In a team situation, I generally find myself falling into two different roles which are discussed into two categories.
Part A: Marketing Strategy for Eircom, IrelandWhile working in group work and a group presentation on Marketing Strategy for Eircome, Ireland I had to work with three other colleagues: every team was to consist of four employees. The team had been assigned a common task. In this case, I was acting as the head of the group and was in charge of finances, logistics, overseer and advisory roles. As the person in charge of logistics, I had to ensure that the equipment and non-financial resources that had been allocated to the group were efficiently and effectively used in a manner that would achieve the group’s objectives. I also had to ensure that the financial resources that had been allocated to the group were used in line with the objectives and accounted for in the books of accounts. I also ensured that every individual member strove to attain the set performance target so as to ensure the actualisation of the group’s overall performance target and objectives. I also had to advise and encourage members to stay motivated, focused, reliable and innovative.
Part B: Working As a Planner for a Manufacturing Company, R & D
As a planner working for the manufacturing company R & D, I had to preside over financial planning, making logistics, designing the processes of production and determining marketing strategies. Concerning financial planning, I led the entire R & D and its stakeholders into making proper financial allocation, determining the source of funding and making contingencies and risks for the entire plant and all the projects operating within it. As the person in charge of logistics and processes of production, I had to work with relevant offices such as human resources management to ensure that the synergies of the entire R & D are expended towards the realisation of the set performance target. I had to also do market segmentation and establish effective marketing strategies for R & D.
Question 2: Discussing Personal Principal Contributions to the Team Effort
In light of the immediately foregoing, there are several principal contributions that I had to make to the team effort. I had to provide leadership for the team and this means that I had to constantly play the decisively important role of decision-making. This applied to both matters emanating from a fuller organisational and from impromptu and micro-level issues. In case of the latter, I had to attend and deliberate on meetings with the team before reaching a democratic decision. In case of the latter, I always practiced the open door policy. This policy allowed employees or any member of the group to walk into my office for consultation without necessarily booking (prior) appointment at the secretary’s desk. This approach was also used as an artifice for ensuring determination, persistence and reliability among the rank and file of the organization and the team.
I also had to cultivate a culture of creativity and inventiveness among members of the team. This had me facilitating and initiating several workshop drives and training programmes. The workshop drives and training programmes are to help members of the team and the rest of the employees to comprehend deeper the nature of the tasks that they are to discharge and to acquire newer and better ideas on how they can discharge their duties. Members of the team are also helped to become more tech-savvy to help them discharge their duties more efficiently and effectively. This move was also done to ensure that employees and team members have technical ability and computer skills.
I also had to motivate the team and to this end, I accorded the team strong communication tools, stringer incentives such as competitive emoluments, perks, rewards and acts of acknowledgement (with the last three being specific to outstanding performance). The import of this is that there is a direct relationship between rewards and punishment on one side and performance, on the other hand.
Question 3: Areas in Which I Think I Could Have Done Better
Being only human, it is true that there are areas I could have performed better in, if not all. Even in areas people think they have done best in, there are still flaws. Nevertheless, I personally feel that I could have done better in:
- Motivating the spirit of the employees and team members
- Effectively synchronising paperwork and the use of technology; and
- Enforcing a much more cohesive front
Despite the fact that I left my door almost always open to the team members, there are far-reaching realities that motivate employees yet I did not seriously consider them in my approach. One of these realities is the reality of intra-organisational relations. In the absence of internal harmony and smooth relations among members of the team or organisation, may not view one another as an integral part of the whole. To this extent, people may pull in different directions, fail to use the tools and channels of communication more effectively and become subject to destructive competition and its manifestations such as sabotage and malicious gossip.
In case of the above, there are many incentives and approaches that I could have used. Some of these include educational organisational tours, in-house get-togethers, parties, games and regular team meetings. This may nevertheless have necessitated the consideration and ratification of financial adjustments since the approaches automatically brought about additional expenses.
I also feel that there are additional measures that I could have made to impart technical ability and computer skills, as I had not done enough. In my case, I had done well to ensure that every member of the team had been provided with a computer. In the same light, I encouraged the use of computers in training programmes and workshop drives. However, it is true that in all these noble efforts, I failed to ensure that all functions of the work to be discharged by all individual employees were computerised. Specifically, I inadvertently let members of the team perform some tasks in paper work by not communicating that all functions were to be done via the computer before the same were then scanned and filed. Because of this, much room was inadvertently accorded to paper work than should have been the case. Paper work should only have been left for filing purposes and not as the chief mode of operations. This amounted to double work and wastage of resources (time, stationery and labour).
- Gathering, processing, analysing, storing and retrieving information
- Performing primary functions that would see the objectives of the team’s project come to fruition by channeling skilled energy toward the assigned task
- Applying problem-solving techniques so as to generate solutions
- Finding mutually acceptable solutions and resolutions
- Performing roles within the provision and guidance of organisational rules and team regulations
- Building cohesion
- Building consensus on the operations and logistical and financial strategies of the team or the entire organisation
- Helping in the formation and the pursuit of organisational strategy
- Disengaging after the successful attainment of the set goals
It is important to note that the goals mentioned immediately above were attained and tenable because of teamwork, the embracing of effective communication, communication channels and tools and the consideration of team goals and objectives and the appreciation of the need to embrace internal cohesion. Other factors such as adequacy in financial and logistical resources were only extraneous: many organisations have fallen even with an immense pool of capital at their disposal because of their maladroit organisational culture, style of management and decisions.
Again, being only human, there are areas which the team could have performed better in, if not all. Some of these areas I feel the entire team could have done better include:
- Synchronising electronic and paperwork
- Maximum attainment of the set target (the target was met but to a weak degree)
- Building of a much more cohesive front
As has already been seen, the failure to synchronise electronic and paperwork ensued from my failure to delineate the extent to which the functions of the team were to be done via the computer and the extent to which computerised functions were to be complemented with paperwork. Similarly, the failure to build a much more cohesive front was informed by my failure to make arrangements to foster unity. I had not exploited provisions such as educational organisational tours, in-house get-togethers, parties, games and regular team meetings. The failure to realise maximal attainment of set targets was occasioned by human factors: some members of the team misunderstood the training and workshop programmes as punitive measures.