Team processes, HR Management

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In order for teams to be able to reach their desired outputs (performance, viability and well-being) they have to go through a number of processes. The extent to which they reach their goals depends on how well they manage these processes. Therefore, understanding the processes that employees go through to work together in teams enables an organisation to improve human resource systems and managers to select, train and reward employees for effective teamwork.

Research into processes that make teams effective has been ample. For example, goal-setting, communication, conflict management, experimentation, discussion of errors, and processing feedback  are a few examples. These processes are critical because teams can directly influence them (Beal, Cohen, Burke & McLendon 2003). Team viability, which is defined as a group's potential to retain its members (Goodman, Ravlin & Schminke 1987; Hackman 1987) is pertinent in this regard. Team viability reflects the likelihood that the team will continue working together and effectively (West 2004). In other words, team members not speaking to one another is probably a good predictor of future performance!Hackman (1990) identified three hurdles that a team must overcome on the road to performance. The team must:Exert sufficient effort to accomplish the task at an acceptable level of performance

  • Bring adequate knowledge and skill to the task
  • Employ task performance strategies that are appropriate to the work and to the setting in which it is being performed.

Although these conditions are not the ultimate test of how well teams perform, they can be used to assess how a team is doing and diagnosing problems. In other words, is there lack of effort, lack of talent or lack of strategy?


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