Unit 2 Lead Team Effectiveness
Unit 2 Lead Team Effectiveness My notes: Need All together approximately min1870 words. max.:2600 average: 2235
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This unit defines skills, knowledge and outcomes required to plan and supervise the performance of the team and develop team cohesion.
It applies team leaders, supervisors and new emerging managers who have an important leadership role in the development of efficient and effective work teams.
Leaders at this level also provide leadership for the team and bridge the gap between the management of the organisation and the team members. As such they must manage up as well as manage their team/s.
- What is the difference between a team and group? (100–150 words)
- Why should we have teams? (100–150 words)
3(50–100 words)Choose a team to which you currently belong or have belonged to in the past. Describe:
- The purpose of the team.
- Define the team’s vision. If the team did not have an articulated vision either create one now or discuss what impact not having a vision had.
- List the goals of the team.
- Give an example of one or two team objectives.
- List one or two stakeholders that shaped the team’s role by placing expectations on them.
- Explain (100–150 words) how diversity amongst team members and between teams benefits a business organisation. Support your answer with workplace examples.
- Explain how you can engage team members to be innovative and how do you incorporate innovation and productivity measures, goals or KPI’s into work plans.
1 A team leader tells their team that they are expected to work as hard as possible. They have not articulated specific expected outcomes as they feel if the team puts in maximum effort those goals will take care of themselves. What would you say to this manager? Explain why? (75–150 words)
2 Describe how you can provide leadership and support to meet established goals and objectives for the team.
Activity 4 .Aeroplane engine maintenance facility
During the 80s the engine maintenance facility of a leading international airline carrier was described as ‘an industrial relations mine field’. The facility operated two shifts, five days per week and employed approximately 600 people—the vast majority of whom were in operational positions.
The airline industry generally was facing increasing competition from cut-priced operators who were encroaching into traditional operator’s market share, and from spiralling fuel prices. This particular airline had to find more efficient ways of working if they were to remain competitive. However, in the maintenance facility conflict was rife with a distinct us and them attitude between the workers and the management and a reluctance to engage in meaningful dialogue or indeed any compromise regarding work issues. Previous initiatives to improve communication and team work had failed; stifled by mistrust and fear.
The airline undertook a significant and radical change program that had at its heart a commitment to engage workers at every level in providing input about the role of the unit and about how work is performed. The new strategy also encompassed a new management structure and a new business plan but significantly it was the first time that people of all levels were invited to contribute ideas.
Many declined or ignored the invitation but this was accepted as part of transforming the culture into one of a high performing team.
The new business plan was written, and it included many of the ideas and suggestions raised by workers. For the first time each person, regardless of their position, had a clear reason for the existence of the facility. The business plan was then translated into operational goals and objectives and communicated to the workforce. A heavy emphasis was placed on it being our plan and the single most dominant theme was teamwork and workplace harmony.
As a result work is conducted in a nicer atmosphere and statistics such as sick leave indicate that productivity has increased. Discussions are underway to look at changing some of the previously taboo structures that lock the airline into performing tasks in certain ways, for example typical shift patterns, break times and overlaps. While the new team culture is only in its infancy the fact that the practice of involving people in processes and subsequent decisions has become routine provides a solid foundation on which a high performing team can be built.
What was the effect of providing opportunities for input into planning on team cohesion? (75–125 words)
- Should all team members have the same role and responsibilities? Explain. (75–100 words)
- Identify and describe a time when someone assisted you to complete a task (preferably in a work context). How did they help you/ provide support? What was the outcome of this assistance? (50–75 words)
- Explain what feedback is. (1 sentence)
2.How can feedback be used to encourage and motivate team members? (50–75 words)
- What do you believe is meant by the phrase catch them doing good? Give examples of how you could put this philosophy into practice. (50–75 words)
- Describe the difference between an issue/ concern and a problem. (50–75 words)
- Describe the nature of problems you have encountered or would expect to encounter in work teams. Do they fall into a particular category, eg resources, technical or interpersonal? Why might these problems occur and what steps might be taken to address them? (50–75 words)
- Describe the qualities that you believe a leader should demonstrate in order to be able to effectively resolve team problems. Provide at least five examples.
What behaviours do you feel you should exhibit to serve as a role model in the workplace? List and describe at least 10.
Unit 2. Lead team effectiveness
Activity 9· Acme Solutions, a large consulting firm, was experiencing a number of problems within their team of consultants. Conflict was rife and meetings were considered to be a waste of time, as they often degenerated into arguments.
All consultants were highly qualified in their field of expertise and had proven ability. Individually they had worked with a variety of companies, many of them international. This team had been formed to work on a major project, reengineering Dollars Inc., a large finance organisation. In all, there were twelve consultants involved, some full-time and some part-time. The project manager had been appointed because he was the one who sold the project to the client.
Dollars Inc. was going through enormous changes, all designed to reduce costs and improve customer service. Changes were being made right throughout the company. The head office was being downsized and some of the regional offices closed. The project team had been asked to facilitate this change by implementing new training schemes, new marketing strategies, and improved logistics. The aim was to provide a streamlined organisation, which could compete internationally.
At the beginning of the contract the project manager and the team were all very enthusiastic. Between them they had the technical knowledge required to see this client through the changes quickly and effectively. Initially they had several meetings but once the areas of responsibility had been decided, the meetings ceased to be a regular occurrence. From this point on, the information flow was poor. Occasionally meetings were called but they were usually very frustrating and ineffective. Some consultants would dominate the meeting and then leave when they had made their point while others would arrive late and unprepared. Some never bothered to attend, including the project manager who always had something more important to do. Others complained that they were not listened to.
For a while they managed to survive their declining performance. Slowly though, minor problems began to arise. However, quick thinking and action usually averted any potential disasters.
Four months into the project the first major problem arose, when two of the consultants began running training programs for the country offices of Dollars Inc. One of the participants had gone through the full training program and had enjoyed it tremendously. On the assessment paper they had written, ‘What a pity we couldn’t have had this training before. We won’t get to practice our skills now.’
The consultants had spent hours on these training programs and were delighted with the results but this comment was unexpected. They decided not to question the manager of this regional office but to wait until they returned home when they could speak to the project leader. He had no idea of what was going on as he was busy preparing another important tender. He advised them to speak to one of their colleagues whom he thought was responsible for that area.
They spoke to the person responsible for organisational restructure and discovered that she had recommended changes in the regional servicing strategy. She confirmed that many of the country branches had been scheduled for closure within the next few months and this particular branch was one of them. Needless to say they were devastated that they had wasted their time training people who would either be redeployed or made redundant. On learning about this the project manager was unconcerned. ‘We will find a way of passing on our costs to the client. Don’t worry about it’ he said.
- Describe the performance of the team of consultants at Acme Solutions. (40–60 words)
- Although each consultant was actively contributing to their own specific part of the project, describe what was occurring at a whole of project level. What factors contributed to this situation? (30–50 words)
- What were the barriers to communication amongst the team? Provide at least three examples.
- Suggest at least two strategies to improve the communication flow and to ensure that each consultant is aware of activities and decisions being taken in other parts of the project.
- Discuss the team leader’s behaviour and its impact on the team. (40–60 words)
- 1. What are the advantages of encouraging a team to diagnose and resolve its problems as opposed to having a leader or external person do it for them? (50–75 words)
- 2. What role can or should a team leader play in facilitating resolution to problems by the team itself? (75–100 words)
- 1. What does it mean to act as a role model? (1 sentence)
2.How can modelling appropriate behaviours enhance the organisation’s image within the work team, the organisation and with clients/ customers? (50–75 words)
3.Projecting energy and enthusiasm has been stated as a key role modelling behaviour for team leaders. Do you think that this is important? Why/ Why not? How can you personally do this? (50–75 words)
1 Give an example of defensive communication. (20–40 words)
- 2. Give an example of respectful communication. (20–40 words)
- 3. Give an example of synergistic communication. (50–75 words)
- Describe five strategies for productivity and progress reporting to management.
Activity 13 Think back to a time where you had to convey difficult information from management to your team. (Alternately, create a hypothetical situation on which to base this activity.)
Describe the nature of the information and what its impact on the team would be.
Explain how you chose to convey this information. What factors influenced your decision regarding your chosen methodology?
How successful was your communication? Did you get the required message across? Did team members have an opportunity to clarify their understanding? What was the general reaction to the news and how was this influenced by your communication strategy?
If you had to repeat the same event again, what would you do differently and why?(150–200 words)
- 1. Explain why it is sometimes necessary to take issues or problems to management in order to have them resolved effectively. (40–60 words)
- 2. What are the factors that a team leader should consider when they have to take an unresolved issue to management? Provide at least five examples.
- 3. Describe the potential impact of failing to follow up with the rest of the team, outcomes of discussions with management. Provide at least three examples.
Activity 15 You are the leader of a team of seven people responsible for producing customised embroidered work wear. Your team receives the job order and details from the sales department and once you have filled the order, it is passed to the dispatch team to generate the paperwork and deliver the goods to the customer.
The company that you work for has created a niche market by being willing to embroider stock that is provided by the customer (that is, bought from another store), by filling small orders all at a competitive price. They offer a money back guarantee for any product that does not meet the customer’s expectations.
Unit 2 Lead Team Effectiveness
You have only been in this job for two months having been promoted from a design position. The previous manager ruled with an iron fist and there was a lot of tension amongst the team. Each person just got on with their job but did not really help anyone else out.
You pride yourself on being a good leader and have been actively working towards creating a happy, cooperative team. You have done this by modelling cooperative behaviour and encouraging other team members to make suggestions. Recently a team member suggested a new way of transferring the logo onto the garment and creating the embroidery pattern. The rest of the team thought it was a good idea so you allowed production methods to be altered. This has slowed production down but you are confident that once mastered, it will improve efficiency.
All seems to go well until your line manager calls you into their office to discuss your team’s performance. They inform you that two major customers have rung them this morning complaining that their logos are not straight and a third says their shirts are now a week over due. Your manager is adamant that your team must learn from their mistakes. They advise you that the team must work overtime tonight until the overdue shirts are dispatched, and that they must return to the original method of marking logos.
Your job is to convey this news to your team. You know they will be disappointed as they were just starting to feel like management were taking notice of their ideas and now it seems that it will all go back to how it was before.
- What is the best method of communicating this news to the team? (1 sentence)
- How can you pass on your line manager’s directives to the team without demoralising them? (75–100 words)
- What additional comments can you make/ actions can you take to maintain good communication? (50–75 words)