Managing High-Performance Work Teams

Management refers to the responsibility of organizing and efficiently executing directives that exist within a certain organization. It refers to the art of ensuring that set goals are achieved efficiently and effectively through the proper use of available resources such as capital and labor. It requires proper planning, organization, coordination, and the ability to issue directives. Leadership, on the other hand, is a skill of management that depicts the capability of a person to motivate a group of people or a team towards achieving a common goal of the organization. Leaders play a very important role in building high-performance teams.

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Effective leadership skills give way to successful organizations (Jeffs155). It is therefore very important for every institution to have in place good management and effective leadership in order to be able to create an environment with high-performing teams. High-performance working teams, in this case, refer to a group of people with similar skills who are working toward a common goal and hold themselves jointly responsible for the success of such a goal.

Leading a team and achieving high performance is not easy, and therefore the leaders need to develop various skills to enable them to work efficiently (Mejia 4). One of the most important characteristics of an effective leader is promoting understanding amongst the team members. This enables them to be aware that they are working towards a common goal and each individual‘s contribution is very important for their overall success.

A leader should also make sure that the team has sufficient information and knowledge about their assignment, and this defines the team’s competence. Another important skill of a leader is the ability to promote interaction among the team members since this will make it very easy to solve problems within the team, making team decisions, and also cooping with each other in the course of work. He should always be available to offer support to the team. As the leader selects the team, he /she should bear in mind that all the members do not have the same capabilities (Mejia 10).

He should therefore assign roles with considerations of their skills. If the team does not sufficiently display the required skills, then the leader should consider training as an option for the team. This improves the quality of the team as they become more aware of their duties and also improves their effectiveness for the job. Time management is another important skill that a leader must instill in the team members since this ensures that they meet the deadlines for the assigned tasks.

Over the years, the views in management and leadership have experienced various changes. Following the rapid changes in technology, markets, and the continuing competitive environment, it consequently calls for developments in the approach to human resources and its leadership (Jeffs 170). This is because of the new technologies in the market, such as telecommunications. Other driving forces in the emerging changes are the need to diversity the human skills, public awareness, and the demand for more effective organizations. This means that organizations have had to adapt flexibility in their management skills in order to meet the market demands. As a result, most of the traditional hierarchical structures in organizations have been abandoned. This has brought about changes in the recruitment of employees and development in human skills.

Many organizations are now paying much attention to aspects of human personality, mostly self-esteem, teamwork, and self-actualization. Their competence and development are a major concern for human resource management. The need for the effective human resource has given rise to auditing of the performance of the employees. In recruiting human labor, many organizations give specific requirements of the skills required, such as education, training, and experience. Recruitment has also been categorized where most organizations have defined entry levels for employees.

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Recruitment to the higher ranks is made from the other lower ranks since they have a better experience of the activities of the organization. The management has also taken it upon its self to identify the key performance areas in any organization. Most jobs are categorized today, which makes it very easy for the teams assigned to perform better. This helps the management in making decisions on the type of team to assign in such areas considering their abilities. The management is also able to monitor the employees in a more organized manner (Jeffs 200).

There is an increasing trend towards the training of employees, which enhances the development of the skills to match the demands of the growing organizations. The employees are taught on the new technology which works to improve their performance in terms of speed, effectiveness and also efficiency. This ensures that the organizations maintain the high performance of the employees throughout. Personnel in the organizations are also developing to the fields of specialization such as engineering, technicians, information technology, among others.

Most organizations today are also undertaking performance appraisals in order to identify areas that need training, identify the key performing areas, award promotions, increase pay, and also getting the employee’s views on their work (Mejia5). Modern organizations have also held the culture of unions, which exist to address the employee’s issues. This gives the employees the power and confidence to air their problems in an organized manner, making it very easy for the organizations to solve them. In order to maintain high-performing teams in organizations, managers should concentrate on creating favorable environments for the employees accompanied by motivation, good personal relations, and training.

Some of the pioneers who made a great contribution to the development of human resources include Laurence J. Peter, who formulated the Peter Principle that states,” In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tend to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.” This principle basically showed that people are promoted based on their level of incompetence (Peter 135). He argued that” work is accomplished by those people who have not reached their level of incompetence” (Jeffs 225). This, therefore, meant that organizations would keep promoting labor until it reaches its highest level of incompetence. In contrast to the Peter Principle, the Dilbert Principle by Dilbert argues that organizations promote incompetent people to leadership levels in order to remove them from productive and competent employees and reduce the harm they could bring to the organization (Jeffs 225).

Cyril Northcote Parkinson also made a contribution towards human resource development by inventing the “Parkinson law.” In this law, he argues that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” (Jeffs 226). This basically meant that the demand for resources increases to match the supply of the resource.

Another leading pioneer in the development of high performance in employees is Jim madden, who was the initiator of the HR BPO. The model was initially meant for decision-makers such as vice presidents and directors of human resources. His model covered areas of human resource management such as personnel, benefits, training and development, HR information systems, relocation, retirement planning, workplace security, and also healthcare(Mejia 15).

One of the corporations that have demonstrated high team performance is American express which has been recognized as one of the best places to work. It is focused on giving a working environment that serves to attract, develop, and also retain top talents. It is quick to adopt the latest technologies. For example, it launched a sophisticated online system that enables the employees to get information on benefits, compensation, and other special programs (Mejia 7).

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In conclusion, human resource is a key factor in determining the success of any organization. It is therefore important that the management is comprised of leaders who can effectively influence the different teams or groups in the organization towards achieving their goals effectively. The managers should be sensitive to the changing markets and enhance the skills of the employees through continuous training, development counseling, and also hiring highly qualified employees. The managers should also initiate reward plans in order to recognize the efforts and contributions of the employees, thus motivate employees. This works as a motivational tool for the employees.

Works cited

Chris Jeffs. Strategic Management. London, Sage Publications Ltd, 2008, 140-230.

Dr. Laurence J. Peter; Raymond Hull. The Peter Principle: why things always go wrong. New York: William Morrow & Company, 1969, 134- 170.

Gomez-Mejia, et al. Management: People, Performance, Change. New York, Mc Graw-Hill, 2008, 3-18.

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