Ilm M3.11 Building the Team

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Unit M3.11 – Building the Team

The purpose of this assignment requires consideration of how to develop and maintain trust at work, as well as how teams are built within the workplace and what effects and concerns a manager needs to be aware of.

Teams are more than just groups of people assembled in the same area, they are a collection of individuals dedicated to a common purpose and with a series of detailed performance targets, working together with complementary skills. Teams of people are encountered in various scenarios, not just in the workplace, but also throughout life, such as sports, associations, charities and voluntary services.

Effective teams are built on trust and are developed and maintained by the manager’s understanding of each member’s role within the team during the stages of team building.

Developing and Maintaining Trust

The basis for developing and maintaining trust lies on building a rapport with your colleagues, which relies on both parties having mutual respect, and a level of empathy existing between individuals. These characteristics will lead to a certain amount of benevolence between colleagues and this is underpinned by the ability to express genuineness and the capability or capacity to be yourself consistently. When a manager combines these traits and promotes openness throughout the team, it will support the growth and balance of an effective team. Ensuring that trust is maintained within the team promotes independent working but also encourages interdependence amongst team members.

Through frequent communication with staff and team members, managers can build levels of trust by making use of both formal and informal contact by means of memos, team meetings or one-to-one appraisals. It is vital that all information is passed on in a timely manner and actions are carried out as agreed. Openness should be encouraged through face-to-face communication and confidentiality must be assured.

Confidentiality is paramount in maintaining trust between individuals as undependable members of the team leads to distrust and disharmony and unwillingness to keep others informed. Conflict between team members can prevent effective working partnerships or constructive decision being made, which can ultimately lead to frustration and a loss in morale, and an overall unproductive team unit.

Building a Team

Many people use the words ‘team’ and ‘group’ interchangeably, but there are actually a number of differences or characteristics between a team and a group in their relevance and their purpose. Teams depend on the strength of common goals and interdependence between individual members, whereas a group's strength may come from sheer volume or willingness to carry out a single leader's commands. Groups are formed quicker and easier than teams. Even within the workplace, groups could be shaped according to gender, age, experience, expertise, skills, etc. Forming a group based on a certain commonality is not particularly difficult, although the effectiveness of the groups may be variable, leading to complete compatibility or complete intolerance between individuals at a personal level, making consensus building very difficult for a leader. The success of a group is often measured by its final results, not necessarily the process used to arrive at those results. A person called to jury service for example will become a member of a group, not a team. The foreman of the jury plays the single leadership role, returning the verdict of the 11 other opinions into one unanimous decision. Since the jury members usually don't know one another personally, there is rarely an effort to build a team dynamic. The decision process for a verdict is the result of group co-operation.

A team, on the other hand, can be much more difficult to form. Members of a team may be selected for their complementary skills, not a single commonality. Teams within a Vehicle Maintenance Workshop may consist of a...
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