Effective teamwork: the key to success

Effective teamwork: the key to successTeamwork is one of the special cases of delegation of authority and responsibility. In the conditions of traditional structure, the task and related powers are assigned to the owner of the workplace. The combined competence of the members of the group must ensure the solution of tasks and the achievement of goals, which are determined by the range of powers assigned to the team.

The team can consist of employees of one or different levels and divisions of the company. During the period of work in the team, all its members have equal rights and fulfill the duties arising from the goals and tasks of the team. To work in a team, it does not matter what position the employee occupies in the enterprise. Within the team, all employees have equal positions.

The rights and duties of the team members serve, on the one hand, as the basis for organizing the work within the team, and on the other, the basis for assessing the participants’ abilities in this form of work.

Responsibilities of a team member

  • Each team member is obliged to direct his forces, knowledge and capabilities to achieve the goals set for the team.
  • However, he should not, following selfish reasons, hide the ideas and decisions needed by the team, for their subsequent use at the main place of work.
  • Each member of the team is obliged to freely express their thoughts on the problems that have arisen without regard to the obligations that bind him to the head of the main place of work.
  • None of the participants in the team work should make their activity dependent on the attitude of the group to its recommendations. Moreover, every member of the team must be ready to obey the majority decision, even if this decision is contrary to his own ideas.
  • An exception is the case when, in the opinion of one of its members, a special situation arose in the team for which he does not want to be responsible. In this case, the “dissenting opinion” should be reflected in the protocol.
  • Each team member should be loyal to colleagues. He should not inform about the content of the discussions and decisions of the team of outsiders or use these decisions for personal purposes.
  • Each member of the team must treat its other members as equal partners. He must objectively analyze their ideas and express their point of view on them.
  • Tolerance and mutual respect are the most important conditions for successful teamwork.
  • Each team member is obliged to inform the rest of all about what they need to know in order to fulfill the tasks assigned to the team.
  • None of the team members can interfere with the cooperation of its members due to their own likes and dislikes.
  • In order to increase the effectiveness of cooperation, each member of the team should try to establish good business relations with the rest of the team.

Of the listed responsibilities, the rights of a team member follow.

Team member rights

  • Free to express your opinion and demand verification.
  • Require the establishment of confidential, not to be publicized, confidential relations. Thoughts, which he expressed while working in a team, should not become known to third parties. The employee can not be jeopardized by the ideas he expressed during the work in the team.
  • Obtain objective and complete information from the rest of the team.
  • Require that his thoughts are used by other team members on the side only if it does not harm the performance of tasks assigned to the team or if a special permit has been received for this.
  • Require that in the process of working in a team the principles of correct behavior are observed.

Responsibility for team work

  • The team as a whole is responsible for everything that it does and does not do.
  • The team agrees that all its members bear a common responsibility, even if they initially questioned. They can not distance themselves from the decision made by the team, referring to their objections.
  • If the team does not manage to achieve unity on a particular issue, then the decision is taken by a majority vote. In this case, the minority can add a “special opinion” to the protocol. In the future, it obeys the majority and works on the basis of the decision. In this case, the said persons, although not responsible for the decision, but are responsible for the further general results of the work obtained on the basis of this decision. The disagreement of individual members with a common decision does not relieve them of responsibility for possible consequences.
  • If the team takes a decision by a majority vote, which some of its members consider an unacceptable error for which they do not want to respond, then they must clearly state this to the team’s team. In this case, the “commander” of the team is informed, which decides on the possible expulsion from the team of the person concerned or on the recruitment of a new team.
  • In practice, it often comes to the so-called “crossroads” – a situation where it is necessary to decide which of the two directions needs to move further. If the team itself is not able to find a way out, then the “boss” must either decide which of the two ways to go, or form two teams to work on each of the directions.
  • The team leader is responsible for the results of the work to the same degree as any ordinary member of the team. For the correct organization of work, which he is engaged in as part of his activities in the team, he is responsible to her team. The dual responsibility of the leader to the team and the customer would contradict the essence of his position within the team.
  • To solve tasks that go beyond the usual process of collegial cooperation within the existing organizational structure, a superior manager or a company management must create the appropriate team and document it. Such a team, established on an ongoing basis, should be considered as a new unit. It can not be formed by one of the leaders. Adoption of an appropriate decision is the responsibility of the management of the firm or its subordinate body.
  • A specially created team is dissolved as soon as it has completed the assigned tasks. If this involves a team organized by the management of a firm or other competent body, then they must disband it.

Advantages of team work

  • The team makes it possible to solve tasks that are beyond the power of one person.
  • Creation of a team is a guarantee that the interests of all parties will be taken into account when developing a solution.
    As a result of cooperation in a team of specialists from several departments, the unilateral influence of one of the higher authorities becomes impossible.
  • When the team is working, the risk of making an erroneous decision is reduced and the danger that some important facts will not fall in the field of vision. The well-known proverb is quite applicable to the work of the team: “One head is good, but two is better”.
    The team helps to fight “industrial blindness”. What one worker does not notice out of habit, sees another, who, in turn, does not notice certain problems on his own site of work.
  • Teamwork reinforces the willingness and ability of managers of all levels to cooperate.
    The employee who has worked in the team, in the future will have less difficulty in interacting with colleagues or other units of the company.
  • The team has a positive impact on the development of qualities that are important for collegial cooperation. It encourages tolerance, order, recognition of someone else’s opinion and correct discussion, overcoming selfish views. These factors are beyond the scope of the team and affect the overall success of the firm.
  • An employee who has worked well for a team is given additional qualifications, valuable both for him and for the company.
  • The enterprise realizes ideas that would not have arisen in the framework of the usual organization of work. This is because the individual employee does not have the opportunity to find in his workplace starting points in solving a problem that goes beyond his immediate activities.
  • The team provides an opportunity for the individual worker and the whole team to maximize the creative potential and its practical implementation.
  • For large companies, the team allows more rational use of the capabilities of its professionals who are working to solve tasks that go beyond their job responsibilities.

Disadvantages of team work

  • Along with positive features, the work of the team has also negative aspects.
  • The team’s work, unlike usual work, may require additional time. The initial period, when the team members are rubbed against each other, can be quite long. A certain time is also required to find the appropriate form of teamwork.
  • The work of the team is often slow. This is particularly noticeable with a large number of teams and when working in a team concurrently. The difficulties encountered when collecting team members at the appointed time adversely affect the progress of work.
  • Discussions that arise when working as part of a team take a lot of time, especially if individual employees do not know how to handle them. Serious disagreements are possible.
  • The work of the team can lead to a delay in making the decision, since different views of participants are summarized only after lengthy discussions.
  • Anonymity of the results of work of individual team members can negatively affect the desire to work. Any member of the team, which has shown insufficient effectiveness, can “hide” for an active participant in teamwork. When working with a team, there is no incentive to sense ambition, as a single employee does not receive a personal reward for the results.
  • If the employee performs work as part of the team as an additional to the main activity, then it may be too heavy for him. Therefore, it is necessary in each specific case to consider whether this load is feasible, from what tasks and in what amount should be abandoned for the time of work in the team.
  • The expression is known: “A camel is a horse drawn by a team”. However, to argue that the work of the team leads to an inefficient waste of time, just as illegitimate as demanding the collective adoption of all decisions.

Team: the main success factors for effective work

  • Clear setting of goals and objectives;
  • Correct selection of the team;
  • Presence of the thought over system for members of a command;
  • the ability of team members to work collectively.

Image credit: Fotomek

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