Improving the efficiency of the team

Goal setting

The work of the team will be much more effective if people have a clear idea of the purpose of their work and this purpose is important for everyone. This, in turn, depends on the degree of participation of team members in the formulation of the goal and the development of ways to achieve it. However, the needs of the team should not diverge from the needs and expectations of the entire organization as a whole. If the team has been working for a long time or its members change, the goals should be clarified and revised.

Clarification of individual goals and distribution of tasks

Once the overall goals of the team are established, the goals and priorities of all team members should be clarified, and tasks should be distributed among them. Part of this can be done during team discussions and negotiations. If the team has a leader, his task is to ensure that this process is carried out effectively, which, as a rule, does not require direct supervision and regular evaluation of team members When distributing tasks and responsibilities, the leader should keep in mind the following important points:

how well the task fits in with the preferred role(s) of the performer;

Which of the team members has the necessary knowledge and experience for the specific and effective implementation of this task;

For the development of which team member this task will be useful.

Finding the right balance between these often conflicting considerations depends on the specific circumstances. If the task is very important and urgent, then it is likely to be assigned to an experienced and knowledgeable team member. In another situation, the task may be delegated to the person who will derive the greatest benefit from it. Another way could be to have two team members complete the same task so that one can learn from the other. If team members have the appropriate training and support, performing any task together will allow them to acquire new knowledge, skills, increase their motivation and self-confidence, and increase confidence in the team.

Building trust

Trust is a sine qua non of any successful relationship, whether it be between two people or members of a large group. Lack of trust destroys the relationship of people, as they begin to hide their true feelings and views.

Each team member should have some responsibility for building trust, although the main responsibility in this matter lies with the team leader, as he has the most influence on the team as a whole. Trust is based on mutual respect by team members for each other’s views, regardless of whether they agree with the opinions of their colleagues, on the ability to listen to someone else’s point of view without interrupting the speaker, and on the opportunity to share their thoughts without fear of being criticized.

Involving all team members and giving them a certain amount of autonomy are clear ways a leader can demonstrate trust. Team members will feel trusted if they are involved in setting the team’s goals and given the necessary autonomy to accomplish the task at hand. At the same time, excessive trust and fear of appearing too authoritarian can negatively affect the work of the team. This is possible if the team leader, instead of distributing responsibility between team members, shifts all his duties to others, i.e. completely ceases to monitor the work of team members. Trust is important, but we should not forget about the need to monitor the work of the team and provide its members with feedback on their performance. For the effective functioning of the team, it is necessary to regularly review, analyze and adjust the performance of work both by its individual members and the entire team as a whole.

Conflict Management

In both teams and groups, conflict is almost inevitable – as is the case between individuals who do not necessarily work together in the same team or group. The causes of conflicts can be:

1. Misunderstanding between individuals; such conflicts often arise by chance.

2. Differences in attitudes and values; it can be both personal attitudes and values, and those belonging to structural units of the organization, for example, production or marketing.

3. Differences of interests and ambitions; such differences can lead to competition for power, status, or resources.

4. Interpersonal differences: people differ in characters and temperaments.

5. Feelings and Emotions: People can have very strong feelings and emotions that they hide in the work environment by talking “about the heart of the matter.” Conflict itself is a source of emotions leading to new conflicts.

However, not all conflicts are destructive. Some conflicts are worth discussing openly: such discussions, if managed constructively, can lead to deeper understanding and better solutions. The problem is that usually conflicts are considered in the context of “win-lose”, that is, one argument wins, the other loses. But it is possible to achieve a result in which elements of both statements are acceptable – a win-win situation. A simple example is wage negotiation: an employer may agree to raise wages in exchange for a job change. For the “win-win” options, a mechanism for open discussions and fair decision-making should be developed. The likelihood of conflict resolution depends on the behavior of the participants. To better understand this, it is useful for classification purposes to divide people’s reactions to interpersonal conflict into five categories. These categories reflect varying degrees of taking into account other people’s interests (by trying to satisfy the wishes of others) and their own interests (by trying to satisfy their own wishes).

Coercion reflects the desire to satisfy one’s own needs at the expense of others. This may include the use of official authority, physical threats, majority rule, or disrespect for the demands of others. This form of conflict management usually results in hostility or resentment and is an extreme variant of the win-lose strategy. However, sometimes this approach is needed – in matters of health and safety, for example, or in times of crisis.

The reverse situation, accommodation, satisfies the needs of another person at the expense of the individual’s own needs, often to maintain friendships. It can work when the quality of the relationship is more important than other considerations. But it can also lead to certain complications: neglect of discipline, difficult decision-making, loss of respect and lower self-esteem – also a win-lose situation.

Avoidance of possible conflict is a typical reaction to confrontation, especially if the leader lacks self-confidence. It’s a classic “lose-lose” situation that creates emptiness and tension as problems go unresolved. This approach may be justified only if the issue is not important or time is severely limited.

Compromise – the desire to achieve partial satisfaction of both parties. Many managers prefer this strategy because it avoids the adverse effects of other approaches. The compromise strategy is especially useful in difficult situations or when there is time for negotiations and discussions.

The only win-win strategy is to collaborate to find solutions that are understandable and acceptable to all parties. The emphasis is on solving the problem, not on the person, blame, or wrongdoing. Such a strategy requires consideration of other people’s and one’s own interests; the strategy is applicable when there is time to create an atmosphere of cooperation.

Ways to deal with conflicts

Once you have identified the existence of a disagreement and understood the reason for its occurrence, you must decide what to do in this situation. Many factors will need to be taken into account, including the severity of the conflict, the time scale (whether the conflict can be quickly resolved), the ideal or preferred outcome, your strength and power, preferences, strengths and weaknesses. If the conflict is relatively trivial or if it is a “healthy” disagreement, you may well decide not to get involved. However, if there is a danger that the conflict will grow and become destructive, you will want to deal with it. You have three options to choose from: ignore, prevent or resolve the conflict.

Non-intervention is very common and successful. However, there is always a risk that the conflict will escalate into a destructive one; failure to intervene can worsen the situation.

Prevention. Your chances of preventing conflict will increase if you create an atmosphere in which people prefer the win-win solution. You can help this:

· by setting common goals: define higher-level goals that everyone can agree on;

· changing roles or groupings: this can remove the source of the conflict;

· by improving communication, maintaining an atmosphere of discussion and research.

Conflict resolution. If the conflict is not constructive, you may need to intervene to find a solution by:

direct assistance: this usually means that you give each participant the opportunity to explain their feelings and look at the conflict from the outside;

punishment: sometimes people need to be forced to behave differently through the threat of disciplinary action; however, this may not affect the cause of the conflict and cause problems in the future;

Negotiations: bringing the conflicting parties together and finding an acceptable solution for them; this approach requires some concessions on both sides and can benefit from the use of creativity to find an original solution to the problem.

Hiring

Any recruitment of staff is a rather laborious and complex process, where 2 questions inevitably arise:

How to search for candidates

· How to notify them about available jobs in the company?

There are 2 main sources of recruitment:

internal (from employees in the company of people)

external (among people who have not previously been associated with the company).

Internal sources

ü Advantages: A real chance for career growth of a particular employee, which only contributes to increasing the level of trust and attachment to the enterprise. Small cash costs to attract new staff. Applicants for the vacant position are well known to the management. The release of a particular position for the career growth of young employees. Absolute transparency of the implemented personnel policy. A great opportunity to get away from unnecessary staff turnover. Productivity growth.

ü Disadvantages: Limited opportunities for recruitment. Tension and rivalry in the team. A possible manifestation of familiarity in business relations, since quite recently the new leader was on a par with colleagues. The number of transfers to a vacant position does not satisfy the need for personnel.

External sources

ü Advantages: When hiring staff, much more options open up. The development of the company, as a newly hired person can have fundamentally new approaches to solving certain problems. Full satisfaction of the need for new personnel. No threat of intrigue within the firm.

ü Disadvantages: Cash costs for attracting personnel are much higher. There may be an increase in staff turnover. There may be some deterioration in the socio-psychological climate within the organization among those who have been working here for quite a long time. The likelihood that the candidate will pass the probationary period is quite low. Long period of adaptation of a new employee.

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