Essay on Analysis of Team Effectiveness
Number of words: 2621
The purpose of this report is to present an analysis of the workshop team worked with during the semester concerning its effectiveness. According to the analysis using the GRPI Model, the team’s effectiveness was above average. It met the set goals, each member played their role quite well, and we managed to work in a friendly atmosphere with close to zero-conflict issues despite not having clearly outlined procedures. According to the survey, the team’s effectiveness was influenced by four major factors, both positive and negative. By allocating roles and the team’s small size, the team grew more effective, while communication and leadership approach negatively affected the team’s effectiveness. Hence, the recommendations provided in the report relate to the two factors that hindered team effectiveness in the workshop team.
The report recommends improving communication by suggesting regular communication to reduce silence as this would motivate the members. In addition, the leadership approach to be used should be a transformational one as it enhances team effectiveness.
Teamwork is an essential aspect in any organization since, according to Irina (2016), “Organizations are much more likely to perform well, when their employees work as a team.” As long as there is teamwork, performance is likely to improve. This report examines the effectiveness of the workshop team I participated in for some time during the semester. Using the GRPI Model, we found that the workshop team was effective enough for a start and identified the factors that contributed to this positively (allocation of roles and size of team) and negatively (communication and leadership). This report includes an introductory part, a complete analysis of the team’s effectiveness, the four factors that influenced its effectiveness, and a set of recommendations for improvement, along with a conclusion.
Analysis of the team effectiveness
According to Raue et al. (2013), many aspects determine whether the members of a team, work together successfully and achieve their goals or not. As much as a team comprises many skills, abilities, and competencies, there is still no guarantee that the team can be effective, and finding a way to make sure of this is an added challenge. Teamwork in any situation goes two ways; either it is effective or ineffective. For our case, our team proved to be effective in numerous ways throughout the workshop. The members confirmed this through feedback and the outcome at the end of the project that was to be carried out. We used the GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness to weigh the level of effectiveness of our team, based on the four factors in the model; goals, roles, processes, and interpersonal relationships. The breakdown of the analysis was as follows;
Goals are a major driver of teams, and they are the primary determinant of whether the team is effective or not. As long as there are goals set right at the beginning of the project work, it is easy to compare the outcome or the work results to the goals set at the beginning of the work. However, in the absence of goals, it is not possible to tell. As a team, we started by setting our main goal, which was a success, which enabled us to have an effective team. Our level of understanding of the goals and objectives and committing to them was beyond average; according to Raue et al. (2013) fosters team development, which leads to effectiveness. According to figure 1 below, when asked through survey, all members implied our common goal: to be successful and the best.
FIGURE 1: responses to the survey question on team goal
According to McCrimmon (1995), teamwork comprises assigning roles and empowering team members to become better team players. Assigning roles alone is not enough; however, for all the members to be corporative and deliver accordingly, each member needs to be assigned. For example, as proven by figure 2, every team member was assigned roles of their own and was to ensure they did as expected. The response to the roles was above average because members concluded their parts with minimal push at the end of the day. One member may have not completely exhausted his task, but with the assistance of the other, he was able to finish his part.
FIGURE 2: responses to the survey question on role satisfaction
According to the GRPI model, processes are essential as they define the direction the team takes. Every team needs to establish decision-making and problem-solving procedures and clarify the team’s processes. Herath et al. (2017) suggest that a team needs to be organized to be in a position to solve existing problems. However, in our case, the team members had not established a clear process for such matters. Hence, we could not handle complications related to communication and leadership in the team, which negatively affected our effectiveness.
According to Podlewska (2016) research, interpersonal relationships are essential for team members who intend to work together and better their performance. In addition, fostering a friendly atmosphere is a major role of team leaders. Therefore, in as much as we had a positive interpersonal relationship in our team, to some extent, the team leader is to congratulate for creating a free environment for interaction. We managed to make interpersonal relationships work through our online meetings, which according to Zimmermann (2011), is possible, though complex in virtual teams. As shown in figure 3 below, the survey questions prove that members enjoyed working together since only one member responded with a rating of 2/5.
FIGURE 3: responses to the survey question on interpersonal relationship
Analysis of factors that influence the team’s effectiveness
According to Goodwin (2008), achieving team effectiveness has been a topic of discussion in many research activities, and it continues to expand as a concept. As a factor that influences the team’s general performance, team effectiveness is brought about or rather is affected by various other factors. While preparing for the workshop, either our team encountered some factors that positively or negatively affected our effectiveness. Some helped increase our effectiveness, while some hindered our team’s effectiveness. The breakdown of the elements was as hereunder;
Increasing team effectiveness
Allocation of roles
As a team, members had roles assigned to them from the beginning, during the first meeting. Teams cannot operate blindly without a way forward or a direction; this would result in chaos since nobody would know what to do, when to do it and how to go about it. Leaders are responsible for making the first step since, according to Hourani et al. (2019), leaders also have a significant role in respecting their followers/members. This means it is not followers only who should have roles because leaders also have the role to assign roles to team members. Wilson (2009) reiterates that “leaders have the most impact on group decisions at the beginning when they frame the team’s goal (purpose), member roles and skills they bring to the group (people), and initial strategies (process).” This means that allocation of roles is the first step to having an effective and successful team. Our team leader made sure that every member of the team was given a task and they were aware of their roles towards the success of the project. This made it easier to simplify the work, unlike burdening one person with all the work as the rest takes the credit. We were also able to learn something for ourselves.
Size of the team
According to Deeter-Schmelz et al. (2002), even though there is no clear evidence about the effects of team size on team effectiveness and performance, it remains correct that the size of the team influences team effectiveness indirectly. Fincannon et al.’s (2009) findings also supported the claims that the team size determines the team’s effectiveness. In as much as it is admirable to have many members in a team because the benefits associated with a reduced workload, minimum time spent working on a task, and many others are not easy to look away from, it is still true that the smaller the team, the easier the management of the team. In addition, it fosters a very interactive team where every member is fully involved in the task. For my team, we were only four members, which was a good number since we could keep track of all members and their activities at all times. Because we were few, we were in a better position to tell if a team member was facing a hard time with the task and managed to help where necessary. However, the small-sized team’s only downside was that one member over depended on the rest of the members to do her ask for her.
Hindering team effectiveness
The main factor that was hindering our team’s effectiveness was communication, majorly because of the diverse nature of the team; members were from different countries, meaning different primary languages. Newman et al.’s (2019) research findings indicated a direct relationship between leader communication and team performance, a factor that proves a team’s effectiveness. Communication is an essential aspect of any team, and it is a two-way traffic; leaders need to communicate to followers, and followers need to reciprocate. According to Cardon and Marshall (2014), “Gen X and Gen Y business professionals are quite likely to consider that social networking tools will be the primary tools for team communication in the future.” The future has arrived since most teams today consider social networking tools for team communication. Since we were from different regions, our team relied on social networking tools, specifically google docs, SlideShare, and other tools for communication. This helped a lot; however, not as effective as anticipated because we were from different cultural backgrounds and spoke different languages, which affected our communication. Despite the leader trying to communicate often, some members were rarely responding and this caused major delays in submissions.
Leadership and structure
We may have defined who would lead the team from the beginning and probably made the right choice; however, the team leader’s leadership approach may not have been as forthcoming as it should have been. He was absent in some instances, and this affected time and performance. These observations reflect the findings of Rebelo et al.’s (2018) work that the team leader’s approach determines the team’s effectiveness, especially a transformational leadership approach. In addition to these findings, Hu et al.’s (2017) work suggest that shared leadership influences performance in teams, which was not displayed in our team. One of the members, the team leader, always insisted on doing most of the work. This seemed to offend other members, which affected our level of interaction during discussions since one member dominated.
Communication is key to the effectiveness of a team, and it is very crucial for every member, including the leaders, to always keep everyone in the loop, a factor that, according to Hill and Bartol (2018), means to “maintain regular communication with team members, and avoid lengthy silences.” The number of meetings should increase, and the team leader needs to check on his members regularly to ensure progress and connection. This also helps enhance a healthy relationship. In addition, the leader should start communicating more regularly to break prolonged silence which leaves members questioning the process. All members will become more active through this since the leader is also active and improves team effectiveness.
Secondly, the team leader needs to change his approach to leading. He often dominates discussions and does not give the members a chance to contribute, which kills their morale and reduces how much effort they end up making towards the work. The leader needs to adopt a transformational leadership approach since it results in increased team effectiveness. According to Rebelo et al. (2018) findings, transformational leadership has an indirect positive effect on team performance, reflecting its effectiveness.
In conclusion, according to our general observation and the results from the survey conducted on all team members, our team’s effectiveness was quite average, but not yet what was anticipated. Using the GRPI Model of Team Effectiveness to weigh the level of effectiveness of our team, we determined four factors that affected our team’s effectiveness (both positively and negatively). With these findings, this report presents two broad recommendations on leadership and communication as the main factors to change for improved team effectiveness. As long as the two recommendations are implemented in any future team, all facets are held constant; the chances are high that the teams will be more effective. Therefore, it is essential to note that a team is only effective if there is consistency in communication and when the exemplary leadership approach is used.
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