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necessary to succeed; (6) When members of the team aren't working coop-
eratively, well-functioning teams have the skill to determine who should go,
who should stay, and who should be added to the team to make it work.
Teams need to understand boundaries or the process becomes chaotic.
This has been a real problem in organizations that give workers maximum
autonomy, as in university settings where getting faculty to keep posted
office hours can become contentious. Boundaries and rules apply to every-
one, and the team works only when everyone accepts them and behaves
accordingly. The team needs positive feedback and recognition to function
well. Singling out individuals rather than focusing on group achievement
can, in some cases, cause a loss of morale and increased team conflict. Care
needs to be taken in the way feedback and rewards are given by praising
the work of the group before mentioning specific workers.
It is important to identify reasons the team is or is not working well and
to create indicators that tell us where the team does well and where it
doesn't. The indicators should be developed in part by the team so it can
own up to problems but still reap the benefits of positive results. The indica-
tors, however, should be bottom line indicators that really matter. In an arti-
cle written on merit pay Glicken (1986) points out how well workers can
develop indicators of performance that are irrelevant and that end up mak-
ing poorly performing workers look positively marvelous.
LaFasto and Larson (2002) interviewed 6,000 team members and team
leaders to find out what made teams work well. Their conclusion is that
team leadership is the key ingredient in successful teams and that the fol-
lowing six dimensions of
team leadership influence successful
team
functioning:
￿ The ability of leadership to focus on the goal, otherwise the issue of
performance gets confused.
￿ A willingness to develop a collaborative climate, because it makes
communication safe.
￿ The capacity to build confidence, because confident workers are crea-
tive and productive and add to the team's overall performance.
￿ The ability to demonstrate sufficient technical know-how so that team
members can come to the leader for solutions to problems that might
be outside the team's knowledge base.
￿ The ability to set priorities, otherwise important issues related to the
function of the team might get lost.
￿ The capacity to manage issues of performance, otherwise the team
begins to lose its level of achievement.
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