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Exploring Work Teams. Professional Year Program – Unit 6: Communicating in work teams to achieve professional goals . Overview. In this session we will look at the following: Define work teams/groups Why work teams exist? Work team structures Team composition Team member expectations

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    exploring work teams

    Exploring Work Teams

    Professional Year Program –

    Unit 6: Communicating in work teams to achieve professional goals


    In this session we will look at the following:

    • Define work teams/groups
    • Why work teams exist?
    • Work team structures
    • Team composition
    • Team member expectations
    • Keeping Team Morale High
    • Advantages of working in groups or teams
    • Disadvantages of working in groups or teams
    • Leadership qualities and attributes
    • Strategies for working effectively in teams
    • What does good team work look like?
    • What does poor team work look like?
    • Multi-Cultural Teams/Groups
    define work teams groups
    Define work teams/groups
    • They are a group of employees that work semi autonomously on recurring tasks
    • A group of people working together towards a common goal
    • Team members normally have different roles, like team leader and agents
    • Large teams can divide into sub-teams according to need
    define work teams continued
    Define work teams continued
    • The process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal
    • Work teams are often a crucial part of a business, as it is often necessary for colleagues to work well together, trying their best in any circumstance
    • Teamwork means that people will try to cooperate, using their individual skills and providing constructive feedback, despite any personal conflict between individuals
    why do they exist
    Why do they exist?
    • Work teams/groups are useful where job content changes frequently
    • Brings together different peoples skill sets to solve complex problems
    work team structures
    Work team structures
    • Creating an effective team structure requires careful analysis and preparation
    • A productive team must be working towards a clear common goal
    • E.g. Figuring out how to increase profits by 10 per cent
    • Make it clear how important the goal is to the company’s success
    • Each member of a team should have a stake in accomplishing the goal and feel a sense of responsibility
    team composition
    Team Composition
    • The composition of the team is critical
    • Throwing people together without careful consideration will backfire
    • The purpose of a teamwork structure is to accomplish your goal more efficiently and with better results
    • Consider the strengths and weaknesses of individual team/group members
    team composition continued
    Team Composition Continued
    • Who will work well together with the minimum conflict?
    • E.g. If John is great with detail and Mary is fabulous at seeing the big picture, then the two should complement each other
    • Also consider the personality types involved
    • Will there be jockeying for authority that will undermine team effort?
    team member expectations
    Team Member Expectations
    • Set up clear expectations for each member of the team. For example, who is responsible for writing, marketing, and who for finance?
    • You want to avoid conflicts in responsibilities to eliminate competition for control and potential arguments
    • Each team should have a good leader to keep everyone focused on the common goal

    (Do you agree with this?)

    team member expectations continued
    Team Member Expectations continued
    • This individual (team leader) should be the person responsible for answering questions and resolving conflicts, as well as reporting progress to senior executives
    • Communication and trust will be the keys to creating a winning work team structure
    • Everyone should feel able to express his or her ideas
    • Team members need to support one another
    keeping team morale high
    Keeping Team Morale High
    • Don’t forget the power of the positive!
    • Seize the chance to tell your teams they are doing a great job
    • Point out the good things they are doing before talking about how to improve
    • Keeping morale high increases productivity and keeps employees working hard and to the best of their abilities
    advantages of working in groups or teams
    Advantages of working in groups or teams
    • Two heads are better than one
    • Tasks are shared out to individuals dependant on strengths and weaknesses within the team
    • Including all team members in brainstorming sessions will enable a solution to be found
    • Teamwork provides a bonding for the group
    • They will generally go the extra mile and support their fellow team members in order for the goal to be met
    • Teamwork can also reduce absence in the workplace as people are more focused and motivated to achieve their goal
    advantages continued
    Advantages continued
    • Tasks become less of a chore if they are being performed by a collective group
    • Skills are also learnt within a team environment as members are allowed to become more creative and resourceful
    • The feeling of isolation which is felt often in tasks that are assigned to individuals is removed
    • There is a support network for individuals to draw on
    • It removes hierarchical lines of command in the workplace
    disadvantages of working in groups or teams
    Disadvantages of working in groups or teams
    • If group members cannot agree on one point it can affect your work negatively
    • Unequal participation - with some teams, there can be a tendency for members to sit back and let others do most of the work
    • Group within group is another problem when some members get aside and might even refuse to contribute properly
    • Some workers may not function well as part of a team, preferring to work on their own
    disadvantages continued
    Disadvantages continued
    • Teamwork may also limit creative thinking
    • Employees may be so focused on working for the overall good of the team and fitting in to the team concept that they put their own ideas on the back burner
    • Teams can sometimes take longer to produce a desired result
    • Whenever a group of people is assembled to achieve a goal, at least some conflict is likely to occur
    • Contrasting personal styles can clash and some members may have difficulty accepting ideas that differ from their own
    leadership qualities and attributes1
    Leadership qualities and attributes
    • Integrity is the integration of outward actions and inner values
    • Dedication means spending whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task at hand
    • Creativityis the ability to think differently, to get outside of the box that constrains solutions
    • Openness means being able to listen to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the usual way of thinking
    • Assertiveness is the ability to clearly state what one expects so that there will be no misunderstandings
    • Fairnessmeans dealing with others consistently and justly
    • A sense of humouris vital to relieve tension and boredom, as well as to defuse hostility
    strategies for working effectively in teams
    Strategies for working effectively in teams
    • Common GoalThe success of any group project is that there must be a clear single goal. Many teams fail when there are multiple agendas
    • ClarityWith all communication clarity is a must. Great communication keeps team members from aborting the core of the project due to lack of understanding of the overall purpose
    strategies for working effectively in teams1
    Strategies for working effectively in teams
    • Commitment From Each Team MemberFor a group of people to function as a productive team, there has to be a commitment from each team member
    • Do What You Do BestThe purpose of assembling a team, is to group together individuals that have specific skills to accomplish a specific project
    • It’s Not About YOU!The hardest attitude to grasp in playing a role on a team is that “it’s not about you.”
    strategies for working effectively in teams2
    Strategies for working effectively in teams
    • You’ve Got to Talk to Each OtherNot only is communication of the project goal vital, but frequent updates of the task is important
    • Work as a Team, Play as a TeamYou can tell when teams have spent time together both in a working and social environment. Successful teams can anticipate what others will do and how they will respond
    • Assign Responsibilities (Accountability)Every task must have a project lead
    what does good team work look like
    What does good team work look like?
    • Have high integrity and trust each other
    • Everyone wants to produce a high quality product
    • Set goals and objectives
    • Each of us keeps an open mind and accepts criticism and input
    • We are respectful in our communication, yet encourage debate
    • We treat our teammates as trusted advisers
    • We hold each other accountable
    what does poor team work look like
    What does poor team work look like?
    • Complain about everyone and everything
    • Gossip regularly, about work or personal issues
    • Hoard knowledge
    • Talk almost completely about themselves
    • Play the blame game
    • Look for reasons to exclude people
    • Lack empathy
    multi cultural teams groups
    Multi-Cultural Teams/Groups
    • Coping with issues across cultural boundaries. Some of the challenges faced are:
      • Cultural Differences
      • Lack of proper communication that leads to misunderstanding of work
      • Difference of communication styles, working styles and quality of work
      • Difference in time zones leading to mismatched work coordination
    commonly used methods to deal with multi cultural teams
    Commonly used methods to deal with multi-cultural teams
    • Co-ordinating cross cultural training sessions to train team members on various cultures
    • Introducing team building and role play activities as ice-breakers
    • Arranging language classes for non-English speaking members and vice-versa
    • Encourage social gatherings, sports activities and discussions outside working hours