Building Effective Teams

In order to be successful, a business plan including employees from several different functional areas has many things to consider to help achieve the targeted goal. The business plan will provide clear information on the objectives that can improve efficiency and communication throughout the entire project. “Not only does it provide a road map, it drastically increases the chance for success” (Guinn, 2016). The things to be considered include selecting employees, setting goals, communication, collaborating, and overall team performance.

The Functional Areas to Include within an Organizational Team

When a company creates a proposal for a new business model, the team should include members from different functional areas. This helps to achieve that the team can develop a broad perspective of organizational needs. “Teams enable better outcomes since there is a combination of multiple experiences and knowledge bases joining together to resolve issues and make decisions” (Sikes, 2010). Because they will work together for close to a year to develop a business model that supports the growth plan, this selection of employees should be based on organizational and functional knowledge, along with possessing qualities of an effective team member. The three functional areas from where one team member will each be selected to build this team plan will include the following:

Sales and Marketing:

This is the functional area that deals with developing and marketing a product’s firms to help reach the company’s goals. They also look at and analyze competitors’ strategies and products. “The sales and marketing integration have a direct and significant impact on customers and the revenue-earning potential of the organization” (Madhani, 2015). Their knowledge of the company’s products and external stakeholders make them a valuable addition to this team.

Human Resources:

This is the functional area that handles screening and hiring new employees. After hire, these employees are then trained according to company guidelines so they can work together cohesively towards the company’s goals. Human resources is also responsible for employee benefits, compensation, and workplace policies. Altogether, HR incorporates these activities – “recruitment, remuneration, training, performance management, and so on – and their overall patterns and interactions with organizational strategy” (Boxall, 2014). Their wide knowledge of employee training, behaviors, and satisfaction would bring value to the team.

Accounting and Finance:

This is the functional area that deals recording and analyzing financial data in a company. The purpose of preparation and presentation of financial statements is to “provide information about financial position and performance of the firm, its cash flows and capital changes, as well as other information that are useful to wider scope of users during making business decisions” (Isakovic-Kaplan, 2010). This information also helps to establish a budget for the company. Their knowledge of financial data, investors, and other financial policies would bring value to the team.

When employees are brought together from varying functional areas in a company, they may have different styles of work that may not be cohesive. Therefore, a good team starts by selecting people who have the characteristics needed to thrive in team setting.

Characteristics of Effective Team Members

  • They understand and are committed to team objectives.
  • They understand not only their responsibilities and roles as an individual, but also the expectations placed on them as a team.  To be a team, members must bring their work activity together into a shared and collaborative experience.
  • They utilize problem solving, collaborating with other team members through brain storming or other techniques to solve problems and develop plans.
  • They collaborate as a team, making sure to everyone’s voices and opinions have been heard and addressed.
  • They develop trust and remain open minded for individual differences and ideas.

Tools to Ensure that the Team Understands its Objectives

To help ensure all team members clearly understand its goals, a team charter should be drafted during in the earliest stage of the team development. A team charter is a plan that is developed by the team’s members that specifies the team’s direction in regards to its goals, while also setting clear boundaries. This team charter not only helps to clarify the team’s objective for internal members, but also is used by others outside of the group (ie. managers from separate departments) to help educate them on the purpose of the team.

Clear communication within the team helps keep everyone focused and headed in the correct direction in regards to the company’s goals. An initial team meeting, along with occasional meetings throughout the project’s entirety, can help keep communication open and employees focused on their roles and responsibilities in the group. When a team fails to communicate, this can lead to unclear roles and responsibilities among members and conflict within the team. A clearly defined plan for communication can help reduce these problems and sets up a team to succeed.

Strategies for Delegating Tasks

Team leaders will have to delegate responsibilities and tasks to team members to help improve the overall efficiency of the group. Effective delegation benefits individual team members and the group as a whole in the following ways:

  • “Delegation helps people to develop new skills and competence and so demonstrate their ability” (Senter, 2003).
  • It helps people become more involved and trusted at work, and also helps to show employees that they are valued members of the team.
  • It gives people a wider and more varied experience at work than they might otherwise get.
  • It enables people to attain more information and find out more about the current situation and tasks.

Resolving Conflicts among Team Members

Conflict can sometimes occur in work teams because they are comprised of many different people who each possess different personalities, behaviors, and values. It is important that possible conflict is resolved quickly in a team so communication and project growth doesn’t decrease or halt altogether. There is a wide array of approaches that can be taken to problem solve and resolve conflict within the group. The team leader can help by addressing the conflict directly with individual employees, or with the team as a whole. Team members can also collaborate together so everyone’s knowledge, experience, and skills are considered when making decision. “Some sort of compromise between individuals or sub-groups may be necessary in order to move beyond the situation” (Sikes, 2010).

Measuring the Success of the Team

Once a team is selected and work begins, it is important to routinely measure the team’s performance and outcome. This is vital not only for measuring the success of the current team and its objectives, but also to learn what can be done differently to improve productivity while reducing conflict in future teams. By measuring their team’s performance, team leaders and team members can “identify deficient work practices and subsequently develop interventions that reduce waste, improve work processes, and maximize the flow of information” (Beaubien, 2001).

The success of the team depends on how well the team members communicated and resolved possible conflicts together. To measure the success of the team, we should take a look back at the team’s initial goals. If these goals have been thoroughly met and accomplished, it is a pretty good indication that the team was a success. Data can also be gathered various ways from employees regarding the changes made by the team’s objectives. This data can then be analyzed and shared, with both the team and other stakeholders, to help make necessary changes and better decisions in the future.

Conclusion

In order to build an efficient and effective team, factors such as personality, behavior, values, and skills should to be taken into consideration when choosing individual team members. Proper training, preparation, clearly defined roles, and communication are all ways to reduce possibly conflict within the team. Team leaders play a key role in keeping employees focused and motivated on the vision and the team’s objectives. An effective team is made up of individuals who collaborate together to overcome their differences, which allows them to achieve the team’s objectives efficiently.

References

Beaubien, J. M. (2001). Measuring team performance: A step-by-step customizable approach for managers, facilitators, and team leaders. Personnel Psychology, 54(3), 754-757. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F220134065%3Faccountid%3D27965

Boxall, P. (2014). The future of employment relations from the perspective of human resource management. Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(4), 578–593. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022185614527980

Guinn, M. (2016). Your startup business plan. Arkansas Business, 33(19), 31. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F1791026691%3Faccountid%3D27965

Isakovic-Kaplan, S. (2010). CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS – MEANS AND PURPOSE OF PREPARATION: REASONS OF NOT ANNOUNCING OF CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA.Ekonomska Istrazivanja, 23(4), 162-171. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F865646964%3Faccountid%3D27965

Madhani, P. M. (2015). Sales and marketing: Integration. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 12(2), 17-28. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F1695026883%3Faccountid%3D27965

Senter, H. (2003). Delegating Effectively, Fourth Edition. Retrived from

https://viewer.books24x7.com/assetviewer.aspx?bookid=28241&chunkid=1&rowid=2#2&resumebookmarkid=058dbd92-18e1-e811-a13b-00505686029c

Sikes, B., Gulbro, R. D., & Shonesy, L. (2010). CONFLICT IN WORK TEAMS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS. Allied Academies International Conference.Academy of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict.Proceedings, 15(1), 48-52. Retrieved from http://library.capella.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F521204857%3Faccountid%3D27965

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