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Benefits and Problems with Teams


In most organizations today, working in teams is greatly encouraged because it assists in enhancing efficiency in the workplace. However, despite the fact that teamwork is practiced in various organizations, some setbacks are associated with the ...Read More


~Posted on Mar 2018

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In most organizations today, working in teams is ...

In most organizations today, working in teams is greatly encouraged because it assists in enhancing efficiency in the workplace. However, despite the fact that teamwork is practiced in various organizations, some setbacks are associated with the practice of teamwork. Owners and managers of organizations should be aware of these disadvantages when they opt to implement the team notion in their workplaces. Organizations should be equipped with the necessary skills required for the development of an efficient teamwork experience. Typically, teamwork involves bringing together a group of employees in an organization so that they can accomplish tasks as a team for the improvement of the operations in an organization. For such kinds of organizations to manage various tasks, they depend on the work groups or teams among the employees. Improvement in the productivity and effectiveness of an organization largely depends on teamwork, regardless of the size of the organization. A team should not only consist of members whose roles are balanced but also members that are responsible and dedicated to their work. Apart from being committed to their roles, team members should also have the willingness to give the required support to the organizational activities. Moreover, a team should have a team leader who ensures that all duties are conducted as expected. To ensure the success of teamwork and proper utilization of each team member, everyone must consider putting aside personal issues.

There are a number of factors to be considered for the success of any team in an organization. These factors include respect, self-assurance, the strength of mind, quietness, focus on accomplishing goals and cohesion. Respect among the team members is essential for it helps in enabling a healthy working environment by establishing a good rapport among the team members. Also, respect allows efficient communication among the team members through politeness, portraying of good manners, and paying attention to the leaders by listening to their instructions and guidelines. When all the factors are put into consideration, there will be guaranteed success in the undertakings of the team. Conversely, failure to adhere to these factors might result in a bad work output and inability to meet the objectives of the group in an organization. Additionally, team members should have the required characteristics which vary according to the goals of a team. Some of the essential features which every team member should have included but not limited to energetic, cooperative, just, humble, hardworking and goal oriented.

Due to the cooperation of employees brought about by teamwork, several benefits and advantages are associated with the introduction of teamwork in the handling of tasks in an organization. However, the existence of numerous benefits does not justify that there are no challenges that arise from the use of teamwork in organizations. (Neil Kokemuller 2017). Cooperation provides improved solutions for assigned tasks in organizations. The aim of using teamwork is not only to develop the better quality of work output but also the provision of more intelligent solutions to problems. The team constitutes of members with various qualifications and views, deliberating on the advantages and disadvantages of different solutions. The most appropriate and best option is then selected, giving rise to enhanced solutions. Also, the team members can also opt to work together so that they can enrich the benefits of the unique solution by joining forces to endorse it. (Neil Kokemuller 2017). Improved production is also another result of proper teamwork in the accomplishment of tasks. Creation of friendly competition also arises through the setting of individual objectives which go hand in hand with the team goals. The friendly competition influences team members to inspire each other in the quest to meet their targets. Teamwork assists in boosting the morale of the team members by enabling them to be more responsible in the decision making process, allowing them to take greater accountability. Responsibility allows the employees to feel more part of the tasks that they carry out, resulting in increased morale. The confidence gives rise to a more promising work environment and reduction of costs. The feeling of gratitude and belonging give the team members the urge to complete the assigned tasks perfectly and achieve the intended objectives.

Teamwork also provides room for flexibility through the sourcing of team members from different parts and joining them to form one team. Flexibility assists in the quick solution of any problems that might arise and eliminate any delays in meeting the objectives of the team. Innovation is encouraged among the team members through the use of teamwork to accomplish tasks. Change is mostly fueled when there is an appointment of team leaders, but there is no leadership hierarchy. Team members get the opportunity to select to work on the areas that suit them best. Moreover, there is no restriction on the number of teams formed for the employees can always start new groups as long as they have new ideas. Companies interested in being on top of the game in the field of innovation can suitably incorporate the use of the flat lattice teamwork centered corporate formation. An example of a company that applies the use of the flat lattice corporate structure is the W.L. Gore & Associates which mostly deals in technology. (Lisa Magloff 2017). Through the application of teamwork, employees get to utilize their full potential and abilities in their areas of specialization. There is also equal distribution of responsibility to all the team members according to their abilities. Teamwork assists to influence members to get more involved in team activities, leading to improved practice and techniques. Through the sharing of information, team colleagues in an organization get to broaden their areas of knowledge concerning various issues pertaining the task at hand. Good interaction among the team members assists in providing a variety of solutions to duties in an organization. Employees in a team get to encourage and motivate one another through the sharing of goals. Common goals are as a result of teamwork, playing a significant role in the encouragement of all the team members towards the achievement of a common goal. The solutions obtained from team members are often accurate due to the combination of different ideas and coming up with the best possible solution. Risk taking is also encouraged when employees are part of an operational team. Being part of the group gives the team members the courage to try out new ideas because of the support from team members. The decision-making process becomes simpler when employees work in teams because they get to understand the operations better. (Paul Goodman 2012).

Through teamwork, employees in a workplace can achieve more objectives within a short period compared to when they work individually. The products of cooperation are of high quality and the required standards. Since there is better utilization of resources while working in teams, there is greater efficiency and increased speed in the completion of tasks. The main aim of teamwork is to be able to accomplish what cannot be done individually. Teamwork enhances the production of more reasonable ideas as compared to when one works independently. Higher performance is encouraged through the social feature which can only be found through teamwork. Employees working in teams are encouraged to achieve goals that they might not have been able to meet while working as individuals. The mutual support among team members makes them assist each other and give encouragement where necessary. The final efficiency of the team effort determines the total value formed by the team. Working as a team brings the best out of every member of the team. In the case of weakness in one member, there might be a stronger member of the same group, and upon working together, they will provide the necessary output in an organization. Although teamwork has a number of benefits to the organizations and the team members too, there are also countable challenges that might be encountered when using teamwork to accomplish tasks.

Even though many hands make a job easier to handle, the presence of too many people handling the same task might result in conflict due to the availability of numerous ideas and experts. A dispute might occur when more than one of the team members wants their idea of providing a solution to be applied. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, conflict is one of the main factors that obstruct the productivity of teamwork. Organizations are urged to avoid conflict because it causes the delay in achievement of objectives. Conflict within the team leads to lack of cooperation and poor output in the end. Moreover, innovation is also hindered, and the team will fail to meet its objectives as required by the organization. The presence of members with different views concerning how to approach tasks can also prove to be a challenge. The members who contribute the most ideas feel more important while the others who are less active feel inferior. The team members become more interested in competing among themselves instead of working together to accomplish the same objective. Some team members might start acting bossy, neglecting other members of the team. Misunderstandings result into poor relations among the members, and this affects the operations of the team negatively. (Job-Interview-Site.com. Job Interview & Career Guide 2017). Teamwork might also lead to the lack of accountability in the case of any errors. The blame game arises when a crisis occurs, and no member accepts to have caused the mistake. The team leader gets a difficult time deciding on the course of action to take when no team member is accountable for his/her mistakes. Moreover, the situation becomes even more complicated when one team member does the correct thing, and the others make mistakes. The right team member will be forced to take sides with the wrong side due to the rule of the majority. Conflict may also arise when members think that there is an unfair distribution of duties in the team. It becomes challenging to the hard working team members in case of the presence of lazy team members. Those that work tirelessly have the feeling that they are overworked, resulting in reduced work output. Furthermore, they are demoralized because of most of the time; they have to do extra work meant for the lazy team members. Overworking some members leads to poor work and antagonism among the team members.                                                                                                                                                                   A mix up of concepts might also occur when there is variation in the manner in which different team members attend to tasks in the team. While some team members plan for activities to be carried out earlier, some just wait until the last minute so that they can start conducting their operations. Team spirit is a necessity for the success of any teamwork. When some members decide to work separately so as to have the feeling of superiority there might be a misunderstanding in the team. When the team members fail to work as a team, there will be mishaps in communication because those who feel superior to the others, shy off from sharing their ideas with the other team members. Another setback is the presence of a dominant team leader who believes that he is the only correct person in the team. On the other hand, a team leader might take the credit for an idea that he/she did not generate. This kills the morale of the team member who came up with the idea due to lack of appreciation and recognition. (WiseStep 2016). Time is of the essence in every activity that an organization undertakes. Working in teams at times proves to be a slow process compared to working as an individual. For any decisions to be made, all the team members have to be involved first unlike when one is working as an individual. Taking too long to solve a single task will naturally result into impatience and cause the team members to make haste and conduct the activities in a hurry. (Gary Hadler 2016). When working as a team, exceptional work might end up unrecognized and unrewarded because only team work is prioritized and not individual work. Motivating members individually also becomes a challenge due to lack of focus on an individual.                                

There might be managerial issues due to the decentralization of team-based organizations. Control and management of team members and other activities become a difficult task because of decentralization. (Carolyn Gray 2017). Some team members might not be familiar with the group work setting, resulting in weak output and delays in the accomplishment of tasks. The selection of employees according to skills is also another setback for the teamwork. The number of staff with the required skills might be limited and not meet the right number to form a team. Unlike working as an individual where there is room for discovery of new and better approaches to tasks, teamwork may offer some resistance to change in an organization. When a transfer of a team member is required, it might take time to do so because of the lack of flexibility. While working as a team, team members are forced to follow the team leader’s decisions. For a team to work according to the approved way, they are required to follow a particular neutral direction. (Krishna Reddy 2016). The creativity of the team members may also be hindered because they will only be concerned about meeting the objectives set by the team and neglecting their ideas. Hindering creativity leads to unproductivity of the organization. Competency issues may also arise when working as a team. This is evident when some team members are unable to accomplish particular tasks. Sometimes tasks remain incomplete due to ambiguities related to the job. Lack of proper planning among team members leads to incomplete team activities. The negativity of some team members might influence other hardworking colleagues in the same team to relax and follow the pessimists. Teamwork is believed to encourage laziness and unaccountability because the team members are more likely to put less effort in the accomplishment of objectives. However, when one works as an individual, the chances are high that he/she will strive to ensure that a task is completed to perfection.

The first step to creating a skilled team is the sharing of the understanding of its significance. The selection of team members is also a crucial thing to do. The team members should clearly understand the purpose of the task so that they will work tirelessly towards achieving the objectives. Teamwork relies on the proper organization of employees into teams with the aim of realizing set goals. For teamwork to be productive, there needs to be an environment where all team members are comfortable to work in. Leaders in organizations should be aware that team working has benefits and setbacks. Therefore, it is important for one to consider and weigh both sides before making a decision on whether to use team working or not. When it comes to selection of a team, one should prioritize members with critical thinking, the required risk handling skills, and better communication skills.    





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