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Team Management – Meaning and Concept

Team Management – Meaning and Concept

There are some tasks which can’t be done alone. Individuals need to come together, discuss things among themselves and work together towards the realization of aImage common goal. The individuals forming a team should ideally think more or less on the same lines and should have similar interests and objective. People with absolutely different tastes can’t form a team. Their goals have to be the same. Every team is formed to achieve a predefined goal and it is the responsibility of each and every member to contribute his level best and accomplish the assigned task within the stipulated time frame. The team members must complement each other and come to each other’s help whenever required. Individual performances do not matter much in a team and every individual should strive hard and work in unison.

The team members don’t start performing from the very beginning, they need time. It is not always that all the members would perform equally. Some of them might not get along well with their team mates or have other issues with each other. Individuals sometimes find it difficult to adjust with each other and as a result their performance suffers. Any individual fails to perform; the complete team is at loss. Team management activities ensure that all the team members work together on a common platform for a common goal.

What is Team Management?

Team management refers to the various activities which bind a team together by bringing the team members closer to achieve the set targets.

For the team members, their team must be their priority and everything else should take a back seat. They should be very focused on their goals.

Let us understand Team Management with the help of a real life situation.

Maria was representing the training and development vertical of a leading firm. Joe, Kathy, Sandra and Tim were reporting to Maria and helped her in designing the various training programs. Maria left no stone unturned to ensure that all her team members were satisfied with their job responsibilities. The workload was shared equally among four of them. Ideas were discussed on an open forum and each of them contributed to his level best .They went out for movies and stayed in touch even after work.

Maria being the team leader was actually responsible for bringing her team members closer so that none of them feels left out and all are motivated to deliver their level best. With the help of the team management activities, she managed to create a positive ambience at the workplace and promoted healthy competition in her team.

Effective Team Management Skills

Management is essential in every walk of life. Even what we eat should be managed. You just can’t put anything in your mouth. One needs to be cautious. In the same way, a team must be managed effectively to expect the best from the team members. The team leader plays an essential role in managing his team well.

  • For effective team management, it is important that the team leader is more of a mentor to his team members rather than just being a strict boss. Understand your team members well. Gone are the days when people used to fear their bosses. Now a days employees share a healthy relation with their superiors and the comfort level has increased to a large extent. Don’t impose things on them.
  • Ensure that each and every team member willingly participates in team discussions. Debates are important, but make sure you don’t end up fighting with each other. Suggestions must be invited from all and do not discuss issues separately with individuals. Call everyone on an open forum and formulate strategies keeping in mind every body’s inputs.Poilcies should be made best suited to all. The objective of the team must be clearly set and circulated among all the team members. Everyone should be aware of his roles and responsibilities in the team.
  • Communication among the team members must be clear and transparent for an effective team management. Every team member should get the same information and should have an easy access to the superiors in case of any query.
  • The team members must not pass on any information to anyone outside the team. Learn to keep things to yourself. It is unethical to share your professional secrets with others. Don’t leak information or any confidential data.
  • The team members must be motivated on a regular basis. Appreciation is a must. If any team member has performed extraordinarily, do give him a pat on his back. Performance appraisals, perks, incentives, trophies, prizes are all instrumental in motivating the team members to perform even better the next time. Avoid criticizing any of your team members.
  • Loose talks, blame games, dirty politics should find no place in the team. They spoil the environment and people lose interest in their work and organization. If you come to know anything about someone, it’s better to discuss with him face to face, else ignore.
  • It is easy to create a team but it is actually difficult to bind the team members together and even make them work. Team management techniques help in strengthening the bond among the employees and creating an environment where they can trust each other. People actually become friends and start working together as a result of team management activities.

Characteristics of a Good/Effective Team

Success in the workplace depends on your ability to build a team, as well as to interact with others on that team. Together, people are able to accomplish what one person alone can not. This is known as synergy.

Following are the characteristics of a Good/Effective team:

  • A clear, elevating goal: This is a goal which has been communicated to all.
  • A results-driven structure: The goal has been jointly decided by all the team members. They are fully committed towards achieving it.
  • Competent members: Each team member has the required skill set in order to achieve the team objectives.
  • Unified commitment: There is nothing happening in silos. With the total commitment from team members, achieving organizational goals becomes easier.
  • A collaborative climate: Commitment from team members and a good leadership leads to a collaborative team with a productive work environment.
  • Standards of excellence: Quality orientation is vital to the success of any organization.
  • External support and recognition: Appreciation as well as appraisal is required to keep the morale of the team high.
  • Principled leadership: Leadership defines a team. An able-bodied leadership can chart the team’s path to success.
  • Each team member participates actively and positively in meetings as well as projects. This shows a person’s commitment as well as understanding towards a project.
  • Team goals are clearly understood by all: Communication is vital for achieving successful completion of any project.
  • Individual members have thought about creative solutions to the team’s problem. Thinking out of the box is vital in today’s economic scenario.
  • Members are listened to carefully as well as given a thoughtful feedback. Listening is an important skill for any team. Each team member is important. The thoughts and ideas of each team member have to be listened to, with respect, no matter how silly they may sound at first.
  • Everyone takes the initiative in order to get things done. There is no concept of passing the buck. This is an indication of clear communication leading to understanding of individual responsibilities.
  • Each team member trusts the judgment of others: Mutual trust and respect is highly important for the team. This is the only way to achieve the organization goals.
  • The team has to be willing to take risks: Risk taking is an attitude which comes with confidence. Confidence on yourself as well as on the team, besides the ability to face all consequences.
  • Everyone has to be supportive of the project as well as of others. A team is one unit. Unless these cohesive forces are there, the team will never be able to work efficiently enough.
  • There is ample communication between the team members.
  • Team decisions are made by using organized as well as logical methods.
  • Dissenting opinions are never ignored: In fact, they are always recorded in order to be revisited in case the future situations dictate so.
  • Teams are given realistic deadlines: External support as well as aid is vital to the success of any team.

An efficient team needs support from both inside and outside. It needs to meet the individual needs of its members in order to achieve the organization’s goals.

Team Models – Different types of teams

Teams are the principal building blocks of the strategy of successful organizations. The focus of your organization may be on service, quality, cost, value, speed, efficiency, performance, or any other similar goals, but teams remain the central methodology of most organizations in the private, non-profit, as well as government sectors.

The fact remains that when a team becomes more aligned, a commonality of direction emerges, and the individual energies harmonize. This way there is a shared vision as well as an understanding of how to complement each others’ efforts.

Once you know the type of team you are in, it will help you choose how to plan your work and what you can expect as outcomes. There are various types of teams. In this article we are going to discuss the five most common ones.

  1. The Traditional Model

This is a group of people with a traditional boss. The boss also shares some of his/her responsibility as well as authority. How much is being shared by the boss is usually dependent on the issues under consideration. This traditional boss is in charge. Bust still, on certain issues, this person may allow his other team members to take on the leadership role.

  1. The Team Spirit Model

This is a group of people who are working for one boss. The team members are very happy and everything seems to be going well. There is team spirit in people. The fact remains that in reality this is not really a team. This is because there is one person who calls all the shots. Besides, there is no sharing of authority or responsibility.

  1. The Cutting Edge Model

This is a group of people who are managing themselves. There is no single person in this group who has the authority to make any such decisions about the events which will impact the whole group. This is also known as a self-directed work team. This is because each one has the authority as well as responsibility for all the decisions that they need to make.

  1. The Task Force Model

This refers to a group that comes together for a specific time only. This is because it has to work on a special project or a task. Such a group has traditionally been called a task force or a committee. This may also include quality circles as are used in TQM efforts.

  1. The Cyber Team

In such a team model, members see one another rarely or even, not at all. These are also known as “cyber” or “virtual” teams. What makes these teams different is that the team has to work together in order to accomplish goals, but they may be meeting only at the beginning of their project. Post that, they may be interacting through e-mail, telephone or through video conferencing only.

It is important to know which kind of model your team fits in. Next step is to analyze why you feel that way. Now understand which is the model your team should follow in order to accomplish the given task. This is very important in order to achieve the organizations’ goals.

Types of Teams

When individuals with a common interest, goal, attitude, need and perception come together, a team is formed. Individuals need to come and work together to form a team for the accomplishment of complicated tasks. In a team, all team members contribute equally and strive hard to achieve the team’s objective which should be predefined.

In any organization, no one works alone. Every employee is a part of a team and works in close coordination with the team members to perform his level best and in turn benefit the organization. The team members should complement each other and come to each other’s need whenever required.

Teams can be formed anywhere, anytime whenever the task is little difficult and complicated. Let us understand the various types of teams in detail.

  1. Permanent teams- These teams perform on a permanent basis and are not dissolved once the task is accomplished. Let us understand the concept with an example.

Mike, Peter, Joe and Ana had a strong inclination towards branding as well as promotions and hence were a part of the branding team with a leading organization. They were primarily responsible for promoting their brand and designing marketing strategies to generate maximum revenue for their organization. They worked extremely hard and always managed to achieve their targets well in advance, but their team was always in place and never dissolved. Their organization never asked them to leave or ever dissolved their team. Such teams are called permanent teams.

Work or no work, the human resources team, operation team, administration team always function effectively throughout the year and hence are permanent teams.

  1. Temporary teams – Unlike permanent teams, temporary teams loose their importance, once the task is accomplished. Such teams are usually formed for a shorter duration either to assist the permanent team or work when the members of the permanent team are busy in some other project.

When organizations have excess of work, they generally form temporary teams which work in association with the members of the permanent team for the accomplishment of the task within the stipulated time.

  1. Task Force – Such teams are formed for a special purpose of working on any specific project or finding a solution to a very critical problem.

The government generally appoints special teams to investigate critical issues like bomb blasts, terrorist attacks and so on. The task force explores all the possible reasons which led to a severe problem and tries to resolve it within a given deadline.

  1. Committee – Committees are generally formed to work on a particular assignment either permanently or on a temporary basis. Individuals with common interests, more or less from the same background, attitude come together on a common platform to form a committee and work on any matter.

To organize any cultural event, organizations generally make committees to raise funds, invite celebrities and all the major tasks involved to successfully organize any event. The committee members work together, design strategies to successfully accomplish the task.

In educational institutes, various committees are formed where students with a common interest join hands to organize cultural events and various other activities required for the all round development of students.

  1. Organization/Work Force – Such groups are formed in organizations where team members work together under the expert guidance of leader. A leader or a supervisor is generally appointed among the members itself and he along with his team works hard to achieve a common goal. The leader all through must stand by his team and extract the best out of each team member. He must not underestimate any of his team members and take his team along to avoid conflicts.

Samuel was working with a leading advertising firm with two members reporting to him. Samuel always believed in his team members and worked together with his team and no doubts his team always did wonders and was way ahead of others.

  1. Self Managed Teams – Self Managed Teams consist of individuals who work together again for a common purpose but without the supervision of any leader. Here as the name suggests every individual is accountable for his individual performance. The team members of self managed teams must respect each other and should never loose focus on their target. No leader is appointed and the team members have to take their own responsibility. Individuals take the initiative on their own and are their own guides and mentors.
  2. Cross Functional Team – Let us understand this with the help of an example.

Maria and Andy both were part of the branding team. They got an assignment from their superiors to be completed within two days. Unfortunately Andy met with an accident and was advised complete bed rest. To avoid delays, Peter from the operations team was shifted to the marketing team to assist Maria for the time being and form a team. Such teams are called cross functional teams. Ideally the employees should be more or less on the same level to avoid ego hassles. Individuals from different areas come and work together for a common objective to form a cross functional team. In such teams, people from different areas, interests and likings join hands to come out with a unique idea to successfully complete a task.

  1. Virtual Teams – Virtual teams consist of individuals who are separated by distances and connected through computer.Here individuals communicate with each other online through internet. Sam at Los Angeles can form a team with Mandy at Mexico and Sara at Denver all working for a common objective but the communication is totally digital through internet. Such teams are helpful when employees need to connect with each other and are located at different places. Individuals supporting any community in social networking sites such as facebook or orkut also form a virtual team as all the members are from different locations but support a common community. They all have a common objective -to support and promote their community.

Team Work – Meaning and Tips for better Team Work

 

A single brain sometimes is not capable of taking critical decisions alone. An individual needs the support and guidance of others to come out with an effective solution. When individuals come together on a common platform with a common objective of accomplishing a task, a team is formed. Ideally the team members should be from a common background and have a common goal to ensure maximum compatibility. The team members must complement each other and work in close coordination as a single unit to deliver their best.

As they say “There is no I in Team Work”, every individual must think of his team first and the personal interests must take a back seat.

The success of any team is directly proportional to the relation among its team members and their collective efforts.

What is Team Work ?

The sum of the efforts undertaken by each team member for the achievement of the team’s objective is called team work. In other words, team work is the backbone of any team.

Every member in a team has to perform and contribute in his best possible way to achieve a common predefined goal. Individual performances do not count in a team and it is the collective performance of the team workers which matters the most.

Let us go through a real life situation.

One cannot work alone in any organization and thus teams are formed where individuals work together for a common objective. Peter, Michael, Jackson and Sandra represented the legal team in a leading organization. Peter and Michael always took the initiative and performed their level best while Jackson and Sandra had a laidback attitude towards work. Their team could never meet their targets inspite of Peter and Michael’s hard work.

Peter and Michael worked hard, then why do you think their team fell short of targets?

In a team; everyone has to work equally for the maximum output.

Team work is actually the collective effort of each and every team member to achieve their assigned goal. No member can afford to sit back and expect the other member to perform on his behalf. The team members must be committed towards their team as well as their organization to avoid conflicts. Nothing productive comes out of unnecessary conflict and in turn diverts the concentration and focus of the team members. Every member should adopt an adjusting and a flexible attitude. One should consider his team members as a part of his extended family all working together towards a common goal. The team members must be dependent on each other for the best to come out.

Tips for a better team work

Let us go through some steps for a better team work

  • Think about your team first – Every individual should think of his team first and his personal interests should take a backseat. Do not mix your personal issues with your professional life. Keep them separate.
  • Never underestimate your team member – Do not neglect any of the members, instead work together and also listen to them as well. Never try to impose your ideas on any member. Avoid demotivating any team member.
  • Discuss – Before implementing any new idea, it must be discussed with each and every member on an open platform. Never ever discuss with anyone separately as the other person feels left out and reluctant to perform and contribute to the team.
  • Avoid criticism – Stay away from criticism and making fun of your team members. Help each other and be a good team player. Be the first one to break the ice and always create a friendly ambience. If you do not agree with any of your team member, make him understand his mistakes but in a polite tone and do guide him. Avoid negativity within the team.
  • Transparency must be maintained and healthy interaction must be promoted among the team members. The communication must be effective, crystal clear and precise so that every team member gets a common picture. Effective communication also nullifies misunderstandings and confusions. Confusions lead to conflicts and individuals waste their time and energy in fighting rather than working.
  • The team leader must take the responsibility of encouraging the team members to give their level best and should intervene immediately in cases of conflicts. The personality of the leader should be such that every team member should look up to him and take his advice whenever required. He should not be partial to any member and support each of them equally. It is the duty of the team leader to extract the best out of his team members.
  • For better team work, try to understand your team members well. Do not just always talk business, it is okay if you go out with your team members for lunch or catch a movie together. It improves the relations and strengthens the bond among the team members. The team members must trust each other for maximum output.
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  • Avoid conflicts in your team. Don’t fight over petty issues and find faults in others. One should be a little adjusting with each other and try to find an alternative best suited to all the team members.

Rewards and Recognition – Healthy competition must be encouraged among the team members. The performance of every team member must be evaluated timely and the best performer should be rewarded suitably so that the other members also get motivated to perform. Recognitions like “The Best Team Player” or the “The Best Performer” go a long way in motivating the team members. Appreciate the member who performs the best or does something unique.

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