Teams are a composition of individuals who come together to pursue a common objective. The fact that organizations heavily rely on teams is a testament of their significance. Each employee depends on fellow workers in contributing towards the performance of organizational tasks. The truth is that, no employee is capable of working alone. It has been suggested that the efficiency increases within organizations when employees work together, as opposed to working individually. This explains why individuals who harbor similar specialties and interests come together to form working teams. As an illustration, a sales team would have individuals who like branding or marketing activities. Thus, a human resource specialist may fall out of place if she/he is found in a sales team. Scholars opine that organizations that possess well-organized teams attain more success.
It is remarkable that most organizations pursue profit motifs. This implies that there are targets which organizations are striving to achieve. Failure to meet targets may lead to an inability to generate required revenues. Similarly, tasks need to be completed within the designated periods. One individual may find difficulties when trying to make decisions and look for solutions to problems. Put differently, individuals need others to share ideas on how to approach different concerns. In teams, members are influential in decision-making and problem solving, since they positively contribute. Additionally, the quality of decisions is high in teams, because the possibility of exploring alternatives always exists.
Teams facilitate a faster accomplishment of tasks within organizations. When executing tasks, an individual is likely to take more time if she/he is singlehandedly expected to do everything. On the contrary, when individuals work with others, responsibilities are shared, an aspect that leads to a reduction in work pressure and workload. This is possible since members of a team are assigned bits of responsibilities based on specialization and interest, an aspect that paves way for higher levels of the efficiency.
When teams are working, the chance to undermine organizational objectives is minimized. For instance, when only one employee is serving an organization, during times of leave due to sickness or holiday, an organization is likely to suffer a substantial loss. Unlike in this case, teams have members who can replace others. In such a scenario, absence of a single member would not lead to a serious setback to an organization in terms of the performance.
Teams encourage competition. Competition is a key attribute that spurs productivity among workers. As such, in teams, members compete. In the process of competition, levels of productivity increase, leading to growth in the overall output of an organization. This view holds since, when an individual works harder, she/he increases the productivity. An increase in individual levels of productivity translates to an overall increase in an organizational performance. Teams have also been found to be significant in shaping work relations. In teams, individuals are bound to work with each other. Thus, coordination is required. Teamwork also contributes towards the reduction of conflict, as each individual is encouraged to support another. Most importantly, working collectively promotes the development of each member as every person learns from others.
The task of managing teams is highly demanding. As such, it is a challenge that executives or organizational leaders should take with caution. Challenges range from selecting right individuals, deciding members’ roles, communication channels, motivation, etc. In managing teams, the worth of delegation is underscored. Irrespective of skills a manager possesses, delegation is an indispensable attribute in management. Having a team implies that no single person does anything on their own. Therefore, it is necessary to delegate effectively.
When delegating, the first step is to match people with tasks. This implies that a manager of a team needs to explain the role of the team to members first. The most desirable way to go about this is to establish a team charter that sets out objectives of the team and approaches to be used. This would prove beneficial as it guides the team to understand the course of action.
Motivation is a primary concern in team management. Thus, a manager of a team needs to motivate members. Fundamental assumptions that one makes regarding the workplace influence how motivation is done. If manager believes that members of a team are lazy, then, using a hard approach is preferable, and vice-versa. However, when dealing with highly self-motivated individuals, manager would have an easy task.
Developing a team is also an essential aspect that a manager should consider. This stems from the notion that teams have individuals with different abilities, as well as outlooks. Similarly, employees may be at different stages in their careers (Phillips, 1983). The implication is that different tasks that are assigned may present different challenges and, thus, support is required. Manager should understand the time to use hands on approach and other approaches. The bottom line is that manager should ensure that each worker delivers the most desirable level of performance. Skills that a manager displays in executing a task are critical in determining the long-term success of an organization. This is achievable if manager helps members of a team to perform better. In this regard, manager should ensure to give regular feedback to members. Feedback, whether positive or negative, is instrumental in spurring members to higher levels of performance.
Communication is often seen as a key contributing factor towards organizational effectiveness. Communication skills influence success in various roles. However, managers need techniques and skills in order to manage teams successfully. Manager needs these attributes to communicate with both team members and people outside a team. Leading regular meetings becomes a primary task of team leaders. Since some workers perceive meetings as a time wasting, a leader needs to master the required skills to convince workers on the necessity of holding them. Moreover, in meetings, a facilitator is required, as a team leader, skills are required to carry out this role as desired. The leader would also need to develop listening skills in order to understand whatever issues other members raise.
First-line supervisors have often played a significant role. First-line supervisors occupy the first tier on the supervisory ladder and are, in most cases, tasked with discharging change management. This view is held in reference to the notion that first line supervisors are the ones who oversee the policy implementation within organizations. First-line supervisors also ensure that subordinates conduct business as by regulations that are set by an organization. This primarily implies that change management is a primary concern of first-line supervisors, since they are expected to oversee implementation of policies. In practice, policies are a form of change, since they show the overall framework that an organization uses to approach emerging and ongoing tasks.
It is also observable that first line supervisors act as a bridge between management and line staff). Thus, the first line manager has a decisive role to play in change management, since he is tasked with the role of acting as communication agent between management and line staff. Supervisors facilitate such communication on a regular basis. Since new ideas or ways of doing business must be communicated, the first line-supervisors play a pivotal role in change management through communication. In the same way, first line supervisors are able to realize issues that affect workers. Since they link workers and management, the first line supervisors are able to act as change agents by presenting any grievances that workers may raise. When management also devises mechanisms to respond to workers’ demands, the first line supervisors play a critical role in influencing or introducing changes. First line supervisors are able to uncover the low morale among line staff, establish a procedure or policy that is not working as anticipated, improve staffing patterns or propose changes to programs.
First line supervisors are often first to report about emergencies. As such, supervisors are among the first people to take action. Since taking action in emergencies may entail changing how work is done, first line managers are able to influence change, thus, its management. While attending such scenarios, the first line supervisors employ their education, knowledge and skills to respond. Thus, actions that are taken by line staff are a reflection of the experience of the first line supervisors. Moreover, implications of the action that is taken in such instances are that line managers are influential in the managing change.
It emerges that the first line supervisors are critical in the process of change management. Thus, the first line supervisors need to enhance their communication, report writing, conflict management and emergency management skills to enable them to contribute meaningfully towards managing change. In addition, line managers are obliged to develop their administrative discipline and remain well versed with both organizational procedures and policies. Most importantly, the first line supervisors are expected to have a comprehensive grasp of an organization’s goals and mission. For the first line supervisors to succeed, an organizations’ management needs to train and equip its members appropriately.