Importance of Work Groups
Sometimes we over look the little things that management does to ensure our productivity and general well being as employees. One of these is the use of work groups. It’s a small thing yes, but it has big results. In some research it has proven to more than just improve productivity. You might think that working in teams means that you get to do less work. The employees are likely to grant this as an advantage and it is. Only its advantage is more than they might think. In the article Teamwork in the Workplace they spell out team to mean: T-Together E-Everyone A-Achieves M-More. So allow me to show you the way that it really helps. In teams it’s likely that they will go through 4 stages: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. (Workplaces That Work) Each stage is necessary and useful to the groups functioning. Each stage is a new step not only in their production of project but their roles as a whole evolving within the group. It’s an important view to hold. So let us take a look at what each stage entails. The first stage, Forming, starts as the team is formed. In this stage individuals desire to be accepted by others so they avoid controversy, conflict or serious issues. For now team member focus mainly on routines. At this time the members are assessing one another and the scope of the task and how to approach the task. (Workplaces That Work) The next stage, Storming, occurs as the more important issues start to be addressed. In this stage minor confrontations can arise about the team. The issues may be dealt with quickly or ignored. This is when the more astute group members will like that fact that real issues are starting to surface while others will feel uncomfortable. (Workplaces That Work) The third stage, Norming, occurs as the team becomes more established. Confrontation are now more prevalent and allow other members to get to know each other better. Roles of the group will become clearer and members will be listening to each other better and identifying themselves as part of a group. In fact in some groups the fact that so much work was invested in reaching this stage may mean group members become reluctant to change anything. (Workplaces That Work) The fourth stage, Performing, occurs as the team becomes more interdependent, even flexible. Typically team members trust each other well and focus turns completely to the task as hand. In the comfort of this stage roles can change as needed. Although this is ideal and does happen often, not all group will reach a stage like this. (Workplaces That Work) The last stage, Adjourning, is much like it sound. It’s the stage of the team when things start to wind down. Team members may movew on from the team or from the task. Team members will have a sense of achievement and with any luck a small sense of loss. (Workplaces That Work) As I’ve said the stages and how they work are important. However, equally important is what the team members get out of the experience. They get more than just a sense of accomplishment. They can learn and grow as an employee and as part of the business. There are several ways this can occur. I will explain just a few of the numerous advantages and employee and business related benefits of working in teams.
In working in teams an employee tends to learn faster. Some of the more experienced workers are able to work with the less experienced and lend their knowledge to help the team work more efficiently. It also allows for fewer mistakes to be made. (Deshmukh, 2011) However, it has been said that a team is only as strong as its weakest link. As much as this may be true, it also stands to reason that the weakest link cannot get stronger without further information. In working in teams there is power in combining the talents of many individuals and strong teams contribute more than the sum of their parts. (Workplaces That Work)
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