What Do Organizational Teams Bring to the Organization?
First let us understand that teams are not the same as groups. In groups, there are no formally elected leaders. Also, groups are informal gatherings of people. Groups don't necessarily have a goal or an objective; groups could be formed for social reasons.
On the other hand, organizational teams are formed with intent, a goal or a mission. Team members are carefully selected so that each member of the team is competent to work towards the common objective. Team leaders are also elected so that there is no ambiguity on authority. Roles are duly assigned to members of the team, so each member works in coordination with fellow team players.
Think of a football team. Each player of the team has a common objective: to win the game. The captain of the team has to ensure that each player is carrying out his tasks satisfactorily. The captain is also responsible for any inappropriate actions of his teammates. The goal keeper's job is to defend the team's goal. The strikers have to target the ball into the opponent team's goal. And the defense members have to save their goal. With such clear demarcation of roles, it becomes easy for each team player to work towards the mission.
Similarly organizations teams need to accomplish corporate goals. While the organization is hub of all activities, the teams are the spokes which generate output. Teamwork can yield much more than a sum of individual efforts simply due to organized efforts and streamlined work processes. Work efficiency is enhanced and needless multiplication of processes is eliminated.
Organizational teams also build the spirit of camaraderie. There is a sense of belonging among employees when they are a part of a closely knit team. Vertical and horizontal communications are stronger and influential. Hence, organizations can spread the corporate message to the last employee down the structure. Employees feel a part of a greater mission.
Organizational teams, just like individuals have their own identity. Every team is different from the other. Even within an organization, different teams have different protocols. The collective style of individuals that form the team makes the team persona. Organizational teams are like human beings; they have ambitions, strengths, weaknesses and even ego. Teams can compete, wrestle, succeed or fail. A good organizational team can be an invaluable asset to the organization. A bad team can break the internal structure of the organization.
Companies need to understand the power of teams. Organizational team leaders need to be nurtured and equipped to build teamwork and team efficiency. Teams can also be a source of power conflicts and bad politics. Hence, a vigilant eye must be maintained on teams to ensure that there is no power play or inter departmental politics. While a healthy competition is required to keep all teams on their toes; it is essential that competition is a positive motivating factor.
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