In the world today, it has been noted that organizations can achieve their goals and objectives by properly managing their employees and ensuring that they work as a team since, without them, no operations can take place effectively. Teamwork refers to the ability of people in a group to work together to achieve a common objective and vision. It, therefore, involves directing individual abilities within an organization so as to achieve the organizational goal that has been set (Andrew Carnegie). Teams are made up of people from diverse backgrounds and personalities, and therefore it becomes a leadership challenge for a leader to balance the differences without causing conflicts between the employees and the staff within the organization.
Team management is said to be effective when the management implements team-building activities so that members are able to bond with each other and build trust with one another. Activities such as sports, social gatherings, athletics, laser tags, and tugs of war all can be used to serve as a unifying factor for the team members. The leaders of any team must take time to help members build a team that allows them to interact freely with the outside the work environment.
A leader must have effective leadership skills by aligning the varying perceptions towards a common objective for the organization. The properly managed teams usually have very good synergetic values to offer that make the organization have a competitive advantage over its competitors. Properly managed teams have the potential to empower the organizations as the different people within the team complement each other’s efforts which in turn creates synergy. Effective teams are known to have energy that can enable them to run the operations of the organization without fear or favourism so that objectives they have aspired to do can be achieved within the stipulated period of time (Whetten, D. A., & Cameron, K. S. 2002).
The manager of the team must be able to effectively leverage the diverse backgrounds of people within the organization. People who have different talents and experiences should utilize the differential knowledge of the team for the good of the organization. One must allow people to air their opinions and differences and be able to come with different solutions for the same problems. The diversity of opinions and approaches must be encouraged in solving problems as it ultimately leads to meeting the said objectives. Exploiting diversity often allows the team to come with new and innovative ideas for the benefit of the organization in the long run. Training programs that encourage people to be more innovative should be instituted as part of the team-building efforts (Robbins, S. P. 2001).
Team cohesiveness should also be encouraged, whereby team members are encouraged to have mutual respect for one another. People must be encouraged to respect other people’s opinions as people have different ways of approaching issues. Groupthink must also be discouraged by ensuring that individuals within the team express their views and opinions openly without fear of being intimidated. A leader must allow the team members to share information amongst them and to properly collaborate so as to avoid a breakdown of communication that could be detrimental to the organizational operations.
Where some people tend to be dominating others, the leader must take the initiative to discourage that notion so as to avoid making other employees feel inferior within the group. Team members must learn to accept their equitable identities as members of the organization. The objectives and goals of the organization must also be emphasized. All members of the team must be aware of the goals of the team, which in turn should focus on the overall objectives of the organization. The clarity of the intentions of the team must be clear to all, and people must be made to feel that they are part of the whole team (Robbins, S. P. 2001).
It is important that all people that meet their set objectives are recognized and rewarded accordingly. Meetings should be held regularly to keep the members updated on any happenings and to help avoid distractions from the original objectives of the organization. The team leader must be able to gauge the perceptions of its members by regularly enquiring about the goals and objectives of the team.
Effective team management requires that a leader is in a position to manage conflicts effectively. Disputes are part and parcel of any team, but the conflicts should be solved amicably since people come from diverse backgrounds and they perceive issues from different perspectives. It is important that when conflicts occur, they must be addressed without postponing (George, J. M, & Jones, G. R. 1999).
Finally, the managers must be able to build consensus before they make any final decisions on anything any issue that comes up. Finally, a leader must be able to develop an effective feedback system for the team. Members of the team must be able to provide feedback on whatever is happening in the team, and they must also be given feedback on their performance within the team.
In conclusion, effective management of teams must be from the leaders first. They must be able to lead by example and act as motivators, facilitators and mentors to the whole team other than acting like a boss. One must demonstrate the willingness to empower the whole team so as to allow members to make independent decisions and actions.
George, J. M, & Jones, G. R. (1999). Understanding and Managing Organizational Behavior, (2nd Ed.). Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.
Robbins, S. P. (2001). Organizational behavior, (9th Ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Whetten, D. A., & Cameron, K. S. (2002). Developing Management Skills, (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.