Many tasks in your career area require the use of teams. Today, more and more companies are depending on groups of employees from different departments to work together as a team to complete projects or reach certain goals for the organisation. Often these people have no prior association with each other, yet they are expected to establish communication, trust, mutual support and high degree of interdependence. Characteristics of the most productive teams are as follows:
- Share common purpose of goal
- Build relationships based on trust and respect
- Balance task and process
- Plan thoroughly before acting
- Involve members in clear problem solving and decision making procedures
- Respect and understand each other’s diversity
- Value synergism and interdependence
- Emphasize and support team goals
- Reward individual performance that supports the team
- Communicate effectively
- Practice effective dialogue instead of debate
- Identify and resolve group conflicts
- Very levels and intensity of work
- Provide a balance between work and home
- Critique, regularly and consistently, the way they work as a team
- Practice continuous improvement
The best teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, they trust individual team members’ commitments to deadlines and performance levels and genuinely understand, like and respect those on the team.
However, not all teams are like this. Many responsibilities of your job are now labeled as projects and are carried out by teams made up of people with multiple reporting structures. Team members may have a manager to whom they report for performance and salary reviews or promotions. In addition, they may be responsible for several teams, each of which has a manager somewhere up the ladder who is responsible for the overall performance of the team.
McKee, S.L. and Walters, B.L., 2002. Transition management: A practical approach to personal and professional development. Prentice Hall.