BSBWOR502 Leadership Techniques and Strategies to Facilitate Team Cohesion and Work

 

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Topic 1 – Establish Team Performance Plan

Planning

Goal setting is one of the first steps in reaching performance expectations set by an organisation.  A team needs goals and clear objectives so that performance and achievements can be tracked.  It provides:

  • clear direction
  • goal attainment
  • increased productivity/profit
  • teamwork
  • clear objectives

Strategic or business plans outline the general strategies to be followed in order to achieve an organisation’s vision and mission statements. A business plan is typically used to look up to 5 years ahead, providing direction and focus for the organisation and employees.

Therefore, teams need to align their goals and activities to the organisation’s business plan. Managers need to ensure that teams fulfill this role when undertaking projects to ensure they are contributing to the overall goals of the organisation.

 

 

Topic 1– Establish Team Performance Plan

Purpose of roles, responsibilities and accountabilities

So how can a manager help team members understand the purpose of their roles, responsibilities and accountabilities?

 

Managers should have a clear understanding of the goals, plans and objectives of the organisation – it ensures they can then support team members to understand and act toward meeting work requirements.

This may include:

  • expectations of how employees should behave in the workplace
  • what the organisation expects team members to achieve in the workplace
  • how tasks will be completed
  • how performance will be measured.

Subsequently, managers need to be able to effectively communicate well with their team members.

Team members with an understanding of these issues will have a greater likelihood of working effectively towards team goals.

 

Once an organisation has established its broad aims, it then develops detailed goals and objectives for how it will achieve those aims. Managers may be involved at some or all stages of the planning process, however, an integral part of their role is determining the targets, roles and responsibilities for their work team. These will have a direct link to the detailed goals and objectives of the organisation, and will guide the short-term targets for the team.

 

Work goals should be SMARTT:

  • specific
  • measurable
  • attainable
  • realistic
  • time related
  • trackable

 

Roles

Teams will consist of people with very specific strengths and weaknesses.  Team members vary in the role that they play for example some could be practical and organised whereas others could be a good communicators or problem solvers.

 

There are a number of different theories that have been developed which categorise the different types of roles and personalities people display. The Belbin test was developed to specifically identify the different types of roles team members prefer.

 

The Belbin test identifies the following roles that individuals adopt when working in teams:

  • Shaper
  • Plant
  • Co-ordinator
  • Monitor Evaluator
  • Resource Investigator
  • Implementer
  • Team Worker
  • Specialist
  • Completer-Finisher

 

Supporting team members

By supporting the members of your team, a manager can ensure that goals are met. This can include:

  • explaining or clarifying policies, procedures, instructions standards, codes of conduct and other organisational operations
  • supporting team members to complete tasks on time
  • if you have completed your own tasks ahead of schedule, support others
  • assisting with problem solving
  • providing encouragement
  • providing constructive feedback to other team members when appropriate
  • share and update information
  • allocate mentors or coaches for support and training if required
  • using rewards such as positive praise, bonuses, vouchers or extra lunch time break

 

 

Topic 2- Develop and facilitate team cohesion

Team Cohesion         

Team cohesion is the degree to which individual members want to contribute to the group’s ability to continue as a functioning work unit. Cohesiveness develops over time out of interpersonal and group-level attraction, through collaboration, and as a result of a sense of belonging.

 

Decision making

Planning and decision-making strategies could include:

  • establishing team boundaries;
  • meeting on a regular basis
  • open communication channels
  • fostering team participation
  • inclusion
  • collaboration

 

Fostering creative and productive decision-making could include:

  • Brainstorming sessions
  • The Nominal Group technique

Meetings (face to face, video conferencing or teleconferencing)

 

Policies and Procedures

Managers should be aware of all the policies and procedures pertaining to the organisation.  These should be provided to employees so that they are aware of the expectations of the organisation.

 

Documentation can include induction documents, WHS procedures, Codes of Conduct policies, position description, roles and responsibilities, Internet use Policy, etc.  Most organisations will have an induction or training day for all new employees and keep up-to-date policies and procedures on the intranet, which would be available to all employees.

 

Performance and feedback

Providing guidelines will allow for optimum performance amongst team members.  This could take the form of induction mornings or training days for all new employees.  A job description will provide a clear overview of the specific duties, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of each employee.

 

Feedback can support teams to maximise their performance and enhance their professional development and growth.  Being honest and providing clear communication channels will encourage a team to recognise issues, resolve problems and improve their performance to become a more effective team. Being a good communicator is a key characteristic of an effective manager.

 

 

Topic 2 Develop and facilitate team cohesion

Issues and Concerns

Addressing issues and concerns within teams can involve:

team meetings, forums, problem solving process and grievance procedures to solve issues

 

When problems or issues do occur the policies and procedures set in place by the organisation will provide a clear, defined process for all concerned

 

 

Topic 3 Facilitate teamwork

Communication

Communication within teams should be encouraged and promoted from within.  Teams should be:

  • open and receptive to communication channels
  • be involved and participative in decision making
  • valued and motivated to increase morale
  • open to feedback and reviews

Managers should develop a relationship of trust and honesty with their team by being supportive, professional, confidential, respectful of personal issues, acknowledging work input and be clear in their communication.

 

Competencies

To link individual performance to the goals of the business, some organisations use ‘competencies.’ These are the integrated knowledge, skills, judgment, and attributes that people need to perform a job effectively.

 

By having a defined set of competencies for each role in your team, it shows workers the kind of behaviors the organisation values, and which it requires to help achieve its objectives.

 

Not only can your team members work more effectively and achieve their potential, but there are many business benefits to be had from linking personal performance with corporate goals and values.

 

Defining which competencies are necessary can help managers:

  • Select appropriate team members
  • Ensure that the team demonstrates sufficient expertise
  • Effectively evaluate performance
  • Identify skill and competency gaps more efficiently
  • Provide relevant or appropriate training and professional development
  • Allocate secondments
  • Provide mentoring or coaching
  • Recognise and reward achievements

 

Monitoring performance

Monitoring work performance will help identify how a team is managing.  It helps to keep track of what’s going on and allows for modification of work activities or roles.

Steps can include:

  • identification
  • measures
  • comparison
  • action

For effective monitoring the information gathered or obtained should be accurate, timely and cost effective.  The processes should also meet the needs of the organisation.

 

 

Topic 4 Liaise with stakeholders

Open communication processes

It is extremely important to have a good communication process in place for stakeholders.  It should be active, frequent, collaborative and ongoing.

  • Formal methods could include:
  • Meetings, either face to face online or teleconferencing;
  • Online collaboration
  • Email, telephone or letters
  • Newsletters/discussion forums
  • Project communication either by a progress report or email update

 

Informal methods could include:

  • elevator conversations
  • lunch meetings
  • events

It is important to constantly monitor the communication channels to ensure that it is being used effectively.

 

Management communication

This can be verbal or written communication to the team leader or members of the team.  Effective interpersonal communication processes are essential to the establishment AND maintenance of effective teams.  Communication should be continuous, relevant and appropriate to the team.

 

Team communication

Team members must also be able to communicate effectively so that:

– information required to perform tasks is available

– each team member collaborates to achieve results

– each member can support one another

 

Conflict

Organisational procedures, systems, policies, codes of conduct, documentation and processes ensure that correct steps are taken if conflict arises.  Managers must try to resolve any issues but unresolved issues must also be addressed so that team morale and work activities can continue.  Any issues that do arise should be communicated to all stakeholders in a professional and confidential manner.

 

Negotiation

If there are unresolved issues then negotiations can provide a forum for deciding on a course of action or solution.

In many cases, conflict in the workplace just seems to be a fact of life. We’ve all seen situations where different people with different goals and needs have come into conflict. And we’ve all seen the often-intense personal animosity that can result.

 

The fact that conflict exists, however, is not necessarily a bad thing: As long as it is resolved effectively, it can lead to personal and professional growth. In many cases, effective conflict resolution can make the difference between positive and negative outcomes.

 

The good news is that by resolving conflict successfully, you can solve many of the problems that it has brought to the surface, as well as getting benefits that you might not at first expect:

  • Increased understanding: The discussion needed to resolve conflict expands people’s awareness of the situation, giving them an insight into how they can achieve their own goals without undermining those of other people.
  • Increased group cohesion: When conflict is resolved effectively, team members can develop stronger mutual respect, and a renewed faith in their ability to work together.
  • Improved self-knowledge: Conflict pushes individuals to examine their goals in close detail, helping them understand the things that are most important to them, sharpening their focus, and enhancing their effectiveness.

However, if conflict is not handled effectively, the results can be damaging. Conflicting goals can quickly turn into personal dislike. Teamwork breaks down. Talent is wasted as people disengage from their work. And it’s easy to end up in a vicious downward spiral of negativity and recrimination.

 

 

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