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Managing Effective Teams

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Managing Effective Teams

Hannah M, Haggins

Axia College

MGT 245

Organizational Theory and Behavior

Profesor Robert Peart

January 27, 2008

Effective Teams

Part of being a manager for a company is managing teams. These teams can be created for many different reasons and can have various goals put upon them. Companies want managers that are capable of constructing teams that can effectively meet goals and set standards. The four types of work teams most commonly found in organizations are: problem-solving, self-managed, cross-functional, and virtual. In completing the simulation for this course, I will use cross-functional work teams as a foundation for my investigation of effective team management.

There are four relative features that make up an effective team. These factors are situation, work, work design and process. Within these factors are workings that a manager can employ to ensure team efficiency. The components also help a manager better understand his team and how he can help them reach their goals when off-track (Robbins, 2005, p278).

"’In general, there must be a very clear sense of what the team is trying to accomplish and a timeframe to accomplish it in,’ advises Michael E. McGrath, a principal at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & Mc-Grath (PRTM) in Weston, MA (Craft, 1995).”

In the simulation for the course on effective teams there is a timeline and specific goal. The objective is to come up with groundbreaking ideas that will put the auto company Luxurion ahead of its competition. This work team will be cross-functional because once the goal is achieved each member will return to work in his or her designated area within the company.

The first part of the simulation is the selection process in which managers choose members for the team. Managers are given seven individuals to decide from to create a team of five. The model clearly has its idea of what the �best team’ is, and that will be discussed later on. For now, I will go over the members that I chose during my first run of the simulation.

I chose Petra for the assessor/advisor position, Amrita for the creator, Marcell as controller/organizer, Janice as the promoter/maintainer, and Harvey as the linker/producer. Selecting well-suited individuals for the positions available in a team is essential. Incompatibility can create unnecessary interruptions within the team. The selection of members in a team is part of the composition aspect of making a successful team.

Another rule to take into account when constructing a work team is the diversity of the employees within the company. Overlooking this tip could be foolish.

According to an article written by Shari Caudron: The decision to reorganize employees into work teams has to be carefully considered in the context of diversity issues. If not, the reorganization may become self-defeating, as heterogeneous

teams tasked with giving employees more responsibility in work management degenerate into homogeneous teams made up of like-minded members who are divided by race or work status or educational background. To avoid such a situation, companies must first come to terms with the diversity of their workforce. (1994)

According to the simulation, my preferences were not the �best’ choice to make the �best’ team. I only misplaced two individuals. I should have used Petra for the linker/producer and John for the assessor/adviser. Why did I make the decisions that I made?

I believed Petra would be best for the assessor/advisor position because of her experience as a trainer. According to the simulation this position was to a degree about design and keeping people hungry for more information and ideas along those lines. I chose Amrita for the creator position because of her experience and highly admired past designs. Marcell was the natural choice for the controller/organizer position. All the coworkers praised him on his ability to take charge and keep people on track. Janice’s likeness to getting what she wants made her my promoter and maintainer. She will be able to sell the ideas when she needs to and work with the team in order to have the best product. I chose Harvey for the linker/producer because of his capacity to be a “jack of all trades”. His prior experience in manufacturing and production made him an obvious candidate. Did my personal preference create an unconstructive outcome for the team?

I had one different result than I would have if I had chosen the �best’ team. This is the situation that I faced and how I decided to handle it. The team was becoming angry because Petra was being picky, constantly reminding the team of things to do when they already knew what to do, and being skeptical of the team. I went to the next meeting and provided positive feedback and praise to the team. By doing this I created a climate of trust that would tell Petra that she did not need to be uneasy about the team’s performance. I also followed up by talking to Petra privately to address her concerns directly and take away her worry. This put an end to the nitpicking, which helped the entire team and their cohesiveness.

This part of the simulation deals with the effective team management features of situation and process.

Another section of the simulation made forced me to decide how to direct an individual’s performance. The following is an account of the scenario and the decision that I made based on the information given. Amrita seemed to be pushing her schedule on the team. Several team members came to me about this, and I decided to address the issue as a team in a team meeting. I gave Amrita thanks for being willing to share her designs. I also made it clear that the team must explore other alternatives as well. By giving Amrita the acknowledgment she was seeking as an incentive allowed her to gain exposure in the design field and recognized that her ideas helped the team. This scenario was made up of the effective team management factors of situation, composition, and work design.

In an article written by Tricia Svelha the idea of individuality is important in the effectiveness of a work team. She writes: Since effective teams are those that prioritize team goals, individuals

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