Friday, July 16, 2010
Many, many of us are today what can be called iWorkers (and though I'm a Mac, the term has nothing to do with Apple - surprisingly enough!). Still, it's the way we get things done today, and technology will play an even more critical role going forward.
Here is a fascinating slide show put together by the folks at CIO Insight. It is based on a rather large, Unisys-sponsored survey of workers from 10 countries, and it has very interesting statistics on where we are today. Still a lot of Luddite managers out there - even in the tech field itself. See and click through the slides at:
Very interesting stuff - forward this post on to your colleagues - and particularly your managers! I'll look for your comments here on the blog site.
at 5:41 PM
This overview of Creating Effective Work Teams was prepared by Elinore Hanby while a Journalism major in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University.
This article was produced to educate managers about the different types of work teams and the benefits of having work teams. This article also provides managers with information on how to create effective work teams in their place of business.
The Idea in a Nutshell
Teamwork is a human process and people have inherent team skills; teamwork happens spontaneously all the time, both inside and outside the workplace. Inside the workplace, however, teams are known as work teams. Work teams are groups whose members work intensely on a specific, common goal, using their positive synergy, individual and mutual accountability and complementary skills. Teams can do a variety of things. They have the ability to quickly assemble, deploy, refocus, and disband. They can design products, provide services, negotiate deals, coordinate projects, offer advice and make decisions. There are numerous benefits to having work teams, which is why most organizations today implement the use of such teams.
The Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Creating Effective Work Teams
1. There are four different types of work teams. First is the problem-solving team, which is a team from the same department or functional area that’s involved in efforts to improve work activities or to solve specific problems. Next there is the self-managed work team. This team is a formal group of employees who operate without a manager and are responsible for a complete work process or segment. The third type of team is the cross-functional team, which is a work team composed of individuals from various specialties. Finally, there is the virtual team, which is a type of work team that uses technology to link physically dispersed members in order to achieve a common goal.
2. Teams must have clear goals. If a team is to be effective, a team must have a clear understanding of the goal that they are working to achieve. Members must be committed to the team’s goals. They must know what they are expected to accomplish. Team member’s must also plan and understand how they will work together to achieve their goals.
3. Team members must have relevant skills. Effective teams are composed of competent individuals who have the necessary technical and interpersonal skills to achieve their goals while working well together. Members may have the technical skills, but they also must possess the interpersonal skills needed to work well as a team member.
4. There must be mutual trust within a team. Effective teams are characterized by high mutual trust. Members must believe in each other’s abilities, character, and integrity. Trust, however, isn’t something that is secure. Trust must be maintained and this requires work on every member’s part.
5. A team must have unified commitment. A unified commitment is characterized by dedication to a team’s goals and a willingness to expend enormous amounts of energy to achieve them. Members of an effective team are loyal and show dedication to the team. They are willing to do whatever it takes, and work their hardest, to help their team succeed.
6. Good communication is a must if a team is to be effective. Effective teams have open, participatory communication among members. Members generally know what is going on and are able to convey messages, both verbally and nonverbally, between each other in clearly understandable ways. Members also give feedback to guide one another and correct misunderstandings.
7. Team members must possess negotiating skills. Effective teams are always making adjustments and must be flexible; therefore members must be open to negotiations. It is important that members are able to confront and reconcile differences.
8. Leadership is always important in effective teams. Leaders can help motivate members to follow them through difficult situations. Leaders do this by clarifying goals, assuring that change is possible, increasing self-confidence of team members and helping members to more fully realize their potential. Effective leaders are important to help guide and support a team, but should not try to control a team. It is also important for teams to share leadership roles. Each member should feel responsible for team leadership. One person should not dominate.
9. All effective teams need support, both internally and externally. Internally, the team should have a sound infrastructure, a clear and reasonable measurement system that team members may use to evaluate their overall performance, an incentive program that recognizes and rewards team activities, and a supportive human resource system. The right infrastructure should support members and reinforce behaviors that lead to high levels of performance. Externally, managers should provide the team with the resources it needs.
10. Effective teams must be experimental and creative. Well functioning teams often experiment with different ways of doing things and encourage creativity. Creativity is important in order to think of new ideas for the future. Team members are encouraged to think outside the box.
The Video Lounge
This is a very informative video, which explains some of the benefits of creating teams and provides 9 helpful tips for building great teams.
The majority of companies and organizations today do use work teams, and I believe there is good reason for that. Teams have proven to be extremely effective and beneficial. I strongly concur with the utilization of work teams in businesses and believe they are extremely helpful and important. Humans do have natural team-building instincts and many work better when they have the support and guidance of team members. Using myself as an example, I prefer being part of a team as opposed to working on my own. I feel more motivated, confident and optimistic. I enjoy the social connection and the feeling of being part of a team, with members all working toward the same goals. While not everyone enjoys working in teams, many people do, and this is one of the many reasons teams are so effective.
Coulter, Mary, and Stephen P. Robbins. Management. 10th. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2009.
Kazemek, Edward A. (1991). Ten criteria for effective team building. Healthcare Financial Management. Retrieved from http://www.allbusiness.com/human-resources/employee-development-team-building/255479-1.html
Contact Info: To contact the author of “Top Ten Management on Creating Effective Work Teams,” please email Elinore Hanby at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
David C. Wyld (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at http://wyld-business.blogspot.com/. He also maintains compilations of his student’s publications regarding book reviews (http://wyld-about-books.blogspot.com/) and international foods (http://wyld-about-food.blogspot.com/).
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Top Ten Management on Creating Effective Work Teams: An Overview of Creating Effective Work Teams
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at 3:53 PM