Successful team performance is one of the most fulfilling achievements one can attain. Organizations always try their best to achieve high performance by making staff to be more productive. In the struggle to be more successful, companies have tried training and development but most of them have ended up being disappointed (Harvard Busines Review, 2005). Others have developed strategic plans but have not seemed to work. In reference to an article by Harvard Business Review released in August 2005, an average team only achieves 63% of the objectives stated in the strategic plans (Harvard Busines Review, 2005). What is most important is the ability of the team members to communicate effectively, align around top initiatives, and create short and long term plans and each team member should himself or herself accountable to achieving the set goals.
As a target and performance measurement analyst I was engaged in team work where we were supposed to get involved in marketing. Our target was to attract at least five hundred clients to our bank. Through to be done through visiting companies and organizations where people worked to explain to them how our bank works and the benefits one is likely achieve when he/she starts to bank with us. The team consisted of almost hundred staff who worked under their manager and I as the one to analyze their performance. Each member was given a target number of customers which he/she should bring to the bank. Despite the fact that I was charged with the responsibility of evaluate the performance of team members, I was also supposed to do some marketing.
Our main goal was to market the services offered by our bank. Therefore we put in to consideration that only 63% achieve perform. The group team sought to identify where the remaining 37% goes to. This information helped us attain better performance. From the same article by Harvard Business Review, we were able to identify that lack of performance occurs due to inadequate or unavailable resources, if the strategy for performance is not well identified, activities to achieve the set goals are not clear, unaccountable team members, if skills and culture hinder performance, if performance is not adequately monitored, lack of motivation, weak leadership and use of strategy which is not approved (Harvard Busines Review, 2005).
As a target and performance analyst, my main role was to organize, coach and advise the team members on how to achieve the set target. I was also responsible for making sure the goals were SMART. This was after reviewing the reasons as to why performance may fail to be achieved. As the team organizer, my chief contribution towards the achievement of the performance goal was ensuring that every team member understands the purpose of this activity and performance by each member is monitored carefully. I also contributed by mentoring and giving extra trainings to those members who had difficulties in achieving their goal. I took the responsibility of moving with them from organization to organization and ensuring that they do the right thing required to convince workers to bank with us.
The strengths I used to make this contribution was that I have the ability of communicating clearly with the team members to ensure that each of them understands what is going on and use of language which everyone can understand. I have the strength of identifying strategies which can be used effectively using the available resources. In addition to excellent communication skills, I also have excellent leadership skills which I was able to utilize. My ability to interact well with people and make strong relations was also another strength which made me make the contribution. I am frank, open and have a high level of integrity. In other words, I am an effective team/group work, know how to build confidence and trust, and bring out the best thinking and attitude for everyone in the team (LaFasto, et al, 2001).
Team experience can be hindered by many factors which can be effectively controlled. Some of factors which can hinder team experience include poor communication, lack of respect for one another, poor leadership skills, poor strategies and setting of unachievable and unrealistic goals (LaFasto, et al, 2001). Team can also be hindered in a situation where efforts of some members are ignored, lack of trust and openness, or setting of strategies which cannot be achieved/implemented using the available resources.
The conditions which lead to the success of the team were that the expectations of the team were clearly communicated and each member understood clearly the importance of the team. The team members were adequately supported in terms of money and information (Hearthfield, 2011). The context of the team was also clear because team members understood the importance of using team strategy. They understood how team work could help in organization’s goals, principles, vision and values (Hearthfield, 2011). The team members were committed to their team and were willing to achieve the goals set for them. All the members in the team were competent and had the necessary qualifications. The team had taken the responsibility and designed its mission and developed a strategy of achieving it (Hearthfield, 2011) . There was freedom of expression and free giving of ideas together with an effective communication and collaboration. Team activities were well coordinated and every member felt responsible and accountable for achievements (Hearthfield, 2011). The organization had set aside rewards to reward team members who achieved their goal effectively.
The team experience was considered successful based on conditions which determine the success of a team. The first sign of success was that all the team members were able to achieve the set goals. Each member received a reward after the activity because the goals were achieved exemplarily. The bank was flooded with new customers from the organizations which the team members visited. Communication was effective both before and after the team activity. All the members were committed to and willing to go work as a team once again. No conflicts occurred among the members during the team work process and all members respected one another. Leadership skills were perfectly applied and members appreciated that. Team members were tolerant and undertook all the activities that were required provided they lead to the achievement of the set goals. All the members had agreed to the idea of using team work towards achieving the goal of increasing our banking customers. Members were comfortable with the activities of the team and appreciated the different ideas each one of them had. At every stage, we were able to check if the objectives were being achieved. Monitoring was effective and was done at every stage of the team activities to ensure that they do not go against the set direction. When evaluation was done after the activities, it was noticed that any problem which ought to have happened was identified earlier before it happened hence preventing the tragedy which it could have caused.
From this successful team experience I was able to learn that team work can make a difference in an organization. Team work can be improved through effective communication, effective leadership, openness, trust and respect among team members. Benefits which come with team include; first it leads to creativity since different people have different skills and attributes (Brodie, 2011). When these are combined, crucial ideas can be generated leading to better solutions leading to exemplary results. Second is that when people work as a team to achieve a common goal, they encourage one another hence come up with motivating results which lead to job satisfaction (Brodie, 2011). Third is that one individual cannot have all the skills required to do everything in a working environment. Therefore if people work in a team they combine skills hence producing exemplary results. Fourth is that if people work in team a large amount of work is done within a very short period of time. Fifth is that when one works in a team, they are able to identify their talents and what they can do best to achieve the set goals. Fifth, individuals are likely to get support from fellow team members (Brodie, 2011). When one is in the verge of giving up, the team members will give him/her the morale to move on.
From the team experience, I was able to learn something about myself. I learned that I was an effective communicator and a leader. Since I was so much in analyzing targets and performance, I was not able to know that I could be marketer. From the experience I identified that I can do an effective marketing since I was able to convince several people to bank with us. Additionally I had not done team coaching before, and when I was given that responsibility, I was afraid that I will not do it. With the support of the team members I learned that I could be an effective team coach. Team work is an individual skill which one can be born with or can be developed with time.
In conclusion, we can note that team work is important and can be improved by good communication and leadership skills. It can improve an organization’s performance but if it is not adequately monitored it can destroy the organization culture. Team members should be clearly understands and appreciates why they have to work in teams and be accountable to the achievement of the set goals.
Brodie, D. (2011). 6 Key Benefits of Teamwork. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://EzineArticles.com/774055
Harvard Busines Review. (2005). Building a High Performance Team. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://www.bestyearyet.com/Teams/Building-a-Top-Performance-Team.pdf
Hearthfield, S. (2011). Twelve Tips for Team Building: How to Build Successful Work Teams. Retrieved on April 11, 2011 from http://humanresources.about.com/od/involvementteams/a/twelve_tip_team_3.htm
LaFasto, et al. (2001). When Teams Work Best: 6,000 Team Members And Leaders Tell What It Takes To Succeed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.