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Teamwork

Teamwork

Processes

Researchers have identified 10 teamwork processes that fall into three categories:

  • Transition processes (between periods of action)
    • Mission analysis
    • Goal specification
    • Strategy formulation
  • Action processes (when the team attempts to accomplish its goals and objectives)
    • Monitoring progress toward goals
    • Systems monitoring
    • Team monitoring and backup behavior
    • Coordination
  • Interpersonal processes (present in both action periods and transition periods)
    • Conflict management
    • Motivation and confidence building
    • Affect management

Researchers have confirmed that performing teamwork generally works better when members of the team have prior experience working together due to enhanced coordination and communication. This appears partly due to a chemical called serotonin which helps an individual to communicate better and think more positively. Serotonin is produced when an individual is in a situation where he/she is in comfortable environment.

Benefits

  • Problems solving: A single brain can’t bounce different ideas off of each other. Each team member has a responsibility to contribute equally and offer their unique perspective on a problem to arrive at the best possible solution. Teamwork can lead to better decisions, products, or services. The quality of teamwork may be measured by analyzing the following six components of  among team members: communication, coordination, balance of member contributions, mutual support, effort, and cohesion. In one study, teamwork quality as measured in this manner correlated with team performance in the areas of effectiveness (i.e., producing high quality work) and efficiency (i.e., meeting schedules and budgets). A 2008 also found a relationship between teamwork and team effectiveness.
  • Healthy competition: A healthy competition in groups can be used to motivate individuals and help the team excel.
  • Developing relationships: A team that continues to work together will eventually develop an increased level of bonding. This can help people avoid unnecessary conflicts since they have become well acquainted with each other through team work. Team members’ ratings of their satisfaction with a team is correlated with the level of teamwork processes present.
  • Everyone has unique qualities: Every team member can offer their unique knowledge and ability to help improve other team members. Through teamwork the sharing of these qualities will allow team members to be more productive in the future.
  • In healthcare: teamwork is associated with increased

Things to avoid

  • Teamwork may have an "unintended effect of fermenting hostility toward the managerial goal of making the teams fully self-managing."In one case study of a  manufacturer, a switch from work (with bonuses given for individual performance) to teamwork (in which an individual's earnings depended on team performance) caused workers to resent having to monitor each other.
  • There is a potential of "social loafing" (i.e., an individual's doing less work in a team than what he/she would normally do working individually). In order to minimize social loafing, management can make individual performance more visible while in a team setting. This can be done by forming smaller teams, specializing specific tasks to certain individuals, and measuring individual performance. Social loafing can also be reduced by increasing employee motivation, by selecting employees who have previously shown themselves to be motivated, and increasing job enrichment. In experiments conducted in the 1990s, an increase in  appeared to decrease social loafing.
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