Teams are very important elements in the new high-performance organizations. These teams are very different from other committees in that, they have created performance goals to achieve, and also the members of those teams feel accountable for achieving those goals.
A team is a manageable group that joins together to create ideas, implement them, and at the same time holds them mutually accountable for achieving a clear and identifiable set of goals.
The use of teams in the textile industry has always been known to achieve better and more results than individuals working on their own. This is because teams are known to solve problems in a faster way by creating a wider range of skills to solve them. Every individual in a team has been through experiences and skills of their own, and so they bring together their knowledge to solve the problems at hand. (Kirkpartrick, 2001. 122).
As a team, they can sieve quality decisions from those that are irrelevant. This way, the team is committed to a common solution.
In my workplace sets of teams are created and these may include, problem-solving teams that are used to improve the performance of the organization by detecting problems and coming up with solutions for them. Work teams are used to control the performance of the organization in both input and output terms. Another set of teams that are used in the organization is the management team that is in charge of creating strategies and initiating changes. Using these teams has increased the productivity of our textile industry. (Green, 2001. 53).
If our productions in the industry meet or even exceed the expectations of those consumers who we aimed at, then our team is considered to be effective. Our leaders and managers may also judge the results of our performance and productivity. If they conclude that the results are satisfactory, then we are considered effective.
However, for a team to be effective, they must be able to work together even after completing their task. This means that we as a team must maintain a stable working relationship to benefit the organization. As a successful team, we should always be satisfied with our work. We must be able to enjoy the experiences at work as a team. (Pokras, 2002. 124).
To increase productivity in the industry, certain factors must be set up and controlled. We as a team must have the initiative to work hard. The effort put in to accomplish the task depends on whether the task is motivating and also whether the goals are challenging enough for the members. This means that we should have a positive attitude to create positive group behaviors.
Another group behavior that must be addressed is the fact that teams must always have the right skills to bring to the table. They include technical, Good-interrelation skills, and also tactics to solve problems. The textile industry requires members who are creative and innovative to have unique outputs in the market.
As team members, we requested jobs that are motivating and those that require different and challenging skills to make it more interesting and fun. The job should make us feel that it’s worth our efforts. The outcome of the job must be viewed as being of importance to the organization and the consumers.
For problem-solving teams, they should have challenging goals that are well defined as this motivates and makes them work hard and put more effort. Providing a challenging job is one of the motivators to keep up the group efforts. Goals act as guidelines for the team such that if there is conflict in the team, it is possible to solve the conflict by going back to the goals that were set for direction. The goals need to be measurable to assess the progress of the organization if they are achieved. (Friday, 2003. 70).
We agreed that it is important to reward the teams for a job well done. This must not necessarily be through financials. It can be done by merely recognizing our effort.
Before forming teams, we should be consulted to provide information on what teams in a textile industry require. They should be formed by assigning individuals with different talents and this should be unbiased. Team members should be selected by carefully reviewing the job to assess to kind of skills required. The team members must be well trained and coached to develop broader working skills, technical skills, and problem-solving skills.
Interpersonal skills must be taken into consideration in teams as most people have very poor communication skills. We requested that we be trained on active listening, speaking points that are of importance, and how to accept criticism by avoiding being very defensive about our opinions. (Cummings, T & Worley, C. 2005. 72.)
We developed a set of rules of conduct because developing a set of rules of conduct is very crucial before a team is given a task. This ensures that we act uniformly in meeting attendances, and sharing the task assignments given.
We developed proper strategies to solve problems by having well-defined approaches to the problem and we were aware of the available resources that can be used in solving the problem. By understanding this, we can then come up with a plan to solve the problem. (Maddux, &Wingfield 2003. 144).
How to improve team communication
The quality of the teams’ output mainly is dependent on the information shared by the members.
As a team, we must be able to eliminate barriers that hinder effective communication by being able to differentiate between the various channels that are used to speak. These channels include facts, these are things that have happened, personal feelings; any reaction that a person develops to a certain situation, values-important personal ideals, and the final channel is opinions which are sets of beliefs based on what seems true to one’s mind.
As a team, we gave feedback in a manner that is honest, timely, descriptive, and specific. (Nancy, 2002. 98).
Team building is whereby a team works together to create an environment that favors the values and also the contributions of the team.
Our energies in the textile industry are directed towards problem-solving, task effectiveness, and maximizing the use of all member’s resources to achieve the team’s purpose.
In team building, there should be interdependency among team members. They should rely on one another’s skills to achieve the desired results.
Our team leaders are actively involved in the team’s activities. This is achievable by having good interpersonal skills and allocating time for activities that will build the team.
The team must be able to create an environment in which people feel at ease and also develop trust for one another. We felt free to contribute information, experiences, and skills to achieve the teams’ goals. The roles of each one in the team must be clearly defined to avoid conflicts and enhance communication. Every member must feel that he can also be of great impact on the team agenda. This facilitates open and honest communication.
Must be competent enough amongst us to handle the task given. This is made possible by ensuring that members have both knowledge and skill to tackle the issues at hand and also having access to resources that are needed and also they must enjoy the full support from their leaders. (Redding, 2000. 107.)
For team building to be effective, members must be aware of the boundaries that they may reach in pursuit of solutions. They must also be accountable to a certain authority to enhance accountability.
We aimed at collaborating to work together to achieve our team’s charter. We always defined and communicated our goals to have full support from the leaders.
Improving team leadership.
Our team leaders came up with a proper vision of what we were set to achieve. This must be done in full collaboration with the team members. The team leader must always remind the members of the vision they set to keep them in the right direction of achieving their set goals.
He must be involved in selecting the members of the team based on the resources available, the willingness of the members, their knowledge and skills.
Team leaders should develop a well-defined and understandable set of rules that will be of help to achieving their goals and being successful. This should include the behavioral conduct of members’ ways of measuring success and how to reward and recognize the team efforts.
Team leaders must be able to recognize the needs of their members. They must note when there are conflicts between their members and when there are not enough resources for their members to use for their team activities. (Maddox, &Wingfield 2003. 144).
The organization must arrange for seminars and conferences where its leader will be trained and coached on how to create teams and manage them.
Leaders must be motivated by, recognizing their efforts in achieving the teams’ goals. Sending them free seminars where they can learn more about good leadership qualities can do this.
Team members also motivate their leaders by setting effective goals and ensuring that they achier them. (Pace, 2002. -54).
Team empowerment involves the correlated actions that we put together to achieve our goals. Team empowerment is about relationships formed between the assigned team leaders and the team members. Team empowerment is related to virtual team performance in that the performance depends on how much the members interact face to face.
Teams are said to be empowered in four main dimensions, which involve the team believing as one that they can be effective, this is referred to as team potency. The level to which members are willing to work for the tasks referred to as meaningfulness, the level in which members feel they are involved in decision-making known as autonomy, and finally the degree to which members feel that their jobs are of great impact to the organization’s achievement and this is known as team impact.
Team empowerment is thus impacted at the team level rather than the individual level, thus team empowerment is different from individual motivation. When team members are empowered they feel more attached to their tasks and put more effort to achieve their goals.
The four-team empowerment dimensions enable teams to satisfy their customers especially the problem-solving teams can solve the problems facing their consumers directly without going through the managerial approval, thus team empowerment leads to improved satisfaction of the customers and also creates process improvement. (Nancy, 2002. 90-98).
We set goals as a team to remind us often so we don’t lose our sense of direction and improve team efficiency. As a team, we understood that these goals are our responsibilities as a team. The team needs to be competitive and cooperative to achieve the set goals.
Working resources must be available in a good working area for our work to be efficient. We were encouraged to work in pairs since two different people have different skill levels. The team must always remember that the customers care only for the output they get and the level of their satisfaction. Employee involvement and employee empowerment enable team members to make decisions. This increases loyalty and creates a sense of belonging for team members. Team empowerment enables members to take responsibility for their actions and their results.
For teams to be successful the leaders must communicate their expectations from the team. They should support the team in terms of money, time, and people. Team members must work together to reach a consensus on the values that govern their relations with each other. Everyone member of the team must be involved in this consensus-building process. This provides the moral compass for all future activities of the organization. (Duarte, l & Snyder, T. (2001. 54).
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Redding, C (2000). The radical team handbook: harnessing the power of team learning for breakthrough results. San Francisco. 107.
Duarte, l & Snyder, T. (2001). Six sigma for business excellence. McGraw-hill professional. 54.
Cummings, T & Worley, C. (2005) organizational development and change. Thompson south-western. 72.
Pace, R. (2002). Organizational dynamism. quorum/greenwood. 54.
Kirkpatrick, D. (2001). Developing supervisors and team leaders. Elsevier. 122.
Green, A. (2001). Creativity in public relations. Kogan Page. 53.
Pokras, S. (2002). Working in teams: A team member guidebook. Thomson crisp learning. 124-126.
Maddux, R. (2003). Team building: an exercise in leadership. Thomson crisp learning. 144.
Friday, S. (2003). Organization development for facility managers: leading your team to success. AMACOM DIV American management association. 70.