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Role of Teamworking in Different Organisations: Advantages and Disadvantages

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 4895 words Published: 10th Nov 2020

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A team is a group of individuals working together towards a common goal. Teamworking brings benefits like increased productivity, improved staff morale, support for team players, development of communication skills, knowledge, leadership etc. It plays an important role in improving work ethics, allows more efficient accomplishments of tasks thus reduces workload and work pressure put on an individual as some tasks cannot be carried out alone. Teamworking has become quite an essential tool of any working environment but selecting the right individuals to form teams can be quite challenging. It also benefits from the modern technology. If teams cannot attend a meeting, they can use virtual tools to communicate agenda and share ideas, e.g. email or Skype.

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Teams are also very important in our personal lives, when we group with others who share our likings, common tastes, attitudes, interests etc. A family is a team of different individuals, who share the same place but in order to function well, needs an effective teamworking otherwise it can become dysfunctional. A circle of friends is also a team, where like-minded people share their ideas and goals. There are teams that help people integrate into the community, combat loneliness and isolation, e.g. Men’s Shed for men from all walks of life to share their skills and make friends or Go Léir Women’s Group to end exclusion and isolation in women; others like Tidy Towns Community teams keep our towns and city clean or Éist Cancer Support Group formed for everyone affected by cancer, where several teams offer help and advice on different types of cancer.

I work in a residential care home where everything depends hugely on teamworking. I myself am a member of a few teams. The laundry would not be done on time if only one housekeeper was to collect all bedlinen, clothes etc. and do the ironing; the meals for the residents and Day Care clients would not be prepared on time if only one chef was to do so; the tables would not be set up for the next meal if the kitchen cleaning staff had not had the dishes cleaned and ready; the rooms would not be cleaned before residents return to them if only one cleaning staff was to do the job.

Advantages and disadvantages of teamworking in an organisation

I work in a residential care home and am part of a multitasking team. I believe working as part of a team is very important and beneficial for any workplace organisation to run smoothly to achieve its goals. Working as part of a team allows to share the workload without overstretching the capabilities of the individual team players, which could easily lead to a burnout. Every team member brings their own talents and strengths into the team that others could benefit from. Everyone’s input, however small might help with identifying and solving problems. By supporting each other professionally within the team we promote better relationships, positive working environment and help others learn and grow.

Teamwork might not suit everyone as some people prefer to work on their own. In my healthcare organisation I am expected to work on my own initiative and as part of a team. The environment is diverse with people working in different ways, at a different pace and multitasking. This can easily cause delays and develop into a conflict between team players affecting their performance. Some people may not be willing to pull their weight, refuse to carry out their duties, do tasks incorrectly so they would not be asked to do it again in the future or engage in a disruptive behaviour. Recognising and addressing these factors can help improve the working relationship within a team and reduce the disadvantages that are associated with teamworking. It is vital to communicate clearly with team members in order to understand the triggers that will eventually turn into the opposite to what working as a team should be. It is important to “agree to disagree” and always seek ways to solve problems should any arise.

Some people might be taking their time while working on a task but do it effectively, whereas others like to slack and let everyone else pick up the pieces. It will come to the point that this carry on by some team players will infuriate the others in a team and this situation will result in a clash. Being undervalued can lead to resentment and refusal to take on any extra tasks. Being shown appreciation gives us the incentive, it makes us go the extra mile and adds that sense of “job well done” feeling, improves our attitude to the job and makes us learn more.

In my residential care home, I very often work in the laundry team together with other housekeepers. There is a great advantage to share the laundry duties as the workload becomes lesser if it is equally distributed. One person folds the linen while the other irons etc. Unfortunately, depending on who I happen to be working with on certain days, I might have to do the whole lot by myself, because the other team member is not pulling their weight taking advantage of the fact that I am in the laundry that day and will have everything done for them. This can put me under pressure especially, when the workload is huge but also be quite upsetting, that this carry on goes unnoticed by the supervisor though not by others.

Different types of teams in the workplace

There is a number of teams in my residential care home, which can be allocated into different groups. Each of these groups will be responsible for carrying different assignments. Some of the duties might overlap, members can be part of more than one team depending on their training and capabilities and teams can belong to more than one group.

There is the working teams group, that would include housekeeping, catering, cleaning, laundry or care teams.

The housekeeping team (housekeepers/carers) is responsible for the general running of the residential area and their duties involve delivering personal care to residents, distributing medication and deep clean of residential rooms.

The catering team (chefs, kitchen staff, café staff) prepares meals according with the dietary requirements of residents and Day Care clients, cleans the dining room, sets up the tables, runs the café.

The cleaning team’s duties involve cleaning the Day Care, dining room, corridors, toilets and residents’ rooms.

The laundry team does the daily washing of linen and resident’s clothes, ironing and distributing clothes.

The care team, with healthcare assistants and nurses looks after the well-being of residents and Day Care clients, organises Day Care activities, prepares and serves refreshments.

The Special Purpose Teams Group’s aim is to look after special events, e.g. our annual Christmas party to show appreciation to all directors, staff, volunteers, sponsors and friends of my residential care home for the donations and help in running it.

The Multifunction Team Group is established for specific tasks, e.g. welcoming a new resident and dealing with their family as each member of the group might have assigned different responsibilities. 

Without the Management Team Group, which includes a representative from each section within the care home settings, e.g. finance department, Human Resources, nurse in charge etc.

In the event of some teams not being present on a given day, the Virtual Team Group is formed to discuss issues or projects, organise webinars, virtual tuition etc. using Internet, social media or skype.

Five different roles and personality types within a team

This year I was asked in my residential care home to help oversee the organisation of our Indoor Winter Party for the residents and Day Care clients, a fundraising event at the end of November. I have decided to use Belbin’s Team Role model we have discussed in class to help me identify the right team players for this project. There are 9 team roles, which represent different behaviours, strengths and weaknesses and when grouped together can create very efficient teams. As I wanted this event to be successful, I needed to be critical in selecting the right people for the job. My team was to consist of 5 members, with me as one of them.

Rose, one of the longest employees, has been present at all fundraising events throughout the years and because of this and her outgoing and bubbly personality and the ability to jell people together, I decided to grant her the role of coordinator. The only thing I was worried about was the that Rose would have been known for over delegating work leaving very little duties for herself so to have more time to chat. She had also taken credit for the team work before so on this occasion I wanted to make sure she would remain focused on her tasks.

Barbara has always struck me as someone bursting with ideas and always taking part in the Day Care activities. She would be an ideal candidate for the role of plant. She is very creative, likes to work on her own so needs time and space for this before presenting her ideas to the team. Because Barbara had been depreciated and taken for granted before, I will make sure she will be recognised for her input here.

Tom is one of our maintenance staff, the “go to person” if you need to source something, get a good deal, get favours returned as he knows many in the right places etc. so I was very confident in awarding him with the role of resource investigator.  

Tracy, a secretary in the care home, is sober and strategic with a logical eye. She is very methodical so I asked her to be monitor evaluator and keep us all focused and on track. I just hope she isn’t going to be overly critical and slow us down with her decision making.

I have found it quite hard to place myself in one role only. I am very creative, dedicated and enthusiastic when I like the project I am to work on and quite resourceful as I can make something from nothing if I don’t have what I need. I am reliable and efficient, diplomatic but will avoid confrontations. I get things done by giving it my full attention and put my heart into everything I do. I am very often team worker, who may not always come up with ideas but can be counted on at all times as when I say I’d do something, it will be done. I am plant, just like Barbara above. I would also be specialist, making sure I have the knowledge and skills needed for the task andcompleter finisher, conscientious, inclined to worry, very often unnecessarily, striving for perfectionist and reluctant to delegate, which is something I still need to work on.  

Impact of effective and ineffective team members

I have been working in a residential care home since April. I understand how important teamwork is when it comes to working with a group of individuals in any settings, not just in healthcare. Good teamwork skills are essential for a team to perform well and efficient but also generate the right environment for that to happen. The team member will only succeed if their team succeeds. For team members to be effective, they must:

  • work together and be committed to the goal or task
  • share ideas and knowledge
  • boost each other’s confidence
  • be able to accept others ideas without criticism and judgement building the weaker team players up
  • take responsibility for their own actions
  • adapt to changes and welcome challenges as means for growth and development
  • be reliable, thoughtful, trustworthy with good communication skills, which include different forms of communication and listening
  • allow others to express their own opinions and be open to suggestions

In the perfect world Belbin would describe a person with all those characteristics as an ideal team worker (Belbin’s theory).

Unfortunately, 100% effective teams do not exist and we have to deal with team members, who make teams ineffective by:

  • being unreliable hence must be constantly checked to make sure their performance is at an acceptable level
  • creating negative environment, complaining and considering everything a waste of time, snapping the joy out of everything and bringing the morale of the whole team down
  • being insensitive, lacking tact and empathy
  • putting themselves first and not the team and never sharing anything with anyone else
  • putting blame on others and loving petty confrontations and thriving in conflict

In my workplace I have to work alongside people with different personalities and attitudes to work. I find it hard to deal with people who are unreliable and untrusted and have these “I don’t care” or “not my job” answers. We need to work together and with everyone within the team carrying out different task but strictly depending on the outcome of others work, things can go wrong if someone simply refuses to play ball.

Issues that may arise in multi-team tasks

In the residential care home where I work, we have several teams working alongside each other: managing team, catering team, Day Care team, housekeepers team, laundry team and maintenance team. Each team has certain objectives to achieve within a given time frame and this makes it an ideal environment for inter-team conflicts to arise should things not go to plan.

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The most important thing in preventing a conflict or managing one is understanding that everyone is entitled to a valid opinion without prejudice or judgement. Talking and listening to each other play a vital role here. Some team members might not feel comfortable voicing their grievance or unhappiness for fear of not being taken seriously, getting ridiculed, offending someone, getting bullied or being seen as the weaker one. All these are perfect starters for conflict reactions in a team of diverse beings with feelings.

There are times that conflict might be perceive as a good and motivational tool. The response and attitude of the team members can be viewed as either creative or destructive. They will not always agree and finding a common denominator in their dispute might seem like the best solution to resolving a conflict. Two people in a team already pose a risk of a conflict. In an ideal world all team players would support and agree with each other. This would though take away a possibility of a challenging situation that would perhaps bring up new solutions, ideas etc. and help team members learn and grow.

There are various teams in my workplace that work independently but also in conjunction with other teams. They might have individual goals but depend on one another for the care home to run smoothly. The managing team will not be able to work on the efficient running of the place without every team and team player pulling their weight and cooperating. In the end of the day the main objective of my care home is the well-being of its residents and Day Care clients. I would consider families and residents as teams too. I am part of the cleaning, laundry and Day Care HCA teams.

I know that families or friends of residents want the best for them forgetting at times that they themselves have a voice and can express their own needs or make decisions. This can cause conflicts between the family and staff members like HCAs or housekeepers. A resident might want to decide what they want to wear or the way they want their hair done, or what time they want to take an afternoon nap at or if they want to play bingo. Their family might not like what they see, the sleep pattern might differ from the one they had been used to when caring for the family member at home or playing bingo might coincide with their visit. Situations like these might leave everyone upset but can be solved with simple explanations about the priority of well-being of residents and the effects on their health these and other issues can cause. Communication plays a vital role here. Listening to both teams and their sides of the stories and also trying to engage them in talking to each other might help resolve a dispute. All serious negligence should always be brought up to the attention of supervisor or nurse.

Issues may arise between the cleaning staff and residents, who proceed to disobey the caution signs as they consider them nuisance and in their way when walking across wet floors (health and safety issue) or delay leaving their rooms, thus the cleaning staff is going to be late cleaning their room with the laundry staff having an issue with that as they are going to be late sorting the bed linen or clothes leaving the same residents angry in the end that they did not get their belongings on time.

Principles of team development

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -Henry Ford

A team would be defined as a group of two or more people who have a common goal and work towards achieving it by setting objectives. Objectives are like steps in the ladder helping us get to the top. Goals have to be realistic, clear, measurable and time related as there is no point in pursuing a journey that will have no end result as the goal is beyond reaching. Once goals are clearly defined, they have to be brought into practice by ensuring the availability of resources, e.g.:

  • people to carry out the task, grouped together in a team by unity of purpose as working solo or being understaffed would not be viable for a company
  • knowledge, skills and training as without those achieving anything would not be possible
  • financial resources

Communicationis the key in everything and good communication skills are vital in a team. Team players need to exchange ideas and opinions and be informed about any changes that might have happened. Cooperation between team members is a must as they deal with clearly defined tasks and responsibilities placed upon them. Workload is fairly distributed between team players taking into account their skills and knowledge. Knowledge flows both ways if it is easy to work with people. Challengesare met and tackled head on before they escalate into conflicts by the means of collaboration- problems that are unsolvable are unavoidable and team players, who can collaborate would definitely increase the chances for their team to success. If conflicts are managed well, they may become tools for growth and development. Work environment must be built on mutual trust and empathy, with a good leader and support system for each team member always available.

Good or bad outcome as a result of team building is an indication of how we, as a team are performing and if we are achieving our goals. In my residential care home our aim is to care for the residents and Day Care clients. Their well-being is of our utmost importance and if they are not happy, we have failed here. People come to care homes at more advanced stages of their ageing process as they want to be cared for in their homes for as long as possible. As their carers we must ensure that our care home reminds them of their homes to some degree so they feel well within its surroundings. We also don’t take their independence away even if they are in wheelchairs, as this would be interfering in their lives.   

Stages of team development

Working in a residential care home I can see first-hand how teams are developed and what stages they have to go through during the process. Teams are formed from different individuals put together to accomplish a given task. There are five stages of team development as identified by Bruce Tuckman which every team must go through in order to succeed.

Forming of the team is the essential process and thus one of the vital ones. Care needs to be taken when selecting team players as not everyone might suit their given role or perhaps find it hard to perform in a group environment. Every individual must contribute and work together with other members within the team. A team is made from a collective effort of its players under the direction and guidance of their leader. In the process of forming a team individuals enter an unfamiliar territory. They are presented with the end goal but are not assigned any tasks yet, don’t know how to divide the work, are not acquainted with each other and don’t know what to expect from one another. During this process a leadership is formed as people need to be guided and their questions answered by someone, who has the knowledge and asserts the authority over the team.

Once the team is formed, the next step is based on storming, which does not only relate to ideas but also the leader themselves and it is the most difficult step in the team development. During storming every team player will be trying to establish their position within the team and also challenge the leader. During this step conflict would be imminent between team members who strive in competition and might disagree on goals. The individuals might regroup and form cliques based on their views and opinions. A strong leadership is critical in this step to keep control over and bring focus back into the team. very often the only way to achieve peace is through compromise and the effort of each and every individual to work through obstacles.

When storming step is completed, there is a sense of conflict resolution to some degree and unity of the team members on chosen roles and responsibilities. The leadership is well established and accepted by all the members in the team. the team performance is on the rise with everyone focusing on the final goal. This step is called norming. There is a chance that should another conflict emerge between the team members, the whole process might reverse back to storming if not addressed in time.

In the performing step, the team members are well aware of their individual tasks and are fully committed to share the team’s vision. Though minor disagreements can still manifest, they are dealt with between the team members on a more mature and positive level. The leader is still in a position to assign projects and delegate tasks but the team members work well together and do not need assistance. The team’s focus is solely on meeting the goal and solving any problems stopping them from achieving it in a successful way.

The final step in the team development is called adjourning and it brings the completion of the team’s goal. Every individual finishes their final task and documents results and efforts in a collective way. As this might mean the end for the team players to work together, it is vital to acknowledge their individual and group work in a ceremonial way as recognition is very important in boosting confidence and chances of another successful teamwork in the future.

Team leadership and successful teams

Team leadership plays a significant role in creating a successful team. Finding a group of people that will instantly mix and create the perfect team is next to impossible. Team members are diverse in their personalities, skills, training, background etc. and they need a strong and confident leader to guide them on the road to achieving set goals. Finding a good leader may not always come easy and in my opinion it is a two way learning process- a leader can learn a lot from their team and vice versa. One must understand that there is no “i” in team or leader in order to be successful.

A good leader will:

  • keep everyone focused
  • remind them about their responsibilities towards other team members and also themselves
  • find resources to do the task, e.g. financial means, man power
  • motivate and encourage team members
  • recognise members for their individual input (praise in public and criticise in private) but also the team’s collective effort and by that increase their own reputation and secure a long lasting position as a leader
  • help build trust
  • be non-judgemental
  • allow team members to rise past their weaknesses and cultivate their strengths
  • give feedback

Successful teams:

  • attribute their achievements to good leadership and teamwork
  • exercise open and clear communication between team member but also other teams
  • allow opinions to be expressed in a no-judgmental environment free from fear for being ridiculed, belittled or bullied
  • agree on common goals and commit to them
  • allow flexibility without fear of being taken advantage of
  • promote responsibility within the team
  • offer support
  • encourage fun

In my residential care home I am part of various teams. Our success is measured by well-being of our residents and returns of the Day Care clients. Caring after the vulnerable in our community is our defined goal and together with our supervisor and their ongoing support, we ensure that we deliver what we teach. 

Importance of feedback on team performance

Feedback can play an important role in growth and development of staff within my workplace organisation. There are three types of feedback according to Stone and Heen from Harvard based on purpose: evaluation (a general look over a person’s performance), appreciation (a simple “thank you” or “well done”) and coaching (when a person needs extra training to improve their performance). It should be a regular practice, practiced daily or “on the spot” and include positive and negative aspects. I believe in a healthy balance between these two. Nobody is perfect and as human beings we tend to make mistakes. Feedback generates room for improvement and should come from a neutral place and not judgment. Too much of positive feedback may be as unhealthy as excess of negative feedback, though the latter one I would consider destructive to a person’s confidence and self-esteem. If they are unsuitable for a particular task that generates negative feedback, perhaps their role within the workplace organisation should be evaluated.

Giving feedback should always start on a positive note by letting a person know that overall they are doing well. The next step should be focused on the problem that might have arisen and brought up the constructive criticism to improve their performance in the future, e.g. there might be a different and more efficient way of doing something that is worth trying but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the way a person was doing it was completely wrong. Feedback should be delivered in private in a way that the person receiving it doesn’t feel stupid, belittled or inadequate for the job.

In my residential care home, a feedback can be as simple as saying thank you after a task I have completed. I have been thanked on several occasions by the managing director or other staff members or was giving tasks to do that they knew I would have them done up to the highest standards.  



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