Introduction: Organizations are discovering that teamwork help them gain speed, shed unnecessary work and consistently deliver eye popping gains in productivity and job satisfaction. It is necessary to organize interdependent work functions and business processes into teams and challenge team members to reach important business objectives like quality or customer service. It is important to give teams autonomy to get things done and team members an opportunity to develop and grow. Executives vigorously pursuing productivity and quality objectives have concluded that they have over structured things.
By merging previously specialized job functions within work teams, they are gaining both efficiency and effectiveness. Teams are increasingly popular as a standard operating procedure to organize and managing work. But managing a team to successful completion can be challenge. There is no easy formula for managing people on teams. Ultimately our management strategies are based on an understanding of people and of what makes them tick. To manage the members of team, manager must understand the fundamental nature of human behavior and appreciate other people’s motivation. Since management is concerned with getting others to perform tasks, a careful study of motivation is required. This paper will identify and discuss the motivational benefits and disadvantages of using teams in organizations.
Teams Defined: Every member of an organization is a member of a smaller team or a different number of teams and one can view an organization as a collection of teams. Every member of the organization plays a number of roles within both the organization and each team to which he or she belongs. McKinsey consultants Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith describe a team as: “A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” (Katzenback ; Smith 1993).
The important elements of this definition are complementary skills, common purpose and mutual accountability. Without these elements, a team may be little more than a loose collection of individuals with nothing more in common than employment by the same company. Bartol et al defines team as “Temporary or an ongoing task group of members working to identify problems, form a consensus about action and implement actions needed on a task or organizational area.” (Bartol at al. 2008). Teamwork Trends: The American society for training and development asked several hundred human resource executives about teamwork results. Their responses show:Additional results reported include more efficient production scheduling and goal setting and increased ability of team-linked employees to resolve their own disputes (Wellings ; George 1991).
Executives surveyed in an industry week survey were equally positive about the benefits of teams. When asked to list the top benefit, improved quality (reported by 30%) headed the list, followed by improved productivity (24%), increased morale (21%), and fewer layers of management (14%) (Wellings ; Wilson 1990). Reports and statistics published by individual companies support these generalized survey findings. At General Mills productivity in plants using teams is as much as 40% higher than in their traditional plants (Dumaine 1990). The division of 3M that organized around cross-functional teams to develop new products in one of the company’s most innovative and fastest growing (Wellings at al. 1990). Teams at one of Ingersoll-Rand’s manufacturing plants reduced scrap in one operation from 15% to 3% and in another, from 40% to 3% (Bingham 1991).
Motivation Defined: Motivation is defined as an inner state or force that energizes, activates or moves and directs or channels behavior towards goals. Motivation includes drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces. Bartol et al. defines motivation as “Motivation is the force that energizes or gives direction to behavior.” (Bartol at al. 2008). A study of motivation theories enables us to understand people and their actions and in a business organization environment it enables us to understand, for example, why certain people work hard or commit themselves to organizational goals and generally work well within a team.
Managers and Motivation: Figure 1 shows how the manager has to become involved with motivation of his subordinates or team members. The manager’s task is to recognize the needs of team members and to match those needs with opportunities that occur in the business environment. “Manager must hire those able to do what is needed.” (Bartol at al. 2008). Manager must recognize team member’s needs. Many workers can be motivated to strive for higher performance by being offered additional financial inducements but other factors can influence their motivations. The manager has to search the work environment to find specific opportunities which will satisfy the needs of individual team member. The manager has to match the needs of individuals with opportunities in the environment and it can be achieved by reassigning work within a department, for example, so that the individual’s needs can be met.
Motivational Benefit of Using Team In An Organization: From a business perspective, teams are more productive, produce higher quality and are more cost-efficient than solo efforts. From a human relations perspective, the positive effects of teamwork on job satisfaction, motivation and employee morale have been well documented (Hoerr 1989). The reason for the continuing success of teamwork is the focus it places on the human in the job. Workers, from the manufacturing plant to the customer service office, can and want to perform more complex and sophisticated jobs. When given a chance, most have proved they are up to the challenge (Bingham 1991).
A high performance team can motivate team members effectively. A performing team develops clear roles and responsibilities tied to specific team goals. The roles match each individual’s interests and capabilities. As a result, the team is well organized, coordinated and motivated to work together to achieve optimum performance (Buchholz ; Roth 1987). Concord Branch of Commonwealth bank is a good example of high performance team. Each member of this team is highly motivated and active and committed to the product line and work cooperatively to achieve team goals. The Branch manager Subu Dasari knows that team goal is an essential tool for motivating people on the team because it gives them the information and the perspective they need to keep the team moving in the proper direction.
He develops the goal, ensure that it is clear, communicate it to all people, create a commitment to it, and make certain that team members are constantly aware of it and working toward it. Subu Dasari provides direction on a day-to-day basis by guiding and facilitating team tasks and activities and as the steps are carried out, Dasari ensures that things stay on track and everyone participates. He also knows that it is not enough to have a goal; he needs checkpoints and activities to get his team to the goal. Checkpoint serves as an essential form of feedback that helps team member stay committed and motivated (Stuckenbruck 1981). Feedback has powerful motivational and developmental value for team. It lets team members know how they are doing so they know what to do more of, less of, or differently.
Feedback can be about performance results, variances from plan, coordination with other units, customer satisfaction, or effective and ineffective behavior on the team (Stogdill ; Coons 1957). By giving team member a well-conceived set of milestones and events, Subu Dasari provides them with a map to track their own progress and allow them to become excited about the team. He determines the amount of time, money, people, equipment and other resources each activity will require. Such estimates allow him to plan the team more completely. He is always vigilant for internal team problems and uses conflict and disagreement in a constructive way that stimulates creativity.
Subu Dasari understands the fundamental nature of human behavior and appreciate team member’s motivations. To motivate team members, Subu reinforce the commitment and excitement of the team and he knows that motivation is tricky. He does not really motivate team members. Rather, he allows member’s motivation to be directed toward team goals. By effectively managing and negotiating conflicts, he achieves positive outcomes from the inevitable differences that arise in team management.