Quiz 18: Leading Teams


Company W hires outgoing people, who can go out of the traditional way to help customers. This is based on their perception that these people will be the most productive in helping the company to reach the business goals. If a manager perceives certain traits - such as talkativeness - represent an outgoing person who is interested in helping others, and this is incorrect, the manager may hire people who are not able to do the job.

Manager H successfully implemented teams at a company facility in Alberta, Canada that dramatically improved the results of the group, and has been asked to implement a similar program in Colorado. Unfortunately the results to date in Colorado have not been good. During the initial implementation in Alberta, informal and voluntary teams were created called "fireside chats". This information team gave members of the facility the chance to get acquainted with each other, and to hear about problems from other parts of the plant. These teams moved through the forming, storming and norming stages, and over time the group began to trust each other, and evolved into a "performing" group that discussed and solved problems from the plant. The next phase at the company was to implement special-purpose formal teams called "problem busting teams". Although the members of the group had worked together informally at the fireside chats, they still had to go through the forming, storming and norming stages before they entered a performing stage due to differences in group focus and composition.

When faced with a work situation where traditional incentives such as raises are not effective and jobs are a plenty, implementation of self-directed work teams is an excellent approach. Self-directed work teams give employees a sense of control over their results and allow the development of the self-decision making capability to solve problems that come up rather than relying on a manager to determine the solution. A self-directed team helps to meet the belongingness needs of staff , by including them in a work group; the esteem needs , by increasing their responsibilities by giving more decision making power to the team; and their self-actualization needs , by providing opportunities for training, learning new things and using creativity on the job. All of these aspects will move employees up in the Maslow hierarchy of needs, increasing their job satisfaction and motivation. This higher level of satisfaction will tend to decrease employee turnover , as staff prefer to continue in their current job rather than look for a new one.