Defining the Work Team
The Work Team is a small group of people with complementary abilities that interact directly, committed to a common purpose, work objective, and planning and with shared mutual responsibility.
Characteristics of the Work Team:
- They are formed by different people with different experiences, ages, attitudes, etc. For what they need to know.
- Interaction between the different members, relate and communicate.
- They pursue the same purpose or objective.
- There is a feeling of belonging to the team.
- With rules established by all.
- Different roles: each person represents a role and a role in the team.
Transformation of the group to Work Team
A team is a group of people who share a name, a mission, a history, a set of goals or objectives and common expectations. To convert a group into a team, it is important to choose a process in which phases related to the following concepts are explored and elaborated:
- Cohesion. Groups have the cohesion to the extent that being a member of one of them is considered positive, and members are attracted to the group.
- Assignment of roles and norms. The groups distribute tasks to their members and establish criteria although this is not explicitly explained. Rules are the rules that direct the performance of group members.
- Communication. Good interpersonal communication is important for the improvement of any type of task. Groups can have working styles that help or hinder communication. You can perform activities where these styles are analyzed.
- Definition of objectives. It is important that the members of the team have common goals concerning the work of the team and that each one can clearly explain their objectives.
- Interdependence. The members of the group need each other, and each one relies on the work of the others with whom they interact day by day. Keep in mind that: true teamwork is where the whole is much more than the sum of the parts.
Conditions that the members of the Work Team must meet:
All the members of the team must know that they are part of a group; they must fulfill each one with their role without losing the notion of the team. To do this, they have to meet the following characteristics:
- Be able to establish satisfactory relationships with the members of the team.
- Be loyal to yourself and to others
- Have a spirit of self and constructive criticism.
- Have a sense of responsibility to meet the objectives.
- Have the capacity for self-determination, optimism, initiative, and tenacity.
- Have a concern for continuous improvement to achieve improvement.
Evolution of the Work Team
The Work Team, being formed by a group of people, is something alive that transforms and evolves in time until reaching a certain level of maturity. Throughout that transformation and evolution, we can differentiate different stages:
- Creation and orientation. In the first moments, it may happen that the members of the team do not know each other, or did not work together in advance. This initial stage is a stage of knowledge, and it is the responsibility of the coordinator or leader to dissipate all doubts by setting the objectives of the group and the way of working.
- Establishment of rules of conduct and responsibility in a shared and consensual manner (communication and cooperation between the members, taking charge of the problems, etc.).
- Conflict resolution. When the group is already known, it is normal that conflicts arise among its members. The coordinator should promote a good working climate and propose different alternatives in order to overcome possible conflicts.
- Efficiency and performance Once the conflicts are over, and the team reaches a certain degree of maturity that allows them to face the challenges and achieve the objectives set with creativity and efficiency.
Why does the Work Team fail?
Reasons why a Work Team fails many times:
- Goals not clear. The goals focus and channel the participation and strength of each member of a team in one direction. If there is no clear goal, the members do not cohere, and the performance of the team is not increased. Teams are established when there is a complete and shared goal.
- Lack of Management support. This way of working can only be successful if the heads of the organization are convinced and trained to lead by example.
- Team ineffective leadership. Members of newly formed teams feel uncomfortable because they are used to working alone and success depends only on them. In this stage of the team, the leader must be managerial and resolve conflicts, draw initial goals and train the team. As team members gain confidence among themselves, they exhibit a higher level of cooperation and improve their relationships. Then, the leader has to abandon his managerial style and convert it into a participative one. The leader must vary his management style according to the degree of sophistication reached by the team.
- Individualities, when we work in a team, individualities, and variations, reveal themselves. We focus on being unique, on doing things our way, on standing out, on competing, hindering teamwork. Working in a team indicates serving, stop thinking only about our benefit. Only in this way will we contribute to forming a true team.
How to prevent possible problems in the Work Team?
- To deal with the problems within the team, any kind of problem should be dealt with talking to the team as soon as possible, trying not to amplify the problem.
- Avoid separating a member of the team, as it is very important to maintain the cohesion of all team members. That’s why you need to meet the group at least once a week to discuss the problems and try to solve them creatively.
- Always keep in mind that the success of teamwork is the responsibility of all the members that make it up.