The critical moment in the effectiveness of the team is its ability to achieve useful results.
The roles must be balanced, the relations must be built, the goals must be defined, the methods of work must be specified, an adequate organizational culture and a sense of common belonging must be developed.
The immediate result is an energetic and fruitful climate in the team.
An effective team must be built methodically and consciously. Of course, this cannot be done without the active participation of senior management, which must make strategic decisions in this direction, such as choosing an adequate organizational structure. Reference: “Organizational structure: types and functions”, https://phron.org/organizational-structure-types-and-functions/
The exact parameters of effective leadership depend on the degree of maturity of the team itself. An open approach is particularly important. All issues affecting the team should be discussed to receive feedback and take time to clarify expectations. A high degree of openness is one of the most important characteristics of the team approach. Reference: “Team work and problems in the management of organizations”, https://projectmanagers.edublogs.org/2021/07/23/team-work-and-problems-in-the-management-of-organizations/
In theory and social practice, there are different criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of teams. Based on Woodcock and Francis’ research over the past thirty years, it has been concluded that effective teams are those who have gone through the process of formal or informal construction and who have dealt with eleven key aspects of functioning and performance.
If one of these criteria is missing or underdeveloped, the team is not able to realize its full potential. In summary, the eleven requirements that make up the block of team effectiveness are:
One of the main advantages of an effective team is its ability to use the combination of talents and capabilities of its members.
The first step in building a team is selecting the right participants. Some of them are highly qualified and have many years of experience, while others are just beginning their development. However, they must all contribute to the common goal and strike a balance between them.
By analyzing the roles, each of which makes a significant contribution to team building, conclusions can be drawn as to why some teams succeed and others do not. Reference: “The teams in the modern management”, https://projectmanagers.joomla.com/15-the-teams-in-the-modern-management.html
The role analysis includes not only the formal position but also reflects the expectations of the team members in the process of joint activities. The balance is achieved through a discussion of roles and a negotiation process functionally rather than statically.
The immediate result is the adaptation of the roles so that they satisfy both the individual needs and the requirements of the specific task.
Clear goals and agreed results
This criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the team is fundamental. Team members can work constructively and make decisions about which actions are important and adequate when the goals are specifically defined rather than abstract.
This is only one side of the process. Everyone needs to be convinced of how the result will be achieved. Reconciling goals is an ongoing process. Reference: “The place of the manager in the management process”, https://projectmanagement.cloudaccess.host/the-place-of-the-manager-in-the-management-process/
It is in vain to hope that every member of the team will be equally convinced of the rightness of a goal.
There will always be differences of opinion and conflicting interests, so it is important to develop mechanisms to discuss points of view.
In the complex environment in which trade operates, where many variables remain unknown and factors change rapidly, it is difficult to specify end goals. This puts additional emphasis on the team’s ability to specify its goals.
The main characteristic of ineffective teams is that they cannot develop the ability to work together, take risks, clarify their goals and achieve results in a complex and uncertain environment.
Openness and confrontation
Effective teams can deal with confrontation and promote a high degree of openness among their members. Reference: “The groups in the organization and their effectiveness”, https://www.vbprojects.org/the-groups-in-the-organization-and-their-effectiveness/
This quality of team relations is built based on the following principles:
- Identify the problem.
- Encourage to express all points of view.
- Passive listening, ie. without defending one’s position.
- Identify areas of difference.
- Identification of common positions.
- Solving the problem.
Support and trust
Support is not just personal sympathy, but real assistance is problematic and critical situations.
Trust is one of the deepest human emotions and takes a long time to build. It is the result of accumulated experience.
In the context of the team, it is essential to build a climate of support and trust. Otherwise, real preconditions are created for the formation of pseudo-teams.
Cooperation and conflicts
Cooperation is an important feature of the team approach. It is perceived as a joint effort to achieve the agreed results. This requires team members to set common goals for their own beliefs and to share skills and information unreservedly.
A mature and effective team will focus all its resources on providing practical and moral support to its member when he is in difficulty.
Cooperation involves the development of mechanisms that enable team members to work together during decision-making.
As cooperation grows, the team develops skills to use conflicts constructively and positively. in this sense, conflict is a means of progress. The main stages in conflict resolution are synthesized as follows:
- Identification of controversial issues.
- Discussion on controversial issues.
- Clarification of roles and expectations, specification of the desired outcome.
- Promoting an open and comprehensive dialogue on contentious issues.
- Analyze differences and find a common point of view.
- Reaching an agreement and drawing up a plan for overcoming difficult situations.
Team members have different functional or specialized responsibilities. This requires that the procedures for clarifying roles, channeling communications, and organizing working relationships be pre-defined.
Effective decision-making in a complex trading environment implies adequate use of available information, communication, and problem-solving skills.
The teams operate in conditions of high risk and uncertainty, which requires periodic review of procedures and development of a flexible system for change and interactions.
This problem is greatly underestimated by pseudo-teams and this is one of the reasons why they do not provide maximum return on resources.
Adequate leadership style
Research in social practice shows that there is no universal leadership style suitable for every situation. Effective leaders adapt to changing circumstances and the nature of the team.
Their main characteristic is the ability to solve problems and focus on specific results. Developing stereotypical leadership models outside the specific context is unacceptable.
The leadership style is determined by the abilities and attitudes of the team members. When there is less desire to perform a task, then the leader needs to spend more time controlling and manage.
Conversely, when motivation is high, he will encourage team members by expanding work roles and delegating decision-making rights.
Analyzes of the team’s performance are important for the development of its competencies. They must be objective and impartial. The team increases its efficiency by periodically rethinking the work and realistically assessing missed opportunities.
The team is a natural addition to individual development and realization. In practice, however, the opportunities for growth of team members are directly determined by the adopted organizational structure.
For example, the linear structure does not create real conditions for growth in the hierarchy, since there is no direct contact with the center, ie. senior management.
The participants in the team are isolated and the issue related to their professional development is subjective. This sense of remoteness is heightened when team members do not fully understand the direction or strategy of the trading company.
On the other hand, matrix and network structures lack different indicators for titles, statuses, and hierarchy. They are the adequate model that balances individual growth with team effectiveness.
The high degree of contact provides an opportunity for a real assessment of the achievements. Inter-team relationships are an important area often overlooked by senior management. Of course, in order to achieve their goals, teams must cooperate.
Good inter-team relationships have the following advantages:
- A high degree of influence on the trading company.
- Easier exchange of information.
- The problem-solving process is facilitated.
- The work environment is stimulating and creative.
The main indicators of adequate intergroup relationships are similar to those in an effective team. Of particular importance are trust, openness, cooperation, clear procedures. In addition, each team needs to understand not only their role in the organization but also the roles of other teams in it.
Good communication is especially important for team effectiveness. The main requirement for team members, in addition to the objective dimensions of competence, is communication.
It is related not only to the accurate perception and transmission of information but also to the ability to maintain contacts at different levels, stimulating the effectiveness of interaction and successful teamwork.
Deteriorated communication is often a cause of chaos in the trading company, especially if there is a discrepancy in the main channels of communication.
The inability of team members to navigate the communication process constantly causes conflicts and behavioral crises.
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Despite the general recognition of the need for teams in management, commercial, and other companies and organizations, in theory, and social practice there are some negative attitudes towards the application of the team approach.
Three main reasons explain these resistance forces and reluctance – a lack of conviction that teams are the only alternative; individual discomfort and risk; weak organizational ethics for excellence.
There are still leaders who believe that teams are extremely applicable in unpredictable situations and ineffective in a sustainable environment, as their members waste time in unproductive meetings and discussions and generate more confrontation than constructive results.
Others believe that teams are probably only useful in terms of social connections between people and inadequate when it comes to work or decisive action.
On the one hand, the management has a correct, positive understanding of the teams, but in practice, it fails to apply it. For example, team leaders formulate goals, but they are neither general nor realistic.
A team is not just any group of people who work together to achieve common goals.
The main feature that distinguishes real teams from non-teams is the exclusive focus on the result and not on the perfection of the performance.
The lack of understanding and neglect of the main characteristics of the team of parts explain the lack of confidence in the potential and the need for teams in the management of commercial companies.
Teamwork is a risky endeavor and an additional burden in terms of individual development.
Different approaches to achieving team goals can cause conflict situations or disputes. Most individuals have values that favor individuality over group forms.
Personal responsibility and self-preservation remain the rule, and shared responsibility based on trust in others is the exception.
If organizations do not have strong ethics for excellence, the transition from individually based management structures to team-oriented is practically impossible.
Of course, some teams will always succeed, regardless of expectations, but they will be an exception.
Teams are not a solution to every existing or future need of a trading company. The existence of teams has value only when they are designed based on specific needs and adequate cultural attitudes.
Since almost every business company faces certain specific challenges, it is considered that senior management should actively impose a team approach in management, because teams are the most practical and powerful tool available to management, and they are the main structural unit of the organizations of the future.