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The features of effective team performance Essay

As the manager of a small team, I work closely with them ensuring that all staff are treated with respect, I encourage them to develop their own skills and knowledge. I encourage them to research any further training they feel they may need to expand their skill set.

I believe that I lead by example and that this sets a standard of positive leadership resulting in the staff feeling that that they can trust me as a manager, therefore creating a good working atmosphere that brings our team together resulting in high performance standards.

As the manager I carry out staff supervision and appraisals along with observations and this allows me to get to know and understand my staff and recognise their strengths and weaknesses, not only does this allow me to use their skills to the advantage of the team but also to work with the staff to identify and agree on areas of improvement be it through training or further experience. This improves staff confidence and gives them a sense of pride in their work. Good communication within a team is essential for its success, this allows us to discuss any issues and concerns in an open and honest manner and hopefully find an agreeable solution. As a manager I have found it to be effective to reflect and review performance regularly, be it through staff appraisal, team meetings or in everyday working. We regularly discuss as a team or at individual supervisions any changes and agreeing a course of action.

1.2 Identify the challenges experienced by developing teams. Forming a team takes time, and members often go through recognizable stages as they change from being collections of strangers to united groups with common goals. Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing model describes these stages. When you understand it, you can help your new team become effective more quickly. Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable phrase “forming, storming, norming, and performing” in his 1965 article, “Developmental Sequence in Small Groups.” He used it to describe the path that most teams follow on their way to high performance. Later, he added a fifth stage, “adjourning” (which is sometimes known as “mourning”).( Extract from Wykapedia and Mindtools)

Forming

In the first stage of team building, the forming of the team takes place. The individual’s behavior is driven by a desire to be accepted by the others, and avoid controversy or conflict. Serious issues and feelings are avoided, and people focus on being busy with routines, such as team organization, who does what, when to meet each other, etc. Individuals are also gathering information and impressions – about each other, and about the scope of the task and how to approach it. This is a comfortable stage to be in, but the avoidance of conflict means that not much actually gets done. The team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks.

Team members tend to behave quite independently. They may be motivated but are usually relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives of the team. Team members are usually on their best behavior but very focused on themselves. Mature team members begin to model appropriate behavior even at this early phase. The forming stage of any team is important because the members of the team get to know one another, exchange some personal information, and make new friends. This is also a good opportunity to see how each member of the team works as an individual and how they respond to pressure.

Leadership direction and Activies:

Direct the team, and establish clear objectives, both for the team as a whole and for individual team members.

Storming

In the storming stage, enough initial trust has been developed between team members that they start to feel comfortable expressing discontent and challenging others’ opinions. This stage is necessary to the growth of the team. It can be contentious, unpleasant and even painful to members of the team who are averse to conflict. Tolerance of each team member and their differences should be emphasized; without tolerance and patience the team
will fail. This phase can become destructive to the team and will lower motivation if allowed to get out of control.

Some teams will never develop past this stage; however, disagreements within the team can make members stronger, more versatile, and able to work more effectively as a team. Supervisors of the team during this phase may be more accessible, but tend to remain directive in their guidance of decision-making and professional behavior. The team members will therefore resolve their differences and members will be able to participate with one another more comfortably. The ideal is that they will not feel that they are being judged, and will therefore share their opinions and views. Normally tension, struggle and sometimes arguments occur. This stage can also be upsetting.

Leadership direction and Activies:

Establish processes and structures.

Build trust and good relationships between team members. Resolve conflicts swiftly if they occur. Provide support, especially to those team members who are less secure. Remain positive and firm in the face of challenges to your leadership, or to the team’s goal. Explain the “forming, storming, norming, and performing” idea, so that people understand why problems are occurring, and so that they see that things will get better in the future. Coach team members in assertiveness and conflict resolution skills , where this is necessary.

Norming

The team manages to have one goal and come to a mutual plan for the team at this stage. Some may have to give up their own ideas and agree with others to make the team function. In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team’s goals. The danger here is that members may be so focused on preventing conflict that they are reluctant to share controversial ideas. Leadership direction and Activies:

Step back and help team members take responsibility for progress towards the goal.

Performing

It is possible for some teams to reach the performing stage. These high-performing teams can function as a unit as they find ways to get the job done smoothly and effectively without inappropriate conflict or the need for external supervision. By this time, they are motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision. Dissent is expected and allowed as long as it is channeled through means acceptable to the team. Supervisors of the team during this phase are almost always participating.

The team will make most of the necessary decisions. Even the most high-performing teams will revert to earlier stages in certain circumstances. Many long-standing teams go through these cycles many times as they react to changing circumstances. For example, a change in leadership may cause the team to revert to storming as the new people challenge the existing norms and dynamics of the team.

Leadership direction and Activies:

Delegate tasks and projects as far as you can. Once the team is achieving well, you should aim to have as light a touch as possible. You will now be able to start focusing on other goals and areas of work.

As teams develop they do not stay in the same phase for any set amount of time and they may not travel through these phases in the order as set out above. Often when teams are first established they will follow this order until each of them has established and identified each individual’s role within the team. In my own experience I have noticed how my own team can revert back to the forming and storming phases when a new member of staff is introduced to the team.

References
Tuckman, B.W. (1965) ‘Developmental Sequence in Small Groups,’ Psychological Bulletin, Volume 63, June 1965. Tuckman, B.W. and Jensen, M.A.C. (1977) ‘Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited,’ Group Organization Management, Volume 2, Number 4, December 1977. 1.3 Identify the challenges experienced by established

I am pleased to say that we gel together and are able to be honest with one another to overcome any issues that arise. We also recognise each other’s own skills and abilities and use each other’s strengths to ensure that our team performs to a high standard providing the best possible service and practice for our client . Challenges can arise when new staff are required, recruitment can be extremely difficult. Trying to find staff who not only the service user likes, but also considering their role and skills to fit in with already well established staff members. As the manager I need to help smooth the way for the new staff member using induction, training and using their skills and knowledge for the best of the client and for the staff team.

Sometimes resistance to the inevitable changes that not only come with new staff members but also to the needs of the client can be a challenge but I genuinely find open dialogue with all concerned creates a more relaxed working environment. Listening to any concerns and ideas team members may have. Sometimes staff feel unsure of they’re roles and workload responsibilities especially when a new member is taken on. I find that if I give clear instruction and delegate work loads to all staff paying attention to their own strengths and weakness’s helps towards good working practices. My end goal is to provide the best for our client.

1.4 Explain how challenges to effective team performance can be overcome
Challenges to effective team performance can be overcome by building a team that has mutual respect and recognises each other’s skills and abilities whilst also being able to openly discuss and resolve conflict in a timely manner. Within my own team I recognise the importance of holding regular team meetings and ensuring that staff are given a chance to reflect on their performance and review accordingly. I am an open and honest manager but feel that by setting agreed outcomes and ensuring that all staff are working toward the same outcome this creates a culture of mutual respect and breeds a team where success is something that we all strive to achieve. I encourage people to air any concerns that they may have and facilitate discussions to look at issues constructively so that people feel happy to bring other issues forward as they arise.

1.5 Analyse how different management styles may influence outcomes of team performance
Management styles can be divided in to three categories as follows:
Autocratic:
Manage in a very controlling style, they like to make all of the decisions and monitor staff closely often staff will run every small decision past this style of manager. This style of management relates to the Taylor scientific management theory that claims that people can be treated in a standardised fashion. The autocratic style of manager will expect workers to follow their directions to the letter and communication will be dominated by them alone. The advantage to this style of management is that decisions are instant…….. although not always right
Democratic:
This style of manager will listen encourage and discuss with their staff giving them a sense of ownership and autonomy. This kind of manager creates a much more relaxed working environment which gives the worker the confidence to participate and make decisions and the team will often work well together in looking at ways that improvements can be made.
Paternalistic:
This style of manager is very much the parent, they feel duty bound to ensure that their staff are happy and take an interest in their lives as well as their position within the team. Although this style may make the worker feel included and valued often decisions are still made by the manager.

1.6 Analyse methods of developing and maintaining:

Trust:

I am a great believer in all aspects of my life that you treat people as you wish to be treated yourself. Trust is no exception, I have found through personal experience that by trusting staff this is then reciprocated. Staff will feel included and a valued member of the team, and are happy to go that extra mile to meet the needs of our client. I like to lead by example and feel that I am an open and approachable manager, this leads to a culture of trust and respect within my team.

Accountability

As a manager it is essential that I ensure that all staff including myself are aware that we are accountable for our actions. Policies and procedures are in place to protect both staff and our client, and these procedure must be adhered to at all times. Staff are given copies of job description and specification which sets out clear roles and responsibilities, these are referred to at regular intervals through supervision and staff meetings to ensure that staff have a good understanding of their duties and boundaries. Staff are subject to a thorough induction process during which they all sign to say that they have received specific policies and their code of conduct. This ensures that all staff are given a consistent message and the standard that we work to is very clear. All of these things ensure that staff work within their roles and responsibilities and are accountable for their actions on a daily basis.

2.1 Identify the components of a positive culture

The components of a positive culture in my opinion and experience are good leadership, as previously stated I am a firm believer in leading by example and that staff will perform at a much higher level if they feel valued and respected within the workforce and that their own opinions are listened too and any ideas are taken seriously if they could add value to the service. We have very clear standards within our service and have a shared goal that we all work to achieve best practice for our client. We also recognise each others achievements which then breeds a positive work place atmosphere and a high level of commitment to our service.

3.1 Identify the factors that influence the vision and strategic direction of the team.

The introduction of and implementation of new legislation brought to us by government, influence the vision and strategic direction of any care service.  The government white paper “Our health, our care, our say” sets out the future of adult social care with a vision of the introduction of the personalisation agenda and a vision of joint partnership working, between health and social care ensuring that services are accessible to all giving service users more choice and control over the service they receive.

3.2 Communicate the vision and strategic direction to team members.

When the changes took place after the restructure ready to implement the strategic vision we felt that it was important for the staff to recognise this was a new beginning for our service and went about arranging an induction to their new roles and the way of working and also a 4 day training session that covered topics such as what is rehab & reablment. We arranged for staff to attend in small groups as we felt that it was important to communicate these changes in a timely manner and to ensure that all staff were given a consistent message.

We worked with staff to ensure that they also had an understanding of the impact that change can have upon teams and how these changes can cause conflict and for a team to feel unsettled at times. This ensures that the staff were more aware that this may happen to them and put them in a better position to deal with the changes. We also spent time looking at the pathway through our service so that staff understood how they fit in to this structure and why these changes had taken place and how this helped us to work towards the vision set out in both the our health our care our say white paper and the local strategy.

We looked at how we could monitor and record the progress of the service users and how we could relay this information effectively to the care practitioners to ensure that services were reviewed and adjusted accordingly and in a timely manner. My role dealing with quality and performance allows me to work with staff to ensure that they all had a good understanding of the new vision following the training through observations and quality performance reviews.

3.4 evaluate how the vision and strategic direction of the team influences team practise. Myself and the team use practises which are influenced by the white paper our health, our care, our say. The vision of our service is to ensure that our client has access to services that offer them choice to best meet their needs, free from discrimination keeping them free from risk of harm and abuse.

Care standards set out by the care quality commission ensure that as a service in the community we are all working to an expected level of care and that all staff are trained to an appropriate level. Staff receive mandatory training to ensure that they are all safe to practise and also are given supplementary training that ensures the client will at all times be with a member of staff who is competent in administrating rectal diazepam, this gives us the opportunity to provide our client with care that is of good quality, best practice is adhered to and standards are maintained.

4.1 Identify team objectives
Our teams objectives are clear:
“To provide our client with support, encouragement to be as independent as possible And to ensure that at all times they are free from risk of harm”.

4.2 Analyse how the skills, interests, knowledge and expertise within the team can meet agreed objectives. Within our small team we have a very diverse workforce with a multitude of skills interests and abilities. Each team member has their own strengths and weaknesses and after working together for so long we are able to identify these and use them to the teams and clients advantage.

We share ideas and use these ideas at team meetings to try and resolve any problems that we have come across this helps us achieve a better outcome and meet objectives by utilising each individuals skills. Within my own staff group we discuss who would be best placed to carry out any tasks that have been identified so that the team can agree who would best be able to complete this. It also gives the team a sense of ownership. As a manager I recognise that individuals all have different learning styles and although one member of my team may benefit from working together as a group some prefer to work on a one to one basis.

4.3 Facilitate team members to actively participate in the planning process. As the manager I find it is better to involve the staff that are expected to meet these objectives in the planning process so as they can feel a sense of ownership and can take on some responsibility to meet the aims and objectives of the service. By consulting with the front line staff this ensured that they had a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities from day one. It was evident that the staff involved in this process were highly motivated to ensure that the changes implemented were a success. Staff are constantly consulted about changes that take place within our team and are expected to contribute and bring forward ideas be this through the staff consultation group or through the weekly staff meetings that are held to look at the progress made by our client so we can identify any changes and adjustments that need to be made to their services to best meet their needs.

6.1 Monitor and evaluate progress towards agreed objectives In my role as Manager I take the lead on quality and performance, monitoring team objectives and how we are managing to achieve these identifying issues where we can improve. Recognising areas that we are performing well in and looking at why certain processes are working well to establish if the strategies used can be implemented in other areas to improve best practice for our client.


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