A realworld perspective on high performance team working

Unity is strength - teamwork concept

For today’s organisation, teamwork is more important than ever. Teams have become the basic unit through which work is carried out in organisations. Research shows that top management teams will often make strategic decisions which may influence the long term sustainability of their organisation. Effective teamwork is also essential for carrying out safety critical operations in high risk work environments. Finally, the use of teams has also been shown to improve employee satisfaction and commitment.

So what does effective teamwork look like? As part of a project carried out in conjunction with the University of Hertfordshire, Realworld Consulting have examined the latest literature in an effort to understand what effective teamwork looks like today. These are some of our key findings:

Effective teams are comprised of individuals who have positive relationships with each other…

Where team members have positive relationships, they share more information and are better able to provide emotional resources in times of need. Positive relationships between team members also help to encourage individuals to share ideas without fear of ridicule or critique.

Effective teams communicate well…

Where teams communicate effectively, they become better able to share information. Information sharing enhances team effectiveness by expanding the pool of knowledge that is available for processing. It is particularly important to share knowledge that is not commonly known to all members.

Effective teams are well equipped to manage conflict…

Group conflict interferes with team performance and has detrimental effects on satisfaction by producing antagonism and distracting members from performing tasks. Effective teams manage their conflict well, or use it to their advantage in the form of constructive debate.

Effective teams set specific, challenging and attainable goals…

Where goals are specific, clear, challenging and attainable, performance will be enhanced. This is particularly true for teams, since many individuals may have different understandings of the team’s goals and what an acceptable level of performance looks like in the first instance.

Effective teams are all ‘on the same page’, and members all know who knows what…

Team members need to have similar understandings of how tasks are structured, how tasks should be carried out, and who knows what in the team. When team members are all ‘on the same page’ it allows individuals to refer to well-structured knowledge frameworks and divide labour as a basis for carrying out effective and well co-ordinated actions.

Chris Caldwell, Principal Researcher, Realworld Consulting

Based on this initial review of existing research, we have designed a new Team Effectiveness Questionnaire that will be intended to be used to support team development.

The next stage of the research project is to ask as many people as possible to complete the questionnaire. The information we gather will be used to statistically validate the tool.

Click here to complete the online questionnaire.







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