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Performance of Teams

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Performance of Teams Work teams seem to be the latest fad in today's business environment. We have teams for quality improvement, teams for customer service, performance management teams, and the list goes on. Companies of every size are striving today to team up employees for increased productivity, better customer relations and simplified structure. They encourage them to focus on generating the desired results. In order to reach the objectives, the key to effective teams is to know why and for what purpose the employees are called together. Once the team's objectives are placed above individual goals, success can be achieved. The group is likely to take pride in its performance and become more goal-oriented and committed to the team. The acronym, PERFORM, summarises the behaviours that are necessary for a group to become a high performing team. This is the fourth stage of a team coming together. When I first started college, I found it quite daunting because I had not been for 10 years and also because I was starting a course which I knew nothing about and was about to meet my lecturers and fellow students who all came from different backgrounds. This was the 'forming' stage for us all. For the first couple of weeks we all just listened to the lecturers and did not want to speak out in front of the group but would happily chat to each other on a one to one level. ...read more.


There are seven characteristics of an effective team according to a study conducted by Don Carew, Eunice Parisi-Carew and Ken Blanchard of Blanchard Training and Development. They are purpose and values, empowerment, relationships and communication, flexibility, optimal productivity, recognition and appreciation, and morale. The first characteristics are purpose and values. Members of teams share a sense of common purpose. They are clear about what the teams "work" and why it is important. They can describe a picture of what the team intends to achieve, and the norms and values that will guide them. Purpose defines what the team is to accomplish and the values and norms define how. They have developed mutually agreed-upon and challenging goals that clearly relate to the team's vision. Strategies for achieving goals are clear. Each member understands his or her role in realising the purpose and values. Values play a major role in leadership and teams as it provides the basis and pathway for leaders and team members on how they think, act and behave. This can also work in a negative way if the team leader has bad values i.e. Adolf Hitler who had greed, glutton and coercive power values embodied in him. Although Hitler had loyal followers to him, he would not stay on top for long as people could see through his ingenuity; they could see a gap between what he said and what he practised. ...read more.


At any given time, the task of standardised work analysis might be delegated to a team leader or a team member, but everyone understands the analysis process and can participate in it. K. Grahame Walker, as quoted in Industry Week (Nov. 18,1991), says he advocated doing away with the term empowerment in favour of another word - participation, contribution, involvement, or responsibility. Why? Because Walker says, some employees define empowerment as doing what they want, when, how, why, and if they want. However, what I have seen in reality is that employee empowerment is a fake. People are told that they have power and responsibility, but in fact, in most of the decisions they are dependent on their boss, which eventually lowers morale, erodes leadership credibility, and creates hostility and opposition. The underpinning argument is that today we constantly talk about downsizing, de-layering, rightsizing, flattening, business process re-engineering as cost saving devises but with our existing hierarchical and bureaucratic system, are we really achieving our cost saving targets. I feel that with the introduction of the above mentioned buzzwords in our today's business strategy we are not doing any justification to our customers who keep complaining about the service standards due to the shortage of, and inadequately empowered staff, which hinders effective performance in a world characterised by perpetual novelty and change. Only the true application of the principles of employee empowerment can enable businesses to cope with the new environment. ...read more.

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