Many organizations and companies rely on team work to solve some of their business challenges. Today, team work is not only a physical phenomenon but many companies have virtual teams due to the fact that numerous employees of multinational companies work in different countries. Additionally, the fact that other work measures such as working from home and working at different locations within a building have all contributed to the acceptance of virtual teams. Team dynamics has, thus, become more complicated than before. There are several ways in which these companies have been able to maneuver these complications and have successful and effective teams. Some of the strategies used include the use of informal teams that are established through friendships in the work place, the choosing of team leaders by the team members, and the enhancing of the work environment to support team work.
The essay looks into John Robert’s Spa in Cleveland and analyzes whether the education team is effective. The Spa is one of the largest in Ohio and attracts a significant number of the target market. It is important to note that the team in question, the education team, is made up of seven members. Each of the members has a detailed role that they are expected to deliver. After an analysis of the team strengths and weaknesses, it is clear that the group is effective. Not only is the team able to work together seamlessly, but it also works towards achieving the larger organization’s goal of offering finest services to all clients. This is critical as the team cannot work in isolation and has to tap into the needs of the larger organization for it to remain relevant. There are recommendations that can help the team work even better together. For example, making communication flexible will ensure free flow of information from members of the team.
The selected team is the Education Team at John Robert’s Spa in Cleveland, Ohio. The role of the team in the Spa is to ensure continued education for the service providers. It is important to note that the education transverses across the basic Spa care. For example, they also focus on equipping the service providers with strategies to enhance creative direction, teach the importance of the values the company upholds, and complex beauty skills. Interestingly, the education team does not only focus on the beginners but also offers recurrent trainings to ensure that all the service providers are abreast with latest trends in their market. This has ensured that John Robert’s Spa is one of the leading Spas in Ohio. The education team is made up of nine members. It has one creative director, one artistic coordinator, three salon coordinators and four education managers. The four educator managers are distributed based on the beauty service offered. Figure 1 in the appendices section shows the company’s organizational chart. The mentioned team is referred to as the instructor crew while the students are the apprentice crew.
This essay will analyze how the instructor crew, which will be referred to as the education team, handles team effectiveness. In particular, more focus will be on the team’s management and spirit of entrepreneurship. Team effectiveness analysis aims at finding out if a team is working at its best, highest and most productive level (Lai & Ying, 2017). There are several elements that can be used to measure a team’s effectiveness and they include, but are not limited to, established metrics, interpersonal relationships, reaching targets set efficiently, and the team’s alignment to the company objectives/goals. The essay will use these strategies, among others, to determine whether the education team at John Roberts Spa is indeed effective. Recommendations will also be presented based on the findings revealed.
The Spa industry in Ohio is highly competitive with different salons also offering Spa services. It is important to note that the industry has been growing over the last decade due to the ease of access to disposal funds by the general public. Globally, the industry is worth approximately 4 trillion dollars while in the US it employs about 2.5 million people (Sotiriadis, 2020). Historically, the Spa business was used for medicinal baths and was mainly a bourgeoisie-associated luxury (Sotiriadis, 2020). There are natural spots and springs that were also considered therapeutic and would act as natural spas. Additionally, they were mainly for women compared to men. The growth of the economy, and the fact that women began earning, also enhanced the Spa business. Today, the industry has nine different types of spas ranging from foot spas to destination spas and day spas (Sotiriadis, 2020).
John Robert’s Spa, offers various services to its clients. Although the larger company also has nail and hair care, the Spa aspect of the business offers four services: massage, body treatments, facials, and education. It can be argued that one of the reasons the Spa offers numerous services is to attract same clients but offer different services to them. For instance, a client who comes for hair care might also be attracted to nail care. After this, the person might also feel the need to do a facial and end up doing a full body massage. Therefore, whereas the company attracted the client on one service, they end up enjoying different other related services. This approach has helped grow the business as many of its clients are return, proving that the brand has loyal consumers. The education aspect, which is the focus of this essay, has been secluded for service providers only.
As mentioned, the industry is worth approximately 4 trillion dollars and in the US has employed about 2.4 million people. The different types of spas have ensured that the industry size has continued to grow over the last few decades. Also mentioned previously, the ease of access to disposal funds has allowed more people to enjoy the different joys the industry has to offer. Sotiriadis (2020) confirms that the growth of the industry has also seen it advertised as a gender neutral industry. Not only are men working in the industry as service providers, but also a significant number of men visit the spas for massages and other similar wellness services. It is also important to mention that the growth of the industry has seen it develop from standalone shops to large franchises such as John Robert’s Spa.
Critically, the industry has not only grown in terms of service offered but also products that have been developed. Cosmetic products are largely used in the spas and the growth of the industry has had a trickle-down effect on the growth of the cosmetics industry. Additionally, spa owners have also ventured into manufacturing their own products that they use in their own spas. These are also sold on retail and ensures that more clients think about the overall wellness. In regards to workforce characteristics, it is more common to find women working in spas than men. However, the number of men willing to work in spas has increased significantly over the last few decades.
Metrics of Team Effectiveness
Team effectiveness in regards to entrepreneurship and management can be discussed through three main pillars. The three metrics are culture, feedback and alignment with the main organization’s objectives. This section will look into how these three pillars relate to team effectiveness.
Organizational culture is critical when discussing team effectiveness. The work environment and organizational culture have to be favorable for a team to be effective in both enhancing entrepreneurship and management. Edgar Schein, a human psychologist stated that there are three main components of culture in an organization: values, artifacts, and assumptions (Lai & Ying, 2017). Values are ideas that guide how the organization thinks and acts. One of the advantages of having a strong culture is that it can enhance entrepreneurship. Verma, Rangnekar and Barua (2016) explain that a majority of industries are currently highly competitive and that entrepreneurship is the only way multinational companies have stayed afloat despite the constant pressure of competition. Secondly, a favourable culture also enhances the way a team handles management concerns. This is due to the fact that many employees feel that management does not consider them important. The right culture will ensure that such feelings are abetted as all employees feel important.
The second component in organizational culture according to Schein is artifacts. Pratoom (2018) argues that artifacts are obvious items that are visible from the outside. Artifacts are mainly seen by either consumers, competitors or the target market. It is common to find that artifacts are described as the brand image and/or décor within stores. It is arguable that artifacts are an important element of team effectiveness as they touch on management. Critically, all aspects of a business have to be in harmony to enhance both the brand and the business. Thus, the correct use of artifacts indicates that management is keen on the use of brand to enhance the business.
Lastly, assumptions are organizational norms or the day-to-day way of doing things in an organization. One can argue that even though a company might have the right artifacts and the right values, the day-to-day way in which services and products are developed is critical to ensure team effectiveness. Issues such as office politics, rewarding system, and promotion strategy all fall under the assumptions or norms. A healthy organizational culture will ensure that the norms are positive and enhance individual staff productivity in order to also enhance teamwork. Therefore, availability, lack of or poor norms can be used as a metric to determine team effectiveness.
Feedback is a crucial element of team work according to Sottilare, Graesser, Hu and Sinatra (2018). The scholars go further to state that positive criticism is the right metrics to use to measure feedback for team effectiveness. One can argue that one way in which feedback can help entrepreneurship and management is through identifying the strengths of the team members. Debatably, the recognition and appreciation of the strengths of individual team members will instill trust and pride among the staff such that they work for the better of the entire organization. Critically, staff should also be able to give feedback to management. This is important as it allows management to know what is working and what should be improved. In turn, this seamless system of feedback for both employees and management both helps deliver on the mandate of the organization and enhances the productivity of the team. Additionally, positive criticism allows both the staff and the management to identify loopholes that need to be addressed before they become bigger problems. Indeed, the way a team handles crisis can determine their effectiveness in general. It is important that teams understand their different dynamics in order to work seamlessly.
Indeed, it is common to find organizations offering various types of rewards for both personal and team achievements. Consequently, staff work towards achieving these rewards. The rewards can be either financial or non-monetary. This affects team effectiveness in that it pushes teams to work harder than the rest and achieve their set targets. Importantly, when teams have this friendly competition they tend to perform better as each team tries to surpass the expectations set through delivery of objectives. Pratoom (2018) emphasizes that part of team dynamics is ensuring that individual efforts within the team are also recognized. Many companies and managers usually ignore this fact. However, for a team to function, the individual members have to believe in their work and be motivated enough to work together. Feedback within the teams should also be encouraged to ensure that everyone understands what they are doing right or wrong. In turn, this makes management of such teams within the work space smoother and more effective.
Alignment with organization’s objectives
Pratoom (2018) argues that some of the biggest brands in the world have held their positions in their respective markets due to the importance given to the alignment of different department and teams’ objectives to the overall company objectives. One advantage of aligning brand and business in every team in the workplace is that it enhances the business element of an organization. This simply means that proper alignment ensures profitability and productivity of both individuals and teams. It is arguable that proper alignment also makes management of teams easier as all teams will be working indirectly towards one goal. Metrics of measurement for team effectiveness in this instance will rely on how well the team is doing in regards to achieving the overall organization goals. Pratoom (2018) explains that teams can measure themselves using their own metrics and set objectives. However, alignment with the company’s overall goal will ensure that when the team is being evaluated for effectiveness by the larger organizational management, they are still considered effective based on how their actions positively attribute to the bottom line.
Consequently, one can argue that team effectiveness can also be measured through ideal goal setting from organizational level to team level. It is critical to mention that proper alignment of team goals with the company’s objective also enhances accountability. Today, teams do not have to be a physical item as before. Companies have opened up to virtual teams especially with globalization that has seen many teams work online as they are actually based in different parts of the world. In such instances, accountability is enhanced by the different team’s ability to align their work with the larger organization’s mandate. Overall, team effectiveness for both entrepreneurship and management can only be achieved if the team, its individual members, and the larger organization are aligned. This requires effort from both the members, team leaders and the management. The next section of the topic overview will look into some of the theories that support team effectiveness.
Theories of Team Effectiveness
There are numerous theories that support team effectiveness. However, for this assignment, only five will be discussed. Later on in the essay, these theories will be linked to team management and effectiveness in John Robert’s Spa.
Rubin, Plovnick, and Fry’s GRPI model of team effectiveness
The Rubin, Plovnick, and Fry’s GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness states that interpersonal relationships, roles, processes, and goals have to be evaluated to determine the effectiveness of a team. Figure 2 in the appendices section shows the diagram for this theory. Coetzee (2018) explains that interpersonal relationships can be used as a metric to determine the effectiveness of a team as they determine how flexible the team members are about each other’s opinions, how people within the team communicate with one another, and whether they trust each other. Roles are important in a team as they guide what each member is expected to deliver. As a metrics, this element tests whether a team has clear responsibilities for its members. On the other hand, process as a metrics for team effectiveness tests whether there are systems in place that aid in decision making. One of the challenges of working in a team is making decisions effectively and this metric ensures that the things done well and those done badly in regards to decision-making are solved. Lastly, goals are the objectives set for the team and this element tests whether the team is working on the set objectives. An effective team will perform well on all the metrics mentioned according to this theory.
The Lencioni model of team effectiveness
Figure 3 in the appendices section shows the Lencioni Model that identifies five elements of an ineffective team. The first element is lack of trust, which compliments the argument by GRPI model that trust is a critical way of knowing whether a team is effective. According to the theory, there are various ways that team members can show whether they trust each other or not. For instance, team members who are afraid of voicing their opinion do not trust that their teammates will listen to them. The second element that can also be used as a metric for testing team effectiveness is fear of conflict (Kozlowski & Chao, 2018). Conflict is a natural part of life and often effective teams know how to handle conflict for the benefit of the whole organization. Thirdly, when a member or members of a team are not committed to the success of the group, then the team is not effective despite the efforts of the others who are committed. An effective team includes all the team members not just some. Coetzee (2018) explains that the fourth element of the theory is lack of accountability while the last element is not caring about results.
The T7 model of team effectiveness
The T7 model, as presented in Figure 4 in the appendix, identifies a total of seven internal and external factors to consider when determining team effectiveness. The identified internal factors are teaming skills, thrust, talent, task skills and trust (Kozlowski & Chao, 2018). On the other hand, the external factors are team support and team leader fit (Kozlowski & Chao, 2018). The internal factors focus on whether the team has a common goal and how the individuals are using their responsibilities to achieve that one common goal. Additionally, as mentioned previously with the other models of team effectiveness, trust plays an integral part in ensuring team effectiveness. The ability to function as a team, referred to as teaming skills, is critical as different personalities within the work place cannot work effectively together. This should be considered when the different teams are being formed to ensure that they are effective. The ability of the individuals to handle the task at hand is also important in team dynamics. The staff have to be competent and qualified to do the job given. In regards to the external factors it is important that both the team leader be qualified for the task as it will instill discipline and trust among the team members. Coetzee (2018) explains that the best way of getting an ideal team leader is letting the team members vote amongst themselves. Additionally, support from the larger organization is also critical in ensuring team effectiveness.
The Hackman model of team effectiveness
Kozlowski and Chao (2018) argue that the Hackman model (Figure 5) gives five favorable conditions to allow for team effectiveness. The first condition is that a real team should not be nominal. This means that the selected teams have to work together in more than just one assignment (Kozlowski & Chao, 2018). People tend to group themselves in groups in the workplace and according to Kozlowski and Chao (2018), it is these groups that would make the ideal team. Secondly, a team has to agree on the direction and strategies they want to take to deliver on an assignment for it to be effective. It is common to find that the direction and strategies a team are to use are often given by the management. This will not motivate the members as they will not own the process. Thirdly, the theory states that a reliable structure that supports teamwork is critical in ensuring the effectiveness of any team in a workplace. The issue of structure affects both the structure of the team (how many members, who does what etc.) and the structure of the organization as a whole. Coetzee (2018) explains that the fourth element is that the team must receive support from the larger organization whether it is in terms of financial support or other resources. Coaching and guidance are also necessary to ensure that the team is working as expected.
The LaFasto and Larson model
This theory states that team dynamics are affected by both the members and the management. Coetzee (2018) explains that the model proposes five elements to ensure team effectiveness. The first is team problem solving, which tests how the team solves challenges related to their work together. If a team is unable to solve challenges, then it cannot be effective. Secondly, team leadership is critical in enhancing team effectiveness as the right leader guides the team to success. Thirdly, the skills and abilities of the different members should complement each other. This will ensure that there is no gap in skills and knowledge in the team. The theory also states that team relationships and behaviors towards one another can determine whether the group is successful or not. Conflict based on personalities should be resolved as soon as they arise in order to ensure effectiveness. Lastly, the theory also stresses the importance of a favorable working environment in determining team effectiveness.
As stated earlier, the education team at John Robert’s Spa is made up of one creative director, one artistic coordinator, three salon coordinators and four education managers. This section of the essay analyzes this team based on some of the concepts discussed. In particular, the team’s effectiveness will be measured based on their skills and qualifications, trust, favourable working conditions, team leader effectiveness, alignment of goals to company objectives, and coaching and guidance.
Skills and Qualifications
It is arguable that the education team in the Mayfield Heights location has the right skills and qualifications. As explained, there are 4 educator managers who focus on different things. Through one-on-one interviews, it was revealed that the four educators are specialists in the areas they led. For example, Monica heads the Elite Design section as she has spent years learning the same. She is not only qualified to run the section but she is also passionate about design. This makes the work interesting to her, and she ensures that she delivers her part on time. On the other hand, Dahlia and Denise head the Elite Professional section. A majority of the service providers who visit John Robert’s Spa for education purposes prefer this section as it is highly commercial. It is for this reason that the team has two qualified staff members working on the segment. Lastly, Lisa heads the Elite Esthetician segment.
It is important to point out that the division of the team based on their abilities, skills and qualifications also enhances the team’s ability to be accountable as everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing at all times. The four managers mentioned report to the artistic coordinator, Heather. This means that Heather is the team leader but interviews with the team prove that she was not selected by the team members. The salon coordinator, Catherine does not directly work with the team and has no team of her own. Both Catherine and Heather report to Sandy, who is the director of artistic education. The structure of the team is favorable as everyone knows who they are supposed to report to and why.
Looking at the Mayfield Heights location, one can argue that there is some level of trust among the team members. One of the things that denotes this is the fact that the salon coordinator does not work directly with the team. This is important for two reasons with the first being that the salon coordinator trusts the team leader, the artistic coordinator, to manage the team effectively. Secondly, it shows that the team trusts management to give them the best team leader for effectiveness. The issue of trust also trickles down to the element of entrepreneurship. The artistic coordinator is better placed to encourage and motivate the educators in the team in terms of entrepreneurship compared to the salon coordinator. This is because there is no link between them and the salon coordinator (see figure 1 in the appendices). Despite the clear structure that is provided, one can argue that the fact that the salon coordinator does not directly work with the team shows distrust. However, a counter argument for this is the fact that the salon coordinator still has a relevant role to oversee the shops activities, thus, works with everyone in the team. The identification of one person to serve as team leader reinforces trust as opposed to having two people lead the team. Additionally, both Catherine and Heather work together under the direction of Sandy. The composition of the team is relevant also in understanding issues of trust. The team is only made up of women. It can be assumed that this is because Sandy trusts the creative instincts of women compared to men. The fact that the women are also skilled and qualified further enhances trust among the entire team.
Favourable Working Conditions
John Robert’s Spa prides itself for providing favorable work conditions for its staff. First, the physical environment is favorable as it provides the team members with everything they need to make their work easier. For example, the educators get all teaching materials they need to enhance their classes. The availability and accessibility of the materials is not only beneficial to the educators but also to the learners as they are able to acquire knowledge in the best way possible. It is also important to note that the salon itself is well lit, spacious with lots of light and air. Pratoom (2018) explains that the physical appearance of a work space is also important in ensuring motivation of employees. It is this motivation that affects the effectiveness of the team in general.
Favorable working conditions also involve the support the team receives from the larger organization. From the organization chart in Figure 1, it is clear that the structure is rigid and the team members do not have access to any other managerial staff, apart from their team leader, Heather. This is a challenge as challenges that involve Heather might not be well solved due to her interference. It is critical that the structure be flexible to allow for ease of communication between everyone in the larger organization. Alternatively, the team members can have a different person they can talk to in the event that Heather is unable to help them during a challenge. This allows for better preparation and problem solving, which as previously stated, can be a metric of testing the effectiveness of a team.
Team Leader Effectiveness
There are two levels of leadership within the education team at John Robert’s Spa Mayfield Heights location. The first level involves Heather who works directly with the educators. This means that Heather does the day-to-day activities of managing the team. One of the key elements of determining effectiveness based on the team leader in the spa is the duration Heather has been leading the group. Heather has been holding the same position for 3 years, which means that she has been successfully leading the team. Thus, one can assume that she is fit for the job. The additional fact that the company’s education team has grown during her tenure goes to show how effective her leadership skills are. Also, the service providers have not complained about the quality of education they get and this also contributes to her success as a leader.
The second tier of leadership is at Sandy’s level, who heads the whole department. There are several things that makes Sandy’s leadership effectiveness successful. The first is the fact that she has the right staff under her to accomplish the department’s goals. Both Heather and Catherine are highly qualified and add value to the team. Additionally, all the educators, as previously mentioned are also highly skilled. Secondly, Sandy has ensured that a comprehensive team structure is observed so that everyone knows what is expected of them at all times. The detailed division of roles ensures that there is no overlapping of duties and this also contributes significantly to the success of the team.
Coaching and Guidance
The educational team as a whole offers coaching and guidance to the service providers. The coaching happens weekly and is aimed at equipping the service providers with the latest techniques for taking care of their clients. It is arguable that the issue of wellness is very extensive as it can be physical, emotional and spiritual. The service providers are able to balance all these things for the benefit of their clients but focus more on the clients’ physical wellbeing. The issue of coaching and guidance has been extensively explored in the spa as it also offers outside sessions for its service providers. The spa has partnered with other educators such as AVEDA who come in once in a while to offer techniques and tips to the staff. The inclusion of an outside vendor every once in a while is important as it ensures that the business is not in-ward looking but also considers what competitors and the target market want.
Additionally, the education team itself goes through coaching and guidance. This is done by their leaders and also by the partnering institutions. For the education team to work effectively, they have to know the latest designs and also help create new signature designs. Motivation among the team members is fueled by constant research, coaching and guidance. This element goes hand-in-hand with the provision of a favorable working environment as it provides opportunities for growth for both the service providers and the education team. Coaching and guidance is also important for continuity of the department as the more the service providers learn the more likely they are also to want to teach someone else.
Alignment of Goals to Company Objectives
Lastly, the alignment of the team goals to that of the company is critical in determining whether the education team at Mayfield Heights is effective. The main goal of the education team is to provide quality capacity building to the company’s service providers. On the other hand, the main goal of the company is to bring clients the finest services in beauty and wellness. One can argue that the team’s goal is well aligned with that of the organization. First, the achievement of the team’s goal will contribute to the achievement of the organization’s goal. This is due to the fact that by providing quality education to the service providers, the education team also ensures that the same service providers offer their finest service for both beauty and wellness.
Analysis and Recommendations
From the team review, there are several things that can be used to prove that the education team of John Robert’s Spa at Mayfield Heights is effective. The first is the fact that they have the right type of leadership. As mentioned previously, there are two tiers of leadership in the team with the first being Heather and the second being Sandy. Both leaders have different levels of interaction with the team with Heather working with the team directly and Sandy ensuring that other team dynamics are considered for the effectiveness of the group. Also critical to mention is that both leaders are highly qualified for the task making managing the team and other dynamics easier.
Another factor indicating that the team is effective is the fact that its main goal is aligned to the overall organizational goals. As discussed previously, it is important for team goals to be aligned to organizational goals so as to work in sync with other aspects of the business. Importantly, the education team strives to offer quality education which in turn helps the service providers offer their finest services to their clients. In the event that the education and capacity building done by the education team was substandard, the service providers would also not be able to offer great service to their clients. In turn, the organizational goals would not be achieved. Overall, it can be argued that the education team in Mayfield Heights is highly effective. Despite this, several recommendations can be made based on both practice and what the spa is currently doing. These recommendations will make the team more effective and productive.
The first recommendation given is that no member of the team should work alone. As explained earlier, Catherine, the salon coordinator appears to be working alone from the organizational chart. No one reports to her or directly works with her to ensure deliverables are met. One of the disadvantages of this is the fact that she might feel left out of some of the team activities. This is because the structure does not allow her to interact with anyone but her boss, Sandy. Secondly, it is recommended that the role of communication within the team be made more flexible. This can be done without interfering with the organizational structure. Whereas the organizational structure shows who reports to how, the communication strategy should allow information to flow freely regardless of who reports to who. It is, thus, critical to clearly indicate the role of communication within the team.
Additionally, it is recommended that the team members have a direct link with the service providers as the link is not captured well in the structures. One of the advantages of clearly having this link is the fact that it allows the educators to understand the challenges the service providers go through and shape their teaching content better. Arguably, a lot of research and consulting is done to ensure the educators offer high quality education. However, there can be loopholes that are used within the team to avoid much work as this is not clearly captured in the structures. Overall, the team effectiveness in Mayfield Heights is admirable. The team appears to work closely together to achieve their goals and the goals of the company in general. However, the suggested recommendations will help secure an even more compact team.
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