Attaining the right mix of technical expertise, decision-making skills and interpersonal skills is crucial.
• Conflict management and establishing team process are also contributing factors to achieving success as a team.
While team development is critical for organizational growth, managing teams is more challenging because of the highly diverse backgrounds that the members come from. As a business manager, you must learn the art of turning individuals into team players and motivating them to collectively achieve business goals.
Effective Team Decision-Making Process
In essence, teams make decisions using problem solving techniques. Thus, the process largely rests on the selection of a course of action following the evaluation of two or more alternatives. To effectively navigate this path, the following step-by-step approach can be used.
1. Recognize the problem. Teams must see and recognize that a problem exists and that a decision needs to be made to move forward. While on its face this step appears elementary, many teams do not always recognize that there is an issue that needs to be addressed due to issues such as group think.
2. Define the problem. In this stage, teams must map out the issue at hand. During this step, teams should:
• State how, when, and where members became aware of the problem
• Explore different ways of viewing the problem – different ways of viewing the
problem can lead to an improved understanding of the ‘core’ problem
• Challenge any assumptions that are made about the problem to ensure that the team
fully sees the ‘real’ issue at hand.
3. Gather information. Once the problem has been defined, teams need to gather information relevant to the problem. Why do teams need to perform this step? Two reasons: (1) to verify that the problem was defined correctly in step 2; and (2) to develop alternative solutions to the problem at hand.
4. Develop Alternative Solutions. While it can be easy for teams to ‘jump on’ and accept the first solution, teams that are effective in problem solving take the time to explore several potential solutions to the problem. Some ways to generate alternatives include:
A. Brainstorming. During this process teams are encouraged to come up with as many ways as possible to solve the problem at hand. While brainstorming can help generate creative solutions to problems, a few guidelines are needed to help it work most effectively.
no criticism of any ideas during the brainstorming phase;
all ideas, no matter how silly, get recorded;
get past the sillies – sometimes very creative, and viable, solutions come after
people have made what appear to be ‘silly’ suggestions.
B. Ask Questions. Network with colleagues internal and external to the
organization to get their ideas and suggestions.
C. Explore. Read journals/books, go to networking functions, and attend
conferences etc. that cover similar issues. Also be prepared to go outside of the healthcare domain. Other industries may have faced similar issues and their solutions can provide insights for you.
5. Select the BEST alternative. Once all the alternatives are in, the team needs to determine the alternative that best addresses the problem at hand. For this element to be effective, you need to consider both rational and human elements.
• Rational Elements. These rational elements stem from the previous steps of the team decision making/problem solving model:
Analyze the problem (see Steps 1 –2)
Determine the desired end state. Here teams need to clearly define what
success looks like.
Evaluate alternatives against the desired state. Here teams discuss the
merits of each alternative and the extent to which each can move the team to the desired state. To help on this step, some teams rate each alternative on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is low and 5 is high.
Discuss potential adverse consequences of each alternative. Here teams need to discuss the potential downsides of the options.
• Human Elements. Here the team needs to ensure the following:
Active listening. This requires that team members:
Pay attention to the dialogue and anticipate where the conversation is going;
Objectively weigh out what’s been said;
Try to understand what the other person is saying; and
Review and summarize what has been said.
• Supporting each others’ ideas. Most people tend to focus on what is wrong versus right. Being supportive requires that you:
Assume that others have valid points;
Point out the useful aspects of what has been said;
Build on these useful points; and
Avoid unnecessary criticism.
• Are comfortable presenting differing views. Remember that group think is a key concern for teams. To effectively present differing views make sure that you:
Clearly state your differing view;
Focus on the reasons for the differences; and
Treat differences as a source of ideas rather than a source of
• Participate. To fully take advantage of the complementary skills present in a
team, all team members must participate. Sometimes, one or two people dominate team decision making processes because of their interpersonal style (i.e. extraverted vs. introverted), their need for recognition, or their presumed status/position. This can have a negative effect on the team in terms of its ability to make effective decisions. When this occurs, the team needs to address this issue – especially as they face this problem as a team.
6. Implement the best alternative. Once the alternative has been chosen, the team needs to implement its decision. This requires effective planning as well as communicating the
decision to all the stakeholders that may be impacted by this decision.
7.Evaluate the outcome. Remember that teams and team building is a learning process. It is critical that the team examine whether the proposed plans of action were achieved in an effective way and resulted in positive outcomes.
Membership and leadership roles are inseparable and involve an emphasis on role functions rather than on a particular discipline or a set of personality traits. Although one or more individuals may have a formal designation as a group leader, all team members need to share responsibility for informal and formal leadership. In true interprofessional teams, the functions of leadership and membership are viewed as synonymous. Because all team members have an investment in seeing the team achieve its goals and objectives, each member has the responsibility to help the team progress.
An emerging pattern in many primary health care teams is the requirement for equal participation and responsibility from all team members with shifting leadership determined by the nature of the problem to be solved.
The functions of leadership are:
1. Helping the group decide on its purposes and goals.
2. Helping the group focus on its own process of work together so that it may become more effective rather than becoming trapped by faulty ways of problem solving and decision making.
3. Helping the group become aware of its own resources and how best to use them.
4. Helping the group evaluate its progress and development.
5. Helping the group to be open to new and different ideas without becoming immobilized by conflict.
6. Helping the group learn from its failures and frustrations as well as from its success.