High-Performance Groups and Teams
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High-Performance Groups and Teams
High-performance is a major focus for many organizations since group and teams have become more common among organizations. A high-level of performance makes up the basis for groups and teams today. The collection of ideas, knowledge, and experience of different individuals is better than that of only one person. From problem-solving to innovation, organizations have relied on the high-performances of groups and teams to set the organization apart from the rest. This paper will discuss workplace groups and teams in the following paragraphs, describing how a group can become a high-performance team, the impact of demographic characteristics and cultural diversity on group behavior and how demographic characteristics and cultural diversity detract from high-performance teams.
Becoming a High-Performance Team
A problem-solving team is a group that meets often to discuss a range of issues affecting the organization. (Shermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, Ch. 10) A problem-solving team is also commonly known as “quality assurance” or “quality control” committees which are common to almost any organization. The member of this type of team should undergo specialized training to enable them to have a thorough knowledge of group dynamics, gathering information and critical thinking.
The cross-functional team is a collaboration of people from different departments, and having different skills, specialty, and experience. This type of team is effective because their focus is not limited to only what their departments are responsible for. They are in fact, as a team, responsible for the goings on all of the organization, and there is a representative to explain how things work in any given department. This collective contribution aids in the team being able to have a better understanding of how things unfamiliar or unspecific to them are done.
Another type of team is the Virtual team, whose meetings are conducted using advanced forms of technology. (Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn, Ch 10) The meetings are conducted between people who are often in always in another office which can possibly be in another country or on the other side of the world. With many companies moving major parts of their organizations overseas, organizations must keep the lines of communication open. Before the new technology enabling virtual teams emerged, the expense for managers to work with another manager in a different geographical area was very expensive. Now, communication and face-to-face meetings are not any more complicated than turning on the computer and projector. This type of team is also a team that is more diverse than the old ways of business because the team can work with production, engineering, and or any other division which may have been moved, or originated, anywhere around the world more easily then before. Because of immigration laws and the unwillingness of some governments to allow their citizens to relocate to the U.S., working closely with one another no matter what their geographic location has now become easier to recruit the very best talent from across the globe.
A self-managing team is the last type of workplace team to be discussed, and is increasingly popular in todays organizations. These teams are comprised of a smaller group of individuals who are responsible for managing themselves for the most part. These groups make a variety of decisions, to include task assignment, training, performance evaluation, and recruitment, and are held accountable for their own results as a team. This type of team puts emphasis on respect, trust, empowerment, and encouragement. Unlike other types of teams which are formed and re-formed, this type of team is essentially permanent fixtures in the organization.
Impact of Demographic Characteristics and Diversity
Group behavior is considerably impacted by demographic characteristics and cultural diversity. Gender, race, age, able-bodiedness, ethnicity, and sexual orientation comprise workplace diversity and demographics (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2005). The ability to collaborate on a project, despite their differences, is an important aspect for an effective team. Once members have the opportunity to recognize and understand their differences, along with their strengths and weaknesses, they will be able to capitalize on the diversity within the team. When employees feel their demographic is properly represented throughout the group and organization, he or she will express this through his or her attitude, behavior, and productivity. Conversely, diversity is not always a welcomed factor in a team. Some individuals carry his or her personal stereotypes and prejudices with