Group and Teams in Workforce

A team is a group of two or more people who come together with a common objective. A team can only be successful if there is team building where individuals with common interests come together to achieve set objectives.

For a team to perform effectively, the members are supposed to be committed to the set objectives and set strategies of their project (Grazier, 2004). The nature of the team depends on the decisions of the members. However, teams of between 3-4 members are preferred because such teams are usually quick and fast in producing results.

Importance of Team Building

Team Building helps members to identify their own weaknesses and strengths, improve on the effectiveness and efficiency of the team, improve on the members’ relationships and enhancing teamwork. The strengths of the team members are realized, and they help them to improve on the productivity of the team.

The members encourage and get to know each other. According to Tuckman’s (2010), there are four stages of team development. Stage 1 is formulation; stage 2 storming, stage 3 norming and stage 4 performing. Stage 1 is the initial stage of forming a team, and no serious work is done because the members are not familiar with each other, and the team has not established its norms.

Moreover, the members do not own the mission of the group, and the members are not familiar with each other. Stage 2 involves storming, in which people come together to bring new ideas and come up with the team’s mission. Members share the roles and responsibilities and elect the members to be in power. The agendas of the team are also outlined.

Stage 3 is the norming and it is a successful stage of team development because the success of the team is realized through the set objectives and the defined purpose of the team. Leaders of the team encourage team building by motivating the individuals. All the agendas are put on the table, and the members also have all the resources to enable them to run the job.

Stage 4 involves the performance of set activities. Members are proud of their team and are efficient and effective in their operations. The members also develop high trust in each other. The team members are usually motivated from the big wins of their teams. The members are supportive and open to each other (Blair, n.d).

In this model, we also have the action steps that correlate all the four stages of team building, and they include the following forming to storming where members set the objectives and missions of the team from the guidelines given by their leaders. The members also make decisions to be part of the team.

Action 2 involves storming to Norming where members come to an agreement about the roles and duties of various individuals and also get involved in the teams’ activities. The members cooperate with each other and always aim at making sure that the team succeeds. Team leaders reinforce the need for good results and team behavior. Team members trust each other through their commitments in their duties and responsibilities.

Action 3 involves norming to performing where members are ready to share the roles and delegate the duties to each other. Members are also ready to share the benefits of the team and carry out self-evaluation. The members always aim at maintaining the culture of the team, they set aside their time to the team and identify new members of the team and indulge them in the teams’ activities (Williamson, 2009).

Collocated teams are teams found in the same area of location, and the members have the ability to have personal contact with each other. Collocating of teams always improves the productivity of the team (Teasley, 2000).

Challenges of a collocated team facing team members

The main challenge of a collocated room is that there is no privacy and there are increasing cases of interruptions, some members’ contributions to the team are not always identified by the team leaders and continuous communication causes interruptions, especially when performing tasks that require concentration.

Solutions to the challenges of a collocated team

The members of the team should be in a position to realize the benefits that are associated with collocation of the teams, and this will help them overcome the challenges that they face. For instance, teams depend on each other’s work, and this is important in solving out some of the issues that result in efficiency and effectiveness of the team. A virtual team is a group of individuals who is located in different areas and work together but do not come into contact with each other but communicate either through email, by phone or video conference.

Challenges of virtual teams

The greatest overall challenge that is faced by the virtual teams is the time zones where about 81% of the respondents found it very challenging, other challenges faced by virtual teams are the levels of technology, differences in languages, customs, local laws, and holidays. We also have other challenges that are faced by individuals who work virtually.

It is indicated that the highest virtual challenge faced by the individual is failure to interpret the nonverbal cues, lack of good collegial and interpersonal relationship that makes the members of the team to be unproductive. Others are relying on some means of communication like the telephone and email and the inability of the individuals to view the whole picture and lack of personal conduct.

Solutions to challenges of virtual teams

There is a need for the team members to have personal good conduct. Members can also improve their personal relationships by sparing extra time to share ideas. This is very important in building trust among the team members. The team leaders should make sure that there is effective communication among the members by allocating time for members’ conversation. Virtual teams should also make sure that they set clear structures, which can help in improving the performance of the virtual teams (Williamson, 2009).

Challenges of Cultural Differences for Virtual Teams

Cultural differences pose a challenge for the virtual teams, for instance, individuals from non-English speaking countries find it difficult to interact with people from English-speaking countries. This is because individuals from English-speaking countries have a different culture in comparison to individuals from non-English speaking countries. This brings about negative impacts on the individual’s contact and channels of communications.

Teamwork differs between cultures. Individuals also differ depending from where they were brought up. For instance, people from the U.S., Great Britain and Canada are individualistic in comparison to people from India and China, who are idealistic. Individuals’ value attachment to work varies between countries. These variations in cultures make it hard for one to find out the major cause of the problems among the members of the team because it becomes tricky for one to differentiate between individual and cultural factors (Conlin,2009).

Solutions for resolving cultural differences

The best approach to deal with cultural differences is to know more about culture. It is important for one to carry out a study and get to know more about other people’s culture before they meet. This is because an individual’s first impression will either have a negative or positive impact on people of the other culture. Individuals who are always fast at responding like the Japanese tend to lessen pressure among members of the team (Anony, 2012).

Comparison between processes of developing a virtual work team and a collocated team

Basing on the Tuckman model of team development, specifically the stages of team development the following are comparisons between virtual and collocated teams. In virtual and collocated teams the members have to set the goals and objectives of their teams. Members familiarize with each other and are committed to performing their roles and duties.

In both teams, members come up with new ideas to accomplish the team’s mission. In virtual and collocated teams, the success of the team is realized through the set objectives and the defined purpose of the team. Lastly, members develop trust in each other and get motivation from the big wins of their teams (Virtual Teams Survey Report, 2010).

The contrast between processes of developing a virtual and collocated team work

A virtual team is comprised of members who are located in different areas and work together but do not come into contact with each other but communicate either through email, by phone or video conference while a collocated team comprises of teams found in the same area of location, and the members have the ability to have personal contact with each other. In virtual teams, there are no cases of noise interruptions while in collocated teams, there are high cases of noise interruptions.

References

Anony. (2012). Managing the virtual workforce- special report.

Blair, G. (n.d). Groups that work.

Conlin,M. (2009). Is there a virtual worker personality? Cooperative work.

Grazier, P. (2004). Team motivation.

Teasley, S. (2000). How does radical collocation help.

Tuckman’s, B. ( 1965). Forming storming norming performing team-development model.

Virtual Teams Survey Report. (2010). The challenges of working in virtual teams.

Williamson, B. (2009). Managing virtually: First get dressed!