- Identify each of the four stages of team development and explain how the director described each to the staff.
Basically, the four steps have to be taken in the team building process. The steps include forming, storming, norming and performing. The first one, which is referred to as forming, concerns the initial forms of interactions between the team members. They get acquainted with each other. The members of a team might experience different emotions towards the other members, such as anxiety, hesitation, suspicion, encouragement etc. In the classic version, they have positive attitude towards one another. However, it was not the case in the example provided. Therefore, in order to reach a balance, Dr. Shaheen offered everyone to express freely on any topic they have been concerned about: some grievances, misunderstanding etc. It let the team to start a brand new page in their interactions.
The second stage is storming. It is the point where the tensions between team members usually begin. The effects of this stage might be rather destructive. Such feelings as frustration, hostility and anger usually accompany it. At this moment, the leader should clearly state the roles and responsibility of every team member regarding work and the other co-employees. Dr. Shaheen offered the workers to lay on the table all the misunderstandings and grievances they had in regard to each other and to move on from them.
During the third stage, namely norming, the relations among the group members and their leader are settled. The roles and responsibilities are cleared. In case of any conflicts, the solutions are found immediately. The leader offers the employees to contact him without hesitation, if any tension arises. Dr. Shaheen actually promoted the creation of the supportive environment for the employees and advised them to apply for her help if any conflict appears. The code for dealing with the work duties, as well as the rules of interactions among staff members is finally established at this very stage.
Finally, the performing stage the employees are equally committed to reach the goals that have been initially settled. The rate of work productivity and performance is, as usually, extremely high and there is a great level of interdependency among team members. If a problem arises, then the small sub-teams are created to solve them. At this stage, we see Dr. Shaheen smiling and delighted with the results of her efforts.
- This case has stressed both team spirit and team-work. What is the difference?
As Dr. Shaheen defines, team spirit is a prerequisite for team work. Actually, team spirit is not as closely associated with team work as team members do not necessarily need to perform their functions together to achieve the goal and succeed.
Team spirit is actually referred as a certain condition of mind or mindset when every member of the team shares the common goals, interests, passions and vision of the business, team work, future project etc.
It is the core element for the productive work of the group of people. One cannot expect high productivity and performance rates from the team without spirit. It is crucial ‘to get all the people on the board’, to explain the vision of the work and the value of each participant, to set a logo and to stuck with it.
It should be stressed that team building exercises are aimed specifically at creation and enhancement of team spirit and should not be carried out once or twice a year. Instead, they must constitute a semi-regular activity, occurring at the workplace on everyday-basis. The first step should be done towards elaboration of the initial goals. Team spirit makes all the members of the team move in one direction, regardless of work that is at hand.
- Describe the MBWA concept and what this tells you about the director’s personality. Do you think the results were productive?
MBWA means the management by walking around. This style of managerial activities provides that the manager or a leader of a team checks up the status of ongoing work of the employees or team members, while wandering around the office. The employees are chosen randomly. Actually, the main focus is made on the latest word, which helps to differentiate this approach from the others which provide for the planned or systematic visits of the managers or controlling staff. MBWA is expected to be more productive, as it is believed to enhance employees’ sense of organizational purpose, morale, productivity etc.
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In addition, this approach might help the managers to strengthen the relations with the employees. He might learn more about the actual status of the work that is currently performed within the office through the series of personal, informal contacts which are started as he ‘wanders around the work’. As a result, the environment of trust between the managerial staff and employees is created. Moreover, it is beneficial for the managers, as they are always aware of the operations that are performed at the moment. It is also believed to increase the knowledge of managers regarding various departments, their duties and shares of responsibility. Finally, MBWA enhances the ties and benefits to increase the quality of communication among the staff and managers. In this regard, the manager, leader or other controlling subject is closer to the employees due to the personal connections which tie during the conversations increase the level of trust.
As we can see from the example provided, the results of the implementation of MBWA approach were rather productive, as the environment of trust and reliance upon each other was created. Moreover, in terms of well developed personal relations between the employees and managers let the workers apply to their leaders in case any tension, conflict or difficulty arises. In total, it increases the work productivity and performance.
- How did Dr. Shaheen motivate the employers? If you were a consultant observing Dr. Shaheen’s performance, what more would you recommend?
Dr. Shaheen stresses that the all the efforts that are made separately by the team members might be useless or less effective, in case there would be tensions between the team members. Moreover, she asserts that it is important to have a team spirit that would enhance the activities of each employee and help to move in one direction. Dr. Shaheen also points that the responsibility that is carried by the staff of admissions office is high, as it is both responsible for the promotion of the university and for the first impression that is made in regard to the students. Therefore, everyone should assure that the impression would be the best one. In addition, Dr. Shaheen encourages her subordinates to apply to her with any problems that might appear in order to address it together. She notices once more that the stable and hand-in-hand work of all team members is a cornerstone for the success of the team and the admissions’ office.
Dr. Shaheen was also absolutely honest with her co-employees when she noticed that the further team work would encounter a lot of obstacles. At the same time, she stressed on the coherent work of every member.
If I were Dr. Shaheen I would carry out more events aimed at team building. In addition, I would organize regular meetings with the purpose of exchanging one’s experience in regard to the work activities and for elaboration of the practical implications that would improve the services of admissions’ office. Finally, I would advise Dr. Shaheen to encourage her subordinates by praising them for the activities and efforts they have previously done.