1 Barriers To Team Success When plans are inadequate Leaders without leadership skills When members have poor attitudes Training that doesn t train Communications breakdowns Team members don t get along Rewards and recognition programmes that don t work Based on The Complete Idiot s Guide to Team Building, by A.R.Pell, alpha books, Chapter 2, pp.15-28
2 The team Can be a great boon to an organization Can revitalize organizations that are going downhill Stimulate employees to become more creative and more creative Can develop leaders for the future But, Teams don t always work! But, Teams don t always work!
3 Why Should This Happen? This is due to many barriers that impede team success. Understanding the reasons for failures and learning how to avoid them will keep you from repeating the mistakes others have made.
4 Barriers 1. Poor Planning 2. Poor Leadership 3. Poor Training 4. Poor Attitude 5. Poor Rapport Among Team Members 6. Poor Recognition and Rewards Programmes
5 Poor Planning You just don t shift from work groups to teams by an edict from top management Effective to this date you are a team. You have to take the time to plan exactly what you want to do and how you intend to do it.
6 Planting Your Goalposts Specific goals and objectives give you a standard against which to measure your progress. The goals and objectives for the team must be in line with golas and objectives of the organization. In most organization the overall goals and objectives are established by top management and filtered down to departments and teams. Setting goals and objectives takes time, energy and effort.
7 Not Sounding the Depths Before setting goals and objectives for the team, you have to diagnose the as-is situation. This involves not only the hard statistics, but also the soft information such as attitudes and morale, willingness to cooperate, commitment, etc. You must go deeper. You must get to know the people with whom you interrelate. You must learn their strengths and weaknesses.
8 The manager who comes up with the right solution to the wrong problem is more dangerous than the manager who comes with the wrong solution to the right problem Peter Drucker
9 Flying by the seat of the Pants Some leaders run their departments without real planning. They make decisions based on their experience and intuition, like pioneer aviators. The technology and the complexities of running a team have made seat of the pants management obsolete.
10 Poorly Conceived Organization To make teams work, the traditional hierarchial orgazational structure must be modified. Rigid adherence to the structure can impede the work of teams. Teams often cross structural lines.
11 Flexibility is a key factor when organizing a team. Unless members have highly specialized skills that are unique to them, avoid giving each member a permanent function. Every member should be able and willing to perform every job activity.
12 Poor Leadership Blame it on the boss! And often the boss is to blame. No matter how competent the team may be, unless they are guided by a knowledgeable, dedicated, inspiring leader, it will be tough for them to achieve their goals.
13 If the leader doesn t lead, the team cannot follow. Worse, if the leader leads badly, the team will perform badly. Without leadership, there is total confusion. Confusion in the Ranks
14 The hierarchial organizational structure is a carryover from the time when business used the military as an example of the ideal organization. But today, even military units have modified, and in some cases eliminated this rigid organization.
15 Poor Training A team is like a rocket. The rocket is made up of many components, and each must work. Each team member is a component of the team. Unless all are able to perform their functions, the team will never be able to move ahead. This involves individual training as well as training as a team.
16 Poor Attitudes Many members have about the team process, the team leader and often their teammates.
17 It s Not My All the team members are expected to do any work that will propel the team toward its goals. Yet, there are still members who look upon their jobs as being limited to their job descriptions. Team members must do whatever has to be done to accomplish the job. This includes doing work you don t enjoy, helping slower members catch up, and putting aside per projects to keep the team on target for higher priority assignments. Job.
18 Lack of Trust When team members do not trust their leader or one or more of their teammates, the team will fail. It is very easy for a person to lose trust in another. For e.g., when promises made are not kept, when withholding needed information
19 My teammates don t pull their loads. If If you you are are the the team team member who who is is not not pulling pulling your your load, load, determine the the reason. reason. If If you you need need to to improve your your skills, skills, seek seek help help from from the the leader leader or or your your teammates. If If you you lack lack self-confidence, seek seek out out a programme that that can can help help you. you. It is human nature for a person to resent others who, in their opinions are not contributing as much to the team effort as they are. No team can succeed unless every member does his or her share.
20 I m not paid to make decisions. Employees who have been conditioned to taking orders, will feel uncomfortable, when as team members, are asked to participate in decision-making. They feel that supervisors and managers are paid more to take decisions. It is logical for them to feel that making decisions is not their job.
21 Poor Communications You ve heard it over and over again. The reason (or maybe an excuse for a failure) is a breakdown in communications. You say one thing and some else hears something quite different.
22 What Did He Say? Whether you are a team leader or a team member expressing your views, you have to be alert to how you come across to others. Get feedback from others, ask them to critique.
23 The Leader Who Doesn t Listen Unless you keep your ears and your mind open, you will not benefit from the many ideas your team members can contribute. You will also miss cues of team discontent or impending problems.
24 Meetings That Waste Time Got Got a problem? Call Call a meeting. One One of of the the big big complaints about teams is is that that too too much time time is is wasted in in meetings Three major reasons meetings are are time time wasters: There is is not not need for for the the meeting The The meeting got got out out of of control The The meeting was was poorly planned or or not not at at all all
25 Poor Rapport Among Team Members Instead of of One for for all all and and all all for for one, it it is is Every man man for for himself, or or every woman for for herself. If If team members do do not not get get along, the the team dissolves into into chaos.
26 Conflicting Agendas When different team members push their own agendas ahead of the team s, there is no way the team s goals will be achieved. The purpose of a team is to work in an coordinated manner to accomplish the team s objectives.
27 Jealousies and Rivalries People envy those who are smarter, who are more attractive, who have more money, who they believe have been given better breaks than they have. A team leader cannot entirely eliminate this but can keep it from interfering with the team s performance
28 Personality Conflicts You ve probably met people with whom you just couldn t get along in your work. You may disagree about how to do a job. You may have conflicting ideas on goals. You may just not like each other.
29 Carrying Poor Performers Team members often complain about teammates who don t do their share of work. Whatever the reasons, the better workers have to make up the work. As a team leader, your responsibility is to develop and maintain a successful group of team members. If a member is not productive and you have exhausted all your options to make that person succeed, you have no choice but to let go.
30 Poor Recognition and Rewards Programmes People expect that that when they they perform well, well, they they will will be be rewarded. It It can can be be as as simple as as a pat pat on on the the back or or may may be be in in the the form form of of financial reward or or other forms of of tangible recognition.
31 Individual Accomplishments In the past, organizations based their recognition programmes on individual accomplishments. It is still important that superior individual accomplishments are rewarded. Some high-achieving members wants to be recognized for their performance and resent sharing the rewards with less productive members.
32 Team Accomplishments With the increased emphasis on team building, rewards for individual accomplishments have been supplemented, and sometimes replaced by, rewards for team achievement. But, they are relatively new and much has still to be learned from the experiences of organizations that are experimenting with this.
33 Team Quiz Do barriers exist that may impede your team s success? This quiz will help you identify some of them
34 Circle the answers that apply to your team? Yes No 1. Members complain that they are not getting information they need when they need it. Yes Yes No No 2. Team meetings bog down in interminable discussions and arguments over petty matters. 3. Some members tend to dominate the team. Yes No 4. Team members don t listen to one another. Yes No 5. Some members never participate in discussions about team projects. Yes No 6. Poor performance of some team members slows down the work of the entire team. Yes No 7. The amount of training in the soft skills is almost negligible. Yes No 8. The team leader micromanages most of the team s work. Yes No 9. Team goals are not clearly understood or accepted by some team members. Yes No 10. Individual achievement rather than team accomplishment is the basis of the organization s reward and recognition programme. A yes answer to any of these questions is an indicator of the barrier you team must overcome if the team is to succeed.
35 The Least You Need To Know! You don t shift from work groups to teams by an edict from top management. Take sounding of your team to uncover hidden problems. If the team leader doesn t lead, the team cannot follow. Worse, if the leader leads badly, the team will perform badly. The effective leader does not micromanage the team. It stifles creative & independent thinking. The concept of the team is based on the principle that all its members work together to achieve the desired results. The basis for any relationship, on or off the job, is trust. If it is lacking the team cannot succeed. Whether you are the team leader or a team member expressing your views, you have to be alert to how you come across to others. Successful team leaders make it a point to listen to their members. It is important to reward individual performance, but equally important to supplement, and sometimes replace it, with rewards for team achievement.
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