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Improving Teamwork in Organizations

Introduction

To come up with viable strategies within an organization, employers usually identify groups comprising of staff from varied departments within the organization. Members in such a group are expected to work as a team, bring together all problems affecting their different departments in the organization, and brainstorm to find the most effective methods of solving these problems (Salas, Bowers & Eleana 2001, pp. 245-247). The effectiveness of this assignment calls for every member in the group to be devoted to attaining the overall objectives. This requires people to put aside their perceptions about working in groups. In addition, the individuals in the team are also required to change their attitude about working in a group. I happened to work with Kiboko Company which deals with the manufacture of consumer products. The high demand for these products requires the management team at Kiboko to come up with strategies that would improve organization efficiency in the production and distribution of the products. This led to the board of directors established a team of fifteen people from various departments in the company. The team was to work together towards the establishment of organizational strategies that would be crucial in increasing the company’s operational efficiency. I happened to have been among those selected to take part in the team. This paper aims at outlining some of the experiences I got from participating in the team as well as how the exercise changed my perception with respect to teamwork.

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Changes in motivation and attitude towards teamwork

Initially, I had the perception that working as a team was not the best option within an organization. This was because I felt that it would be difficult to determine individual contribution in a team. According to me, it looked unfair to pay the entire group an equal amount of salary while some individuals in the group worked more than others. I found it imperative for one to work individually so as to gauge each person’s contribution in the organization. This made me accept the responsibility reluctantly. As we embarked on our activities, every person was expected to give a brief overview of areas that needed to be changed in their areas of specialization. Everybody identified some of the areas that hampered organization efficiency and we all set to come up with solutions to these problems. This is the area that significantly changed my attitude towards working as a group. I learnt that it is difficult for one to be independent. It reaches a point when one needs to get assistance from others. As we brainstormed, every member of the team had his or her own opinion which was then discussed by the group to determine its credibility. I realized that there was a lot to learn when working as a group than when working individually (Salas, Bowers & Eleana 2001, p. 249).

Challenges experienced in the group

Our working as a group did not run smoothly. At times, we experienced different challenges. Some of the challenges I faced were presenting the needs of my department. As I had the attitude of working individually, I lacked a clear idea of the challenges experienced by different staffs within our department. I had a lot of problems in consulting them as well as monitoring some of the activities to identify these problems. The other challenge I experienced was in coming up with a decision on changes that need to be done. This was because we had to weigh all the possible solutions with other team members to take the most appropriate. Despite taking time to come up with final solution, I found that decision making within a group is easy though it takes time. This is because responsibilities are divided among the members making work easier for entire group.

Key learning point from the experience

From this experience, I learnt the importance of diversity within an organization. I found that there are numerous benefits accrued from diverse working group. As every member had experience in one of the duties conducted in the company, it became easy for us to share ideas on how we could enhance efficiency in the organization. This could not have been easy had one been asked to come up with the strategy alone (Dyer, Dyer, Dyer & Schein 2007, p. 41).

Strategies that may help in improving teamwork

Some of the strategies that may help one in improving success of teamwork include enhancing communication within the group. As it requires all members to share ideas, it is imperative for all members starting with the group leader to ensure that they listen to each member’s opinions before making decision. Teamwork entails interaction among members. There is the need for one to ensure that team members interact freely. This would help them to cooperate when it comes to information collection and decision making. At times, it is good to encourage a healthy competition within the team. His promotes group as well as individual growth thus enhancing the success of the entire team (Dyer, Dyer, Dyer & Schein 2007, pp. 43-52).

Conclusion

The experience gathered from teamwork does not only relate to solving organization problems. A part from gaining knowledge on how to deal with different problems affecting the organization, interacting with team members helps one in gaining skills on how to coexist with other members of the society. It becomes possible for one to freely interact and share ideas with people outside the organization.

Reference

Dyer, W. G, Dyer, W, Dyer, J. F. & Schein, E. H., 2007, Team Building: Proven Strategies for Improving Team Performance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Salas, E, Bowers, C. A, & Eleana, E., 2001, Improving Teamwork in Organizations: Applications of Resource Management Training. Canada: CRC Press.

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