Managing Teams in an Organization

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Executive summary

Teams are very important to any successful organization. The effectiveness of teams depends on the leadership style adopted. Foodco is not a new company in the industry and it has had a good position for some time. This paper explores teams in my organizations and how they work towards fulfilling the objectives for which they were formed. Different types of teams have been described alongside the different leadership styles. Finally, this paper has made recommendations concerning improving teamwork and leadership in organizations.

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Research methodology

This research has adopted a quantitative analysis. Various instruments have been used to verify the nature of leadership in the organization. Data was gathered through the use of questionnaires. An analysis was done and it was presented using the appropriate graphs and charts. Secondary sources of information have also been incorporated into the research.

Success through Team Working

Nicky Hayes1 applies that:

To an ever-increasing extent, modern management becomes focused on the idea of the team. Management consultants propose organizational restricting to facilitate teamwork, directors make policy statements about the importance of the team to the organization, and senior managers exhort their junior staff to encourage team working in their departments. Where organizational culture became the manager buzz-word of the 1980s, team -working became the managerial concept of the 1990s”

Introduction

My organization has been in business for the last 20 years. The main purpose of the organization is to produce quality consumer products that have far-reaching advantages in the lives of consumers in terms of improving health, personal, and home care. This has been set to be achieved by a wide variety of consumer products produced by the company’s factories. My organization is a major producer of consumer products both locally and internationally. The company produces food products, personal care, and home care products. Food products include margarine and cooking fat while personal and home care products include soaps, detergents, and petroleum jelly.

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Vision

To be the pioneer and most innovative FMCG company in the GCC and Middle East providing high-quality products to the community.

Mission

As a specialist in foodstuffs, Foodco is committed to delivering quality brands to all consumers and partners. This is done by assuring total satisfaction through enhancing efficiency and professionalism in all operations.

Since I joined the company, I have been working in the personal care department whereby there is the manufacturing of beauty soap and general-purpose soap. In this department I am a team leader in a project that is targeted to achieve production targets and reduce the wastage of materials in the department.

Products of the company

Home Care products include beauty soaps, detergents while personal care products include petroleum jelly and body lotion.

Teamwork

This refers to the unity of working together towards achieving certain objectives in organizations. Team spirit is essential for improved productivity of individuals in an organization because it brings mindsets together which means concentration of efforts towards achieving organizations objectives.

Team Working and Effective Teams

The spirit of teamwork has become a common phenomenon both in organizations and across nations. Teams are formed between suppliers and manufacturers so as to improve efficiency and quality of services. Costs are also reduced in such teams and continuous improvement is assured.

Building effective teams:

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The team members have the following roles;

  1. The implementer works to fulfill the company’s interests.
  2. The coordinator is self-directed and has confidence.
  3. The shaper is an advocate of change.
  4. Planting means coming up with own ideas and working independently
  5. Resource investigator which involves generating ideas together with the members
  6. Monitor who takes time to come up with good decisions
  7. Team worker who accommodates the views of others
  8. The finisher ensures that whatever he starts is completed.
  9. A specialist who is skillful and knowledgeable.

Key features of teams

Successful teams in organizations have important characteristic features that enhance the performance of the members.

  • Cooperation

Cooperation between members of a team facilitates the smooth running of activities within the group hence achievement of targets at this level becomes easy. Lack of cooperation between group members can scatter those members apart which means that no important can take place in such a group.

  • Participation

Teams require individual contributions to facilitate team activities. It is individual contribution and efforts in the team that brings about solutions to the issues which are supposed to be handled by the group. Without the participation of all members decisions made in the team would not be all-inclusive but they can be said to be one person’s ideas or making.

  • Coordination

Teams require good coordination from all the members to succeed in achieving their objectives. This coordination is supposed to ensure that each and every member has his or her contribution and it is well integrated into the team to achieve targets.

  • Partnership

This is an important key element for the success of teams. This is because once there are partnerships members of a team can easily notice one another in terms of views, opinions, and efforts and hence they can be integrated easily to achieve set targets. The partnership facilitates agreement and harmony within a team unlike the case of a group with which with or without a partnership, decisions have to be achieved at the end of it.

Types of teams in organizations

  • Work teams

Work teams are formed at the workplace to drive continuous improvement in the activities of the employees within the organization. The activities can include punctuality to duties and other work-related activities. They are normally permanent in nature and the members from the same department are given some objectives to achieve.

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  • Project teams

Project groups are temporary groups formed to solve a specific problem or to undertake a specific task in the organization. The workplace environment is characterized by different projects that need to be completed.An individual can exist in both the work team and in the project team.

  • Focus teams

The focus teams are formed in the organizations for the sake of maintaining attention to the specific areas of the organization that is key to its success. This includes areas such as waste reduction, cost reduction and so on.

Teams within my organization

In my organization, there are work teams that are quite instrumental in the achievement of organizational objectives. Work teams in the organization promote the spirit of idea generation and sharing within the organization. Through Work teams, objectives and targets are set and the level of achievement can be measured.

Project teams are also in existence in our organization and they have their role towards organizational growth and development. The teams have a chance of consulting from outside if possible to achieve better their objectives in matters which require the member to do so.

Team formation

For a team to be creative it must have a clear task appropriate for team performance and vision to give focus and direction to creative energies” 2

According to Tuckman, teams are formed using three models.

The first model of team formation concerns members coming together in an informal or chaotic manner followed by a formal stage then finally a skillful stage.

The second model starts with the forming and storming stage where members are still engaging each other and there is no clarification of issues. This is followed by the norming stage where there is an element of clarity and some formality.

The final stage in this model is the performing stage where there is some sort of relaxed clarity.

The third model of group formation starts with orientation, deliberation and conflict whereby there is no formal structure.

This is followed by the emergence and trust where formalization comes in.

The last stage in this model is characterized by reinforcement and clarity is relaxed.

Bruce Tuckman came up with five stages of group development.

The first stage is whereby members are meeting and agree to form the group.

There is discussion of the group opportunities and challenges. This stage is characterized by confusion amongst members especially on the role they are supposed to play in the team. The team members agree on the roles and actions to be taken and they also set out rules to govern the process. Leadership is fundamental at this stage to build the team. Leadership can come from a member the manager or supervisor in an organization. Leadership is instrumental in identifying the requirements of the team to provide guidance in all the processes.

Stage two concerns the beginning of ideas beginning to be expressed by most of the members. This stage is characterized by open conflicts between members as they express differing opinions. There is marked interest in details more than on issues and members are known not to be trustful to one another at this stage as this can be noticed by the high level of competition between them. Leadership is essential at this stage to foster the spirit of tolerance and patience amongst the members of the team. Furthermore the leader is supposed to steer the team towards the defined goals and the acceptable behavior and proper communication between the members.

Stage three involves the development of habits that are in tandem with the group rules and regulations. Members begin to show commitment to team activities.

The fourth stage is characterized by a high-level motivation, loyalty, and participation of members. Personal growth and sharing of ideas are evident at this stage.

In the fifth and final stage, there is recognition and celebration of what the team has achieved since its formation.

Analysis of my team

An analysis of my team reveals that the team is in the third stage of development. Members have begun demonstrating obedience to the rules and regulations. There is a positive attitude towards team activities and enhanced communication between the members. This evidences the change that has been realized from the previous two stages in which there was a lot of conflicts between members as they tried to express varying opinions and viewpoints.

Characteristics of an effective team

  • Truthfulness and openness

This is a virtue that should be demonstrated by all the members of the team towards one another. This can be developed by the leader encouraging members to open up during discussions and be honest in their thoughts.

  • Commitment

All members show commitment towards achieving happy endings for the team. This can be fostered by encouraging members to take the team activities seriously and giving them the required attention.

  • Care for one another

All members of a successful team show concern for one another to ensure everyone contributes to the maximum. This can be developed by showing understanding towards individual differences that exist between the members.

  • Addressing conflict.

Successful teams always confront conflicts head-on and with a lot of caution. This can be developed by allowing members to debate substantially on contentious issues before decision-making to ensure that conflict is fully addressed before proceeding to other issues.

Teamwork in our organization

In my team, there is a spirit of commitment as can be indicated by the turn up to team events. As a leader, I have been able to note that members and truthful to one another. All the members care for one another for instance when a member is unwell the team would visit the concerned member to wish him/her quick recovery. Addressing conflict in the team has been a major challenge and quite often it has led to bitter exchanges between members but as the leader, I am always in control. The members stay focused because the purpose of the team is well understood and most of the members meet the group standards of participation and performance.

After research on the state of my team I can note that the team is performing well despite barriers such as lack of consensus decisions in some activities of the team. Members of the team can debate on an issue and fail to reach a consensus. Proper listening to issues is also a barrier to building team effectiveness.

The purpose of the team is clearly defined during the formation stage and members work in the team knowing what the team is supposed to do. The members have to stick to the stated objectives and the required standards of performance so as to fulfill the team objectives.

Findings from analyzing my current team, teams within my organization & teamwork within the organization.

It was found that consensus building is a block towards team spirit and achievement of objectives. Listening was also found to be a problem in the team.

Team development plan

The plan would aim at uniting the members for a common purpose. This would be undertaken in a three-day retreat where each member would require $100 for the activity. The members would interact with one another in a free environment ad would unite and bond for the sake of future team activities at work. In this activity the leader would emphasize the importance of listening, bonding, and accommodating one another so as to achieve team objectives. The extent of team development would be measured after one month and the level of achievement of objectives would be evaluated. This would also concern arguments and the relationship between the members.

Characteristics Of An Effective Team Leader.

According to Lipnack and Stamps, “Virtual teams can be successful only if people cooperatively manage the coordination involved in membership and leadership,” meaning that managers must give up the ideas of power and control, and replace them with service leadership. Team leaders have been known to perform many functions that lead to the success of the teams they lead. Successful leader’s leadership entails the following actions:

  • Eliminate obstacles and mediate between the team and top management.
  • They are responsible for efficient communication.
  • They act as role models to shape members’ behavior.
  • They facilitate action rather than reaction to situations.
  • They initiate discussions and major decisions in the team.
  • They are keen on the contribution of each member and recognize the potential of everybody.
  • Observe issues from a wider perspective and include the role of individual members
  • Advocate for independent thought in members and have confidence in decisions made by the team.
  • Responsible for bringing together members with similar skills and utilizing the potential of each member. involve the team members in the leadership process.

Key characteristics of an effective leader

An effective leader has to be influential. Without influential leadership teams are likely to lose direction and hence fail to achieve the anticipated objectives.

An effective leader is visionary and has a dream of what the future of the organization should look like and hence be motivated and motivate members in the direction of a better future.

Effective leaders have confidence and believe in themselves. This coupled with maturity and conviction can steer a team in the direction of prosperity.

Leadership Styles

Autocratic leadership is authoritative and the leader dictates what is supposed to be done by the members and he does not seek advice from the members. The leader is actually the boss of everything. This style is applicable in rowdy teams where members have to be dictated to as to cooperate and achieve the results.

Participatory leadership concerns the leader including the members in the decision-making process. The leader goes for a few knowledgeable members for consultation because they may be having information that he is lacking. This style is suitable in well-organized groups where members understand one another.

Delegative leadership refers to the free reign where the leader allows the members to come up with decisions though he remains overall in charge and is responsible for the decisions made.Delegative style is suitable for well-formed teams that have had long experience of teamwork hence can be self-sustaining.

Applying leadership to my organization

My style of leadership is participatory as a have always sought advice from a few members in organizational matters but the team’s decisions remain my priority. Though this style is viewed as a weakness by some members my authority as a leader is still felt by the majority in the team. This style has the strength of imparting confidence in the members. This is evident in the feedback from the team member who advocates for more consultations by the leader in future. Participatory leadership style has made my team members feel part of the team and has enabled the leader to make more informed decisions than if it were wholly based on my individual thought of things. The improvement I can make on this leadership style would concern the number of people I am supposed to consult.

Survey

In the survey that was conducted , 20 employees in our organization were interviewed and their views were sought concerning my leadership and how they have benefited from it. Both male and female co-workers participated in the survey.

The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of my leadership style on individuals and on the organization.

The results that were obtained from the questionnaire that was administered indicated that

most of the people liked and appreciated my leadership. However, they also noted some weaknesses in my personality that affect my output as a team leader.

Results

Strength Number of responses Weakness Number of responses
High energy level 18 Implementing change 15
Represents team appropriately 16 Nervous at times 10
Self-confidence 18 Interpersonal skills 8
Self-management skills 17 Average negotiator 12
Awareness of customer requirements as well as team objectives 15
Assigning and delegating effectively 14

Personal Development Plan

For better performance in the future, it would be important to improve on my confidence and interpersonal relations. This is because my members have revealed that sometimes I don’t make bold moves in the team, especially on conflicting issues. Good relations will bring trust and make my leadership important to everyone as we achieve our objectives.

References

  1. Tannenbaum, R. & Schmidt, W. How to Choose a leadership Pattern. Harvard Business Review, 1973, No. 73311
  2. Newstrom, John W. & Davis, Keith (1993). Organizational Behavior – Human Behavior at Work. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  3. Tuckman, Bruce. “Developmental sequence in small groups”. Psychological Bulletin 63 (6): 384
  4. Marilyn Vojta, M.A.,Characteristics of the Effective Leader accessed from
  5. Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper and Row Publishers Inc..
  6. Blake, R.; Mouton, J. (1964). The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence. Houston: Gulf Publishing Co.
  7. Cecil A Gibb (1970). Leadership (Handbook of Social Psychology). Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley. pp. 884–89.
  8. Spillane, James P.; et. al (2004). “Towards a theory of leadership practice”. Journal of Curriculum Studies Vol. 36, No. 1: 3-34.
  9. Rickards, T., & Moger, S., (2000) ‘Creative leadership processes in project team development: An alternative to Tuckman’s stage model’, British Journal of Management, Part 4, pp. 273-283
  10. Douglas MacGregor The Wisdom of Teams.

Appendices

THE RESEARCHER ADMINISTERED A QUESTIONNAIRE FOR EMPLOYEES

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LEADERSHIP IN FOODCO HOLDINGS.

I am researching the analysis of leadership in our organization. This questionnaire has been constructed to help me gain information that will be useful in the research. The information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and used only for this study.

SECTION A: IDENTIFICATION

Employee Number _________________

Date of interview _________________

Name of Interviewer _________________

SECTION B: DEMOGRAPHY

  1. Age of respondent _________________.
  2. Gender of respondent _________________

SECTION C: LEADERSHIP

What is your preferred leadership style?

Democratic 

Autocrati c

Characteristics of the leader

Characteristic Yes No
Strengths
High energy level
Team representation
Self-confidence
Management skills
Awareness of customer’s requirements
Delegation of duties
Weaknesses
Nervousness
Slight implementation of change
Poor interpersonal skills
Slight negotiator.

Footnotes

  1. (Successful Team Management. Nicky Hayes, 1997)
  2. Michel A West (2004) suggestion

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BusinessEssay. (2022, January 27). Managing Teams in an Organization. Retrieved from https://business-essay.com/managing-teams-in-an-organization/

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