Table of Contents
As our textbook, Organizational Behavior: Improving Performance and Commitment in the Workplace by Jason A. Colquitt, Jeffery A. Lepine, and Michael J., Wesson mentions, “A team consists of two or more people who work interdependently over some time period to accomplish common goals related to some task-oriented purpose” (Colquitt, Lepine, Wesson, 2016). In this business administration course, we have learned a lot about improving performance and commitment in workplaces, and how to build an effective team in school and workplace in the near future through learning numerous concepts and joining lots of activities in classes. In this DMP project, our team was given the task to create a conceptual model by ourselves and illustrate our model using the theoretical perspective. Meanwhile, we need to incorporate other information from other sources and our textbook. Our conceptual model mainly points out three important elements of building a successful team. The first portion is about leadership, which includes motivating group members and using power effectively and fairly. The second part is about communication, which consists of respecting, trusting, and understanding other group members when conducting group work. The last element can be concluded as performance rate, which is about commitments and efficiency.
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Leadership is important in improving performance and commitment in workplaces. Under this element, it focuses on motivation and using power effectively. Fostering positive leadership keeps team members engaged and cohesive, thus enhancing motivation. It is proven that when individuals are happy and work with a positive mindset, the overall performance increases gradually including productivity and creativity. According to Achor (2003), business faces various challenges every day, and these obstacles result in high-stress levels. To solve this, leaders should understand what “happiness advantage” entails because cultivating a positive mindset helps in overcoming challenges when working. To be motivated, it begins from the brain and a person needs to learn how to train the brain to be positive. Even though factors such as genetics and environment can determine the happiness level of a person, developing new habits can play a major role in improving it. Next, helping team members and engaging positively with them improves the social support network as Achor states, “Strong social support correlates with an astonishing number of desirable outcomes” (Achor, n.p.). It is important to note that social networks not only assist physically but also emotionally. A leader should ensure that team members help others when overwhelmed with work, invite other team members for lunch, and also organize office activities together. Achor states, “In a study of 1648 students at Harvard that I conducted with Phil Stone and Tal Ben-Shahar, we found that social support was the greatest predictor of happiness during periods of high stress” (Achor, n.p.). Stress can be a fuel to business progression and high motivation level when approached differently. A leader should teach their team members on how to change their attitude towards stress. To counter stress positively, an individual needs to come up with a small, concrete step to finding a solution, and then push the brain to be positive and focused.
For leaders to use power effectively and fairly, it is good to note they are the fulcrum of a team since they play roles such as making critical decisions, giving direction, and motivating team members to achieve a certain goal. Dubin (n.p.) states “A single leader going out on a limb can be the start of a challenge that can transform a company’s culture and future.” A good leader will develop a strategy that will be used by the team members with a mission to complete a particular task. In cases where one of the team members cannot complete a given task, they are able to train and give an approach on how to handle the challenge (Mumford, Michael, and Frederick 154-166). Before commencing on working on a job, a leader has the responsibility to communicate clear instructions that ought to be followed. Apart from being the boss, a good leader should be humble and listen to the team member’s feedback, whether positive or negative (Adair 52). A leader is answerable to the top management, hence they should create reports indicating the progress of the project and hand them to the company. A leader should provide a comfortable working environment oriented to creative thinking. They should be a good role model and this can be achieved through doing what they say (Goleman 82-91). They should also recognize and appreciate the team members that are performing well and establish a healthy group dynamic. The most important goal for a leader is to familiarize the team with customer needs, specifications so that they know exactly what to look for while accomplishing their tasks. In coordinating the team logistics, a team leader should ensure that all the necessary tools such as furniture, equipment, and communication channels are available when required by the team members. Sharing the results with the group is important and a leader should start by sharing their own results. This will help others to be informed since most of the time, individual results depend on the general performance of the team. Developing a self-managing team can be achieved by not giving direct commands, but instead giving instructions in the form of questions, for instance, “What do you think is the best option to solve this task?”
As our textbook illustrates: “Communication is the process by which information and meaning get transferred from a sender to a receiver. Much of the work that’s done in a team is accomplished interdependently and involves communication among members, and therefore, the effectiveness of communication plays a crucial role in determining whether there is process gain or process loss” (Colquitt, Lepine, Wesson, 2016). As we all know, communicating with others is one of the most important portions of our daily lives. Not only in group work, we also need to express our ideas and communicate with others in most social activities. Knowing about your group members’ emotions and thoughts can help you a lot with dealing with different complicated situations and exchanging ideas efficiently.
Proper communication between team members is one of the most valuable assets we can bring to an organization. Communication improves efficiency and reduces misunderstanding that a team will meet every day. As Daniel and Davis write in their article, “First and foremost was the establishment, communication, and understanding of the team’s mission as a shared team agenda. The statement was a concise and explicit statement of what needed to be accomplished, including the completion date and important intermediate milestones” (Daniel, and Davis, 2009). Once a team receives a mission, they firstly need to use communication to spread and talk about those details in the mission, and then make sure every team member has perfectly understood every single element in the mission. Finally, team members need to use communication to share feedback and relevant information.
Trusting and respect are all essential components in communication. As our textbook teaches us, “For a number of reasons, such as having trusting relationships, members of teams can develop strong emotional bonds with other members of their team and to the team itself. This emotional attachment, which is called cohesion, tends to foster high levels of motivation and commitment to the team, and as a consequence, cohesiveness tends to promote higher levels of team performance” (Colquitt, Lepine, Wesson, 2016). The working environment is important in team work. Trusting your team members, and respecting your team members’ words, will make your team members feel happy and confident working with you together. Without a high level of trust, the whole team will lose connection and bond, and team members will be unable to count on each other.
However, negative communication such as misleading or unclear information will have negative effects towards the team’s goal. Negative words will bring stress and bad effects towards team members. Positive communication is useful in building an effective team. As an article written by Achor indicates, “Your attitude toward stress can dramatically change how it affects you” (Achor, 2003). Once there is positive communication within the working processes of a team, stress will be relieved, and the whole team is able to live in harmony.
Another process of the communication characteristics of making an excellent team is having a high-performance rate. As an article known as Building High-Performance Teams mentions, “When a business leader takes on a challenge that requires people to commit and perform in ways that they never had before, one of the possible outcomes might be a high-performance organization and culture” (Dubin, 2005). As we normally see, successful teams often generate high rates of performance. In our conceptual model, we consider high performance relies on the following: commitment, and efficiency. Other elements like preparation, reputation, and execution also work to some extent.
Efficiency will be one of a standard of auditing the performance of a team member. Usually, team leaders will pay attention to and emphasize a lot about team efficiency ahead of starting team work. Our team uses different ways to calculate, control, and improve the efficiency of our team. For example, we set alarms for completing a specific task. We also set schedules with specific times for our team activities. Normally, if we discuss that we will use no more than half a day to finish a work, we can actually finish it within several hours. We care about our group working time since we are all busy with our work and study. If we do not make full use of our collaborative working time, we are kind of wasting all the member’s free time. Therefore, we put efficiency at an important position in our conceptual model.
Another essential element in building a high-performance team is commitment. As Dubin mentions in his article, “The pathways to achieving the outcome emanate from the commitment” (Dubin, 2005). High performance exists in teams where members not only take on different challenges but also commit and perform in effective ways that assist in an organization’s rate of performance. Our team cares about commitments of team members. Before we started our team work, we separated the whole bunch of work into several different branches. Each member can take those parts they would like to do, and once we commit what we are going to do, and when we are going to finish them, we just follow outpace and try our best to meet all the scheduled deadlines.
Nevertheless, another nice sentence from Dubin points out what we want to express: “High performance is risky business. It’s not about just working harder or setting the bar higher. It’s about establishing new ways to work and deliver results, which means dealing with the uncertainty and unpredictability of a new approach” (Dubin, 2005). Teamwork has lots of obstacles and risks, we not only need to finish all the tasks step by step, but also need to come out with different points of views to solve difficulties that we meet. Working hard is, on the one hand, establishing new ways to work on our tasks and face all the uncertainty and risks with full preparations.
We can do it today.
In our conceptual model, effective communication among team members is a valuable asset in any organization since it reduces misunderstanding and errors that might come up. Secondly, the performance rate should be high for any team and can be achieved through a successful team that relies on commitment and efficiency. Thirdly, leadership is the core aspect of our conceptual model since having a good leader with a clear vision makes the team perform well. Teams face various setbacks that if not addressed appropriately, they may cause a business to incur losses or even shut down. It is a good approach for a leader to encourage their team members to take risks, and embrace resistance through sacrifices to implement new ways of working. Dubin (n.p.) states, “If leaders and their teams don’t assume risks and learn new ways of dealing with setbacks, they take on a far greater risk in the long run: no progress at all. Challenges that put leaders and their teams on the line move their organizations forward in dramatic ways.” Therefore, good leadership, effective communication, and high-performance rate are key pillars for a successful teamwork.
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