The Group that Aspires to Be a Team
Making a group of workers feel as a team is a basic step to contribute to the effectiveness of the entire company. However, it is often not an easy task. In fact, the main difference of the team from the group of workers is predetermined by the connection within the group. In contrast to the team, where all members are interconnected, the group is marked the presence of the coordinator, work is the main person and directs the employees. The case of ProGlass shows that the leader may seem to do all necessary steps on the way to the team creation, but fail to make the team work. The following report is aimed to analyze the behavior of only one member of a team can signalize that the problems exist. The objectives of the paper include detailed analysis of the problems within the ProGlass working group that lead to workers’ inability to understand that they need one another, definition of the main ways to manage the team effectively together with the accompanying theories that contribute to social responsibility and effectiveness of the team, analyze the tasks of the leader in this process and define the general recommendations for the effective ProGlass team management.
Effective communication is a key to operational effectiveness. Primarily communication provides the possibility to know and understand the key changes and updates. What is more important, practically all spheres of one research are closely interconnected and need regular exchange of information in order to ensure the productivity of the proper level. For this reason, one can conclude that the behavior of one manager is the evidence of improper functioning of the entire team. Moreover, it can even be the evidence that the working group lacks some of the characteristics to be considered as a team instead of the working group. Conscious effective work, workers’ understanding that they need each other, understanding the common goals, sharing collective responsibility – all these are the features that are obviously uncommon for the behavior of Kerr Russell at the meetings (Michelman, 2004). Moreover, the regular repetition of the inappropriate behavior shows that the problem is not an accidental occurrence, but a deeply underlying inability of the leader to unify the team.
As a result, it is necessary to refer to the leader’s role in the given case. The main tasks of the leader include staying a supportive member of a team instead of only managing and directing the process. He has to lead the team, participate in work and be a part of the team instead of simply directing and dictating the rules. Putting the team members together, unifying them by showing that all are equally valued and important is the next task. The properly chosen techniques and tools have to encourage top managers and ordinary workers work for the common purposes. It is far not always possible to avoid the conflict within a multi-membered team. Hence, timely finding out the real underlying reasons of misunderstandings within a team is crucial. For instance, the example with Kerr Russell is the obvious evidence that Nick had to take some measures earlier in order to avoid he further manifestation of discontent and time waste. It is necessary to understand the importance to tackle the problems effectively, especially with regard to the fact that a company had to combat 18-months slump in sales and earnings.
The analysis of the current leader shows that he seems to be quite confident in team work management. He is self-confident, experienced to work in a team, focused on team approach to problem solving and fascinated to contribute to the company development. However, the fact that four meetings were not held due to Kerr Russell’s behavior shows that his communicative skills are not strong enough to convince one of the managers and to make decisions in time.
The problems of the ProGlass team are quite wide and cannot be narrowed only to Kerr Russell’s behavior at the meetings. It is necessary to consider the ProGlass's CEO and Kerr Russell’s close relations in order to find out the main levers of influence for the above mentioned manager. Another problem is that disrupted meetings mean the time wasted. Hence, it is necessary to find out the ways to catch up with the deadlines. Otherwise, no guarantees of mission achievements can be provided. As for the meetings, focus only on top managers can be considered as a contribution to team division. Hence, it is necessary to make the managers prepare to these meeting carefully and distribute the tasks wisely. The ideas of all team members need to be heard. Kerr Russell contributes to the belief that managers are distinguished as the higher-level workers, who dictate rules, which is a serious obstacle for the effective work of the team. Too much focus on a manager, who may turn the studies into a self-justifying monologue is another disadvantage of the sessions at ProGlass.
With regard to these problems, there are good reasons to refer to the following theories related to team motivation and management: SMART goals theory, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, teamwork theory, conflict theory and PQM implementation. As for the SMART goals, it is necessary to point out the crucial importance for the managers to define specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals during the sessions. This ideas is closely interrelated with wise CFS choice and usage. The goals always need to correspond to the above mentioned features and need to be re-considered in case of some economic or political influences. The aims always have to be clear for all team members and must be oriented for the general company welfare. As for Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there are good reasons to consider the last three stages. Unification and motivation of the workers has to be based on workers’ feeling of belonging to the team, valued in the team. Moreover, each worker has to realize the ability of professional growth on the working place, and the implementation of various moral types the motivating reward system can be effective for self-esteem and actualization of the employee. The teamwork theory is appropriate in the given case, too. Building strong team should be the core value of the company. Hence, teambuilding practices usage, improved communication and supporting connection within and between the departments are the essential contributions to the teamwork. Finally, the conflict theory provides understanding that conflicts are a part of the healthy working group consisting of diverse people. They can be useful to create a strong tem due to the ability to make the deeper problems visible and tackle the misunderstandings effectively. However, it is necessary to keep the conflicts be under careful control and interfere when necessary. The technique that can be used to ensure the proper working conditions at ProGlass is Process Quality Management. The process does not differ considerably from all other planning processes. It is based on goals identification and the activities to reach them. The process has a number of advantages that contribute to the work effectiveness and collaboration within a team. Among such, it is important such management provides responsible approach to decision-making of the important questions. Moreover, it lets the organization involve all the departments, which will provide multi-dimensional view of the issues. The organized sessions can be quite time consuming, but their main advantage is the possibility to be held off premises. Hence, it also contributes to the participants’ unification. The same discussion of the goals become the example of the collective work and emphasis on its importance even though not all company employees can be involved. Clear identification of the priorities is an important and crucial contribution of the company works, and its support by usage of the detailed critical success factors is necessary for the proper distribution of the responsibilities, efforts and overall understanding of the goals and tasks on each separate level. In addition, effective communication with customers is another formula for success of the company.
The recommendations for the company may include the further aspects. The first task of the leader is to declare that the team exists and to show that the workers have to communicate with one another and support each other. However, with the proper working environment, it is necessary to promote the disagreements that would become the mean to bring all the opinions on surface and provide better understanding within a team (Michelman, 2004). Together with such contribution to team knowledge, it is necessary to create a shared vision within the team and make people unified for the common corporate goals. It is also necessary to implement the team reward system instead of the individual one. In such a way, not only the workers would feel equally valued, but also such leaders as Kerr Russell would feel more responsibility for the reward of the entire team. Speaking about the goals, the leader’s task is to make them visual and specific. Performance expectation is an essential tool that can let each person evaluate self among others. Failure, meeting or exceeding the expectations provides the ability to perceive self as a part of the team and be able to understand personal value in this team. Communication strategy is an effective choice that can provide feedback about the performance. Being able to ask a leader about personal performance without any fears is the evidence of a strong communication within the team that would contribute to the commitment and loyalty levels. With regard to the fact that all team members should understand that they need one another and all are the irreplaceable parts of one whole, it is desirable to establish the system of reward for the team members, who support one another, update the information and potential risks within the company.
In ProGlass, the team appeared to be less than a sum of its parts, which obviously had the negative consequences for the overall functioning of the company. While from the first view, the human and material resources as well as the plan seem to be effective, in practice, the leader failed to organize the teamwork properly. The main reasons for such a situation were predetermined by the fact that the existing management system failed to provide some of the techniques and management tools. Therefore, with regard to PQM implementation, team work approach, conflict theory, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and SMART goals theory, the problems in the organization can be identified. However, careful choice of tools and practices must become effective to create the liaisons within a team, make all workers feel valued, manage time wisely and not separate the leaders from their subordinated.