Teamwork wins Championship
Team work wins Championship! “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championship. “l I must say what an awesome saying by Michael Jordan! He beautifully portrays the success of teamwork. As nowadays, the challenge for companies is to deliver quickly and flexibly new quality products and services in order to respond to greater and changing demands from clients. “Standardization” and “specialization” characterize traditional work organization; the work is divided into different segments, and workers perform their tasks individually, specializing in their field.
However, specialization, control and outine are suitable when a constant demand for standardized products applies. However, for a fast changing demand, this method does not seem to work as well, and may lead to coordination problems and rigidities. Therefore, to fulfill the fast changing demand, the companies started to look for new forms of organization of which teamwork is quite successful one. 2 Teamwork is considered to be one of the core elements of the new work organization and it involves working cooperatively and making use of individual strengths within a group to achieve a common goal.
Teams are more flexible and responsive to changing events. This is because there is no one leader clearly in charge in fact the leadership role is shared and work is done collectively. This creates an environment that facilitates knowledge and information exchange. As team working makes fuller use of all the talents of the workforce. Better solutions to problems are found as those most closely connected with the work participate in suggesting answers Thus, this highly motivates staff resulting in reduce labour turnover and high ‘labour productivity. ‘ Labour productivity is the output per worker in a given time period.
When companies such as W. L. Gore, Volvo and Kraft Foods introduced teams into their production process, they made news because no one else was doing it. But today, it’s Just the opposite – an organization that doesn’t use teams would be newsworthy. It’s estimated that over 70 percent of U. S. manufacturers use work teams. 3 Hence, team working is better for productivity than individual working. Management theory suggests that compared to an individual, a diverse group of people will be more creative because team members will bring a variety of ideas, perspectives and approaches to the group.
Even at Google teams are a way of life. As the company web sites states, “Googlers thrive in small, focused teams and high-energy environments. “4 Actually teamwork is different from the Taylorist work organization. F. W. Taylor was the person who made first serious attempt to analyze worker motivation in order to advise management on the best ways to increase worker performance or productivity. His scientific management theory is characterized by task specialization, a pyramid hierarchical structure and a centralization of responsibilities.
Under the Taylorist model – the work was divided into narrow functions with short, repetitive work cycles and the work method is rescribed in detail. However, this system does not offer sufficient scope for a process of upgrading and innovation, which is essential for quick change and adaptation. The slowness and relative rigidity of the traditional organizational scheme otten earns i t the name ‘dinosaur syndrome’. 5 Furthermore the repetitive tasks cause boredom amongst workers. Hence, employees lose interest in their work which ultimately leads to poor response rate and high labour turnover effecting productivity.
Hence, Taylor approach of management, giving instructions to workers with no discussion or feedback is considered to be undesirable. Worker participation in devising best work practices is now encouraged. As Mayo Human Relations theory also suggest that working conditions and financial rewards have little or no effect on productivity. In fact when management consults with workers work in teams and develops a team spirit then productivity is improved. As team working makes fuller use of all the talents of the workforce.
Thus, better solutions to problems are found as those most closely connected with the work participate in suggesting answers. 6 Case study of Starbucks Corporation will further help to illustrate the concept. Starbucks Corporation is the most famous chain of retail coffee shops in the world. In 1971 it started with three owners and in 1982 a sales representative, Howard Schultz, of the house ware business in New York Joined them. When he had a vocation to Italy, he experienced an entirely different coffee culture. He wanted to adopt that in Starbucks but the initial owners rejected the idea.
Therefore, he chose to establish a new coffee shop, named II Gironale. In two years his business was so successful that the three owners of Starbucks decided to sell their business to Schultz. His work strategy worked so well that in 2007 he was ranked as the 16th best company. Schultz was so successful due to his business culture, beliefs and attitudes. He believed that “the tip of success is not coffee but employees. ” Hence, motivation is the vital factor for business in the process of making their production. As “labours are not working machines, so they can not always do the same affairs with equal passion. Accordingly the efficient method to make staffs keen on their Jobs should be to motivate them. As Nicholson (1998) also reported that “workers had strong social eeds which they tried to satisfy through membership of informal social groups at workplace. “7 Therefore, Schultz adopted teamwork which did not only “construct a small social structure in organization for employees to socialize, but also composite of various kind of members who equip with different background of skill and knowledge on account of the mission. However, if business were rather bureaucratic in their approach with an inflexible approach to staff issues. Focused on individual working rather than teamwork then according to Mc Gregor theory Y, workers will be ighly de-motivated. As Mc Gregor theory Y managers believed that workers are creative, willing to accept responsibility and can derive as much enjoyment from work as from rest and play. Hence, in todays world where there is so much awareness among workers so if they are not given any right in decision making then this could de-motivate them and affect productivity.
Thus, teamwork is the solution which gives workers not only the chance to participate in suggesting ideas in fact through increased communication they are able to complete large projects in lesser time. As many business projects require numerous tasks and exhibit a complexity level that would be almost impossible for a single employee to complete on his own. “8 Therefore pulling individuals from a variety of departments and positions allows a company to complete projects and work assignments more efficiently.
Adding up to it, team working can reduce management cost as it is often associated with ‘de-layering ot the organization. De-layering is the removal ot one or more ot the levels ot hierarchy from an organization structure. Furthermore, there is a positive correlation between teamwork and employee training. This is because when workers work in teams they are able to learn from others. As some team members might be from the upper level of the management and have much more experience than others members.
Thus by developing social contacts and even by observing them, members who are less experienced can learn. The Finnish Quality of Work Life Survey reports, “Employees who do teamwork have generally better possibilities of receiving training and for developing their skills than people who do not work in teams. “9 Abraham Maslow also suggested the theory of the hierarchy of human needs. His findings were not only based on the work environment in fact he considered psychological and sociological factors as well.
He believed that human needs starts from the level of physical needs which include food, shelter, water and rest. Then it moves to safety needs which means protection from threats, Job security, health and safety at work. Further the hierarchy of needs move to social needs which refer to feeling of belonging to a group, trust and acceptance. And then comes the esteem needs and self actualization. Esteem needs mean status and recognition of achievement. Therefore, by developing teams MasloWs social and esteem needs and likely to be fulfilled.
Hence, workers are expected to be better motivated. It would stimulate people to take action to improve productivity. 10 Hence, it can be safely concluded that teamwork can contribute to a better quality of working life for employees leading to improved productivity. Working in teams allows employees to give their ideas and work collectively which result in completing large projects in lesser time and hence increase ‘efficiency of employees. Efficiency means producing output at the highest ratio of output to input.
Therefore, the organization is benefited from the speed of employees as teamwork motivates workers and they do their work with more interest. Furthermore, the degree of acceptance is high of the decisions made by teams as they are usually perceived as more legitimate than decisions made by one person. This is because team members are reluctant to fght or undermine a decision that they helped develop. 11 Henry Ford also said, “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is the progress. Working together is the success. “12 Therefore, adopting team work at work place usually leads to success. Total Words: 1512