What is Team Management
The term team management or team work has been borrowed from the sports terminology, where all members of a team, strive together to have a common goal. Individual strength and commitment of each member of a team is very essential to continue as the member of the team. Each member at the same time work for himself as well as for his/her colleague to success and grow together. They share the problems and success, nobody blames on other if there is any mistake or failure, but they try to find out the reason of failure, and seek a solution for the problem collectively. Now this concept is rapidly flourishing in academic organization to improve and develop the quality of work to managing the organizations effectively.
Importance of Team Management
Managerial success is primarily built upon the accomplishments of subordinates. As a result successful managers are, in a manner of speaking, carried by subordinates who are motivated, know what is expected of them, have access to appropriate resources and technologies, and are well trained. Managers who create such a work force increase the probability that they will achieve high performance results. However, to state that successful managers are carried by their subordinates does not tell the entire story. As we move further into the modern era the successful managers are increasingly turning their energies to team building to regain the competitive edge. The team nature however is not limited to large manufacturing organizations. It is alive and growing in both small and large organizations. It is alive and growing in both small and large organizations and has spread to health care organizations, government agencies, and other service-related organizations.
Team once formed, act to focus subordinates efforts and help to ensure subordinates commitment through employee involvement, creativity and mutual support. At the very least, team involvement increases employee satisfaction, acceptance of change, and facilitates creative problems solving.
The importance of team can be best understood by considering the following high-performance equation:
Performance = ability × effort × support (A ×E×S)
Individual performance can be maximized when above performance equation can be met. Each of these activities directly affects one or more of the independent variables listed in the performance equation A, E and S.
With the work group, individual performance is enhanced when support comes from two sources namely from the manager responsible for the work group and from other group members. In the traditional sense managerial support occurs when managers fulfill their role as leader, administrator, coach and adviser. When these roles are not adequately carried out, it becomes increasingly difficult for subordinates to effectively perform their job responsibilities. Managers who do not clearly set their goals and state expectations increase the probability that subordinates will behave in ways inconsistent with preferred behaviors. Managers who fail to bring together the correct equipment, resources and people cannot expect subordinates to perform at peak levels. Last, managers who do not coach, encourage and advise are likely to limit the growth and development of their staff.
The second area to support comes from the together members of the individual’s work group. When a work group develops into an effective team, this type of support is maximized.
Types of Team Management
Team can be classified on the basis of their objectives. It can do a variety of things. It can design products, provide service, negotiate deals, coordinate projects, offer advice and make decisions. The six most common forms in an organization are following:
- Planning Team
- Functional Team
- Problem-Solving Team
- Self-Managed Team
- Cross Functional Team
- Virtual Team
Forming a team which is responsible to sketch out a road map for an organization to way forward is called Planning team. This is the most important team of an organization. This type of team usually comprised of five or more experts of a same discipline sit together and discuss various ways and modes of constituting an organization. They are likely to be very vigilant in the current trends and contextual needs of a function vis-à-vis the manifesto or the goals of the organization to which they are planning for.
Functional teams are also called as the operational teams; this kind of team is usually composed of a manager and the employees in their organization. They are responsible to manage field related operations and functions. Under the patterns of functional teams, mainly issues, such as authority, decision making, leadership, and interactions among the members are relatively simple and clearer.
Problem Solving Team
A team from same department or functional area that’s involved in efforts to improve work activities or solve specific problems is called problem solving team. These teams are also responsible for trouble shooting and on the spot crises management. Almost twenty years ago teams were just beginning to grow in popularity and the form they took was strikingly similar. These teams typically were composed of five to twelve hourly employees from the same department who met for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment.
In problem solving teams all the members of teams share ideas or offer suggestions on how work processes and methods can be improved. In this type the members are expected to be very creative and innovative to seek alternate solutions for emerging problems in the day to day functions of an organization.
An other type of team commonly being used in organization is self-managed team. It is also called self-directed and automatic team work. It is formal group of employees that work without a manager and is responsible for complete work process that delivers a product or service to an external or internal client. This kind of team has control over its work pace, determined work assignments and inspects its own work. Self-directed teams even select their own members and have members evaluate each other’s performance. Even they do their own hiring, scheduling, rotate jobs on their own, establish production targets and set pay scales that linked to skills.
Cross Functional Team
This is also very important type of team management. Cross functional team, in which employees from different work area related to same hierarchical level works together in various tasks in the organization. Workers are brought together to achieve their targets. Many organizations have used cross functional team, however, the popularity of cross functional work teams exploded in the late 1980s. Cross functional teams are also effective ways to allow employees from diverse area within an organization to exchange information, develop new ideas, solve problems and coordinate complex task with each other. But cross functional teams can difficult to manage. This difficulty with diversity however can be turned into an advantage and can help to identify creative or unique solutions. As a result, team member become familiar with one an other, they form a more organized group, but the positive aspect of this decline in diversity is that a team bond is built. It takes time to build trust and teamwork.
Virtual Team Work
Virtual teams are teams that use technology to link physically dispersed members in order to achieve a common goal. In virtual team all the members are linked through media; such as teleconferencing, fax, email, or websites where the team can hold online conferences. Virtual team can do all the things that other teams can share information, make decisions, and complete tasks; however they miss the face to face meetings and discussions and team members never meet each other.
Characteristics of Team Management
It is strongly believed that the performance of team effects on the progress of work. Good teams show good results in their organization. It enhances the capacity of workers in the team. What can be the common characteristics which effective team has? These are:
High- performance work teams have both a clear understanding of the goal and a belief that the goal embodies a worthwhile or important result. Moreover, the importance of these goals encourages individuals to redirect energy away from personal concerns and towards team goals. In high performing work teams, members are committed to the teams’ goals know what they are expected to accomplish, and understand how they will work together to achieve those goals. Effective teams are composed of competent individuals. They have relevant technical skills and abilities to achieve the desired goals and the personal characteristics required to achieve excellence while working well with others. Effective teams are characterized by high mutual trust among members. That is members believe in the integrity, character, and ability of one another. They are willing to do anything that has to be done to help their team succeed. Unified commitment is characterized by dedication to the team’s goals and willingness to expend extraordinary amounts of energy to achieve them.
Effective teams are characterized by good communication. Member conveys messages, verbally and nonverbally, to each other in ways that are readily and clearly understood. Also feedback helps to guide team members and to remove misunderstandings. Problems, issues and relationships are regularly changing in teams if the members have ability to confront and reconcile differences this ability in members is called negotiating skill.
Effective leaders can motivate a team follow them through the most difficult situations by clarifying goals, demonstrating that change is possible by overcoming inertia, increase the self-confidence level of team members and helping members to more fully realize their potential. More and more all the time, leaders act as coaches and facilitators. They always guide and support the team like leader of geese.
Internal and external support for an effective team create supportive climate. Internal support of team should have sound infrastructure, proper training of team members, clear and reasonable measurement system that team members can use to evaluate their overall performance and incentive program which increase the moral of team and a supportive human resource system. In external support of team, manager should provide the team with resources needed to get the job done.
Stages of Team Development
One of the greatest challenges a coaching manager has is in moving his or her team though the various team development stages. If a manager has no or little experience of teams and team dynamics then taking over a team and then leading that team can be a very stressful experience. Every manager should know what the various growth stages are of a developing team and they should know how best to move the team through these stages with the minimum worry and stress. Unfortunately, many managers do not get the necessary training or coaching in this area of team development and as such teams go through a lot of stress and anxiety when perhaps this could be minimized quite considerably.
In the next paragraphs, I will take you through a simple team development model, which I find the most useful of all the models I have studied. The names of each of the stages sum up perfectly what you can expect at each stage.
Psychologist, B.W Tuckman in the 1970s, developed this model and Tuckman suggests that there are four team development stages that teams have to go through in order to be productive. Along with the Tuckman four team development stages I have also included a preparation and maintenance stage. These stages are as under:
Stages of Team Development
It is important that managers prepare for their team-building activities. It is during the presentation stage that managers collect relevant information, analyse their environments, and develop strategies that will guide them through succeeding stages. During this stage managers also want to consider the behaviors and strategies that will ensure each remaining stages are successfully completed. In short, preparation stage presents the blueprint of all remaining stages of team development.
At this stage team members are usually optimistic but hesitant and tentative as they begin to get know to one other and define themselves as a team. During this stage group member define who they are, what the group is, and define in their own minds what everyone else is supposed to doing. In this stage manager play an active role in creating the environment in which group members obtain a clear picture if what is expected of them and why. Manager can complete this process by carrying out many activities so that process may complete successfully. These activities may be:
- Orientation Programs
- One-on-One goal setting
- Group discussion
- Team pairing
These activities can build a good rapport between the team manager and team members.
After forming stage every group will then enter the storming stage in which different ideas compete for consideration. The team addresses issues such as what problems they are really supposed to solve, how they will function independently and together and what leadership model they will accept. Team members open out to each other and confront each other’s ideas and perspectives. In some cases, storming can be resolved quickly. In others, the team never leaves this stage. The maturity of some team members usually determines whether the team will ever move out of this stage. Immature team members will begin “acting out” to demonstrate how much they know and convince others that their ideas are correct. Some team members will focus on minutiae to evade real issues.
The storming stage is necessary to the growth of the team. It can be contentious, unpleasant and even painful to members of the team who are averse to conflict. Tolerance of each team member and their differences needs to be emphasized. Without tolerance and patience, the team will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control. Supervisors of the team during this phase may be more accessible but tend to still need to be directive in their guidance of decision making and professional behavior.
Norming is characterized by acceptance. Whereas in the storming stage, people were apt to rebel very quickly, this is now not the case and if someone has a grievance, complaint or suggestion then the proper processes are used and people tend to be listened to. The role of the coaching manager in this stage is to ensure that this calm continues and that any behaviors that arise that may threaten the calm are channeled in the right direction. Also the coaching manager has an important role in conveying information particularly in relation to the successes that are starting to occur within the team. The coaching manager should be spending a lot of time with individual team members coaching them and supporting them to develop their capabilities that relate to the individual’s team role and the tasks that they have to perform in relation to the team goals.
It is as though that team is comfortable in this stage and does not want to progress further for fear of returning to a storming stage, a stage that probably was very uncomfortable for most people. It is at the performing stage where team members really concentrate on the team goals. They are determined to work towards them, as they know what rewards are available to them on completion. They are also aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the team, and they appreciate these, and also work towards developing the weaknesses. This is a period of great personal growth among team members. The coaching manager at this stage will play very much a nondirective role, concentrating on strategy to plan the next way forward. The team will be in many ways, self-directing, perhaps even self-appraising with the manager taking very much a back-seat role. Again the manager’s role will be to facilitate communication and ensure that the successes are communicated and rewarded.
Maintenance and Renewal
After performing stage the maintenance and renewal stage come which is the last stage of team development. At this stage, it is compulsory for team manager to organize and keep the last five stages in good condition by checking or repairing it regularly. If the manager of the team think that there is any guilty or disturbance in team, he can start the work again after some pause. Manager can called the meeting again and search the solution of described problems. Manager can use different type of methods which can be associated with successful team renewal. These are:
–Action oriented renewal strategies
There are also situations where the manager, or the other team member, recognizes that the group is not exhibiting normal levels of output or enthusiasm. This may occur even though other renewal strategies are in place and operative.
Team Leader/ Manager Role
Team leader role in organizing and forming a team rapport is very crucial. Leaders play a ladder role in development of team. Critical to development and maintenance of any work team is the behavior and the general philosophy manager’s bring-subordinate relationship. More over, team leader, for managers to effectively contribute to the team-building process they must be able to influence group members. Rosen describes four factors likely to result in the manager having influence over subordinates. They are as follows.
- They (leaders) have superior knowledge about the group’s task and how it ties in with the larger organization.
- Group members feel the manager has a right to tell then them what to do.
- The group members think the member is just like them.
- Group members find both the manager’s apparent personal motives for being in the job and the process by which he or she was selected acceptable.
Although each of these factors plays an important role in determining the level of managerial influence, it to the perceived motives of the manager that we now turn out attention. The following characteristics are important elements of leaders when they interacting with subordinates.
- The manager has will to manage
- Looks out for more than “number one”
- Balances internal and external pressures
- A leader act like one
- Uses power judiciously
- Treats staff as a group rather than as individuals only
How can Leader shape team behavior?
There are several alternatives available for leaders whom they can try to turn the individuals into team. Most important ways of improving team behavior are as under:
- Proper Selection
- Employ training
- Rewarding the appropriate behavior
Many individuals already possess personal skills to effective team players but some candidates don’t have any personal skills to effective team. So, hiring team members, in addition to checking on the technical skills required to successfully perform the job, the organization should ensure that candidates can fulfill their team roles.
After proper selection of team members, now there is need to train those employs whom manager has selected. It is very necessary that training should be purposeful and result oriented. Training specialist can conduct exercises that allow employees to experience the satisfaction that team work can provide. The workshops usually cover such topics as team problem solving, communications, negotiations, conflict resolution, and coaching skills.
Rewarding the Appropriate Behavior
Reward play an important role in shaping behavior according to the own will. The organization’s reward system needs to encourage cooperative efforts rather than competitive ones. Reward and appreciation can build a good rapport between leader and member. Reward can be given inn the shape of promotions, pay raises and other form of recognition should be given to employees who are effective collaborative team member.
Prerequisites for Team Success
It is necessary for teams’ manager that during team building, he/she must consider that which kinds of factors are most important for building effective team. Team manager must keep in mind that such kind of environment he/she provide to worker that can be work oriented. Team leader should focus following steps during development of team. These are as under:
Each organization or an institution member is affected by the existing culture and behavior and there is need to attempt it to behave in acceptable manner. Consequently, the over all organizational culture will affect the degree of team supporting behaviors likely to show either by the managers or their subordinates. Three levels of culture are usually describes:
- Patterns of behavior
The organizational context that surrounds a team has an important consideration of work team effectiveness. It articulated the need for broaden team research to look beyond the interactions and processes between team members and to include the relationships between teams and the organization they reside in. Improvements in group effectiveness can best be obtained by changing the circumstances in which groups work.
Thus, when attempting to predict behavior within an organization, it is important ot consider contextual variables. These are also called team supporting behaviors. These are:
- The Reward System
- The Education System
- The Information System
Good climate is essential for good team. If the climate of team will be good, it will work properly. Teams will achieve their goals in short period if the coordination among team members is appreciate able. McGrgor and Likert have described 12 characteristics or behaviors that he believes differentiate ineffective and effective teams. These 12 characteristics or behaviors are listed under:
- Clear Purpose
- Civilized Disagreement
- Open Communication
- Informal Climate
- Consensus Decision
- Clear roses and work assignments
- Share leadership
- Style Diversity
- External Relationship
- Self Assessment
Focus and Agreement
There is an increased probability that group members should have exhibit a desired level of focus and agreement. In other word, the member should jointly agree on where they want to go, understand what needs to done to get there, understand and accept who is responsible for what and committed to team goals. There is however a high level that the group must reach to be considered a true team. When group extra power is reached, group members move in concert and the group becomes more than the sum of its parts. Our normative model indicator that the performance level reached by a group will primarily be a function of three factors. These factors are:
- Group Synergy
- Existing Abilities of Group Members
- Environmental Constraints
At some point the manager must evaluate the performance of his or her team Hackman describes three criteria of team effectiveness that can be used by the manager to assess his or her group’s effectiveness. The three levels deal with the groups actual output the group processes, and the impact of the team experience on individual members. Specially, Hackman describes his criteria in three following manners:
1) The productive output of the work group should meet or exceed the performance standers of the people who receive and review out put. If a group out put is not acceptable to its “client” and to managers who are charged with evaluating or are responsible for its performance, it can not considered effective.
2) The social process used in carrying out the work should maintain or enhance the capability of members t work together on subsequent team tasks.
3) The group experience should on balance satisfy rather than frustrate the personal needs of group members.
When these criteria are satisfied, the team will achieve his goals with in short period, if these three criteria are dissatisfied the team will never growth.
Impact of Team Management on School organization
The above discussion on the importance of team management and team work reflects that organizing and managing teams for an organization has a huge impact on the quality and productivity of the outputs of the institution/organization. The same concept could effectively be applicable and useful for the improvement and development of a school organization. Instead of working individually and focusing on routine responsibilities, the head teacher, teachers and other staff members can develop different teams to perform various tasks of the school organization so that they all would work together to achieve their common vision and goals of the school. They can perform more successfully by sharing their individual strengths and skills. Each teacher and staff member must have special skills according to their subject and past experiences, if they jell together to work as teams, definitely it will have a multiplier effect on the output and quality of the school organization. Not only the teachers and principal, but successful school organizations always involve parents of their students, community and other stakeholders of the school in team building and team management process. The potential parents and community members can play a vital role in problem solving functions of a school organization.