Identify the challenges experienced by developing teams
Developing a team requires bringing together individuals from different backgrounds with differing opinions, aims and objectives. The team working within organisations becomes effective when members understand one another’s roles and responsibility. As a team begins to work it encounters several challenges. Team challenges exist in every organisation. Avoiding team challenges as a leader will affect the achievement of the team goals. Modern healthcare is delivered by teams rather than individuals and requires the cooperation of healthcare professionals from different disciplines. Some of the common challenges experienced by developing teams are:
Absence of team identity
Modern healthcare is delivered by multidisciplinary professionals, distributed healthcare teams with different team identities. With the idea of developing teams, it is natural to experience an absence of team identity. To get team identity it requires honest team members, highly skilled team, dedicated and people with values and interest in achieving team goals. If such important challenges are overcome then team identity will be developed.
At the initial stages of forming and developing a team challenges such as relational and communication issues can arise. This often is as a result of differences in their way of doing the task and may have their personal goals ahead of the team’s objectives. Communication may not be effective as individual members still hold on to their individual identities rather than the team. Having poor communication within team affect organizational performance. Effective communication among team facilitates understanding and easy flow of work. In contrast to this, teams working in an environment where communication is very weak affects performance outcome. The flow of work moves among team members and inability to get access to proper information will delay productivity.
Lack of participation
Team working thrives well on maximum participation by members. However, developing teams normally lack the full participation and commitment by the individual members. If team members are willing to share ideas, information and other necessary resources it leads to success. Well-resourced teams are always on point and achieve their goals as long as all members contribute fully to the general objectives of the team. Effective sharing of information requires the protocol of organizational leadership. Structured meetings, briefings, memos, emails are all essentials for effective teamwork.
Lack of creativity
Lack of cohesion is another challenge experienced during team development. This arises as a result of unclear, undefined roles and responsibilities for each member of the team. More so, individuals tend to be more concerned about their personal interests rather than the collective interests. Members do not hold themselves accountable as there may not be clearly defined roles. This then results in inevitable conflicts among the team members leading to confusion and conflict of interest. To deal with this problem, conflict resolution skill would be a necessary key component of the team at this stage.
The creativity that each individual portrays within a team working environment support efficiency to help achieve organizational goals. People possess different skills and interest and if there is lack of creativity, the purpose of the team may not be achieved. However, at the team developing stage team members tend to not use their creative abilities as there are no clearly defined roles matched to each member’s unique skills and abilities.
Another challenge is leadership. When teams are developing, appointing a leader for the team who could offer the team a sense of direction and purpose could sometime be daunting. Individuals who could fulfil the role may be reluctant as other members might be perceived as more eligible for the role who may later turn out to be not so. Teams need leaders to offer a sense of purpose and direction. Lack of effective leadership challenges effective team development. Without a strong leader to guide the team and hold members accountable, the team may lose morale and momentum. As St Margaret’s unit manager I commit myself to monitoring the team’s performance and offering support as needed. If for any reason I am unable to be present during team meetings, I appoint a team leader in my absence; introduce the leader and his role to the team to prevent competition for the role from other team members during my absence.
Misunderstanding resulting from lack of acceptance of individual differences at the initial stages in team development creates mistrust among team members. As a team works together to achieve a goal, each person needs to know their specific role within the team. At the team development, this may be lacking leading to confusion and misunderstanding. As St Margaret’s Unit manager, it is important to develop specific, well-defined roles for each team member of a developing team in order to avert this problem. Each member would know in detail their responsibilities so that an inappropriate overlap of work would be avoided. Evaluation and monitoring will be done to check for adherence to individual roles to enhance performance and quality care delivery for the residents.
Inability to resolve conflict
No organisation can thrive without conflict among team members. Conflict within a developing team is inevitable due to unfamiliarity, diversity, character differences. At the team development stage, conflict resolution skills are minimal among the members. Individual team members prefer to be right in their own ways rather than finding an amicable resolution to their differences. Dealing effectively to the conflict in organisation indicates the growth and maturity of the leadership. To deal with organisational conflicts need proper conflict management skills. As an effective unit manager for St Mary’s Convent, I possess good conflict resolution skills and use it to settle individual differences on time especially for the new developing team of carers.
Poor Work Environment
The organisational environment determines how team members feel and perform their roles. Every organisational team needs the specific place to work. This place of work must be standard and conducive to work as a team. If the team is effective, the members need to agree on a set of virtual tools — communication, file sharing, project and task monitoring — to help the team work together to accomplish goals. Today’s world place needs the modern system to catch the pace of time. Using technology these days makes performance grow in a team.
At St. Margaret’s we work as a team to provide the best person-centered care to our residents. This team is always changing as new members of staff are recruited and varied situations lead to a change in team members every now and then. An example is recently we had a new member of staff who turned out to be a practical learner who reflected on what her colleagues did on the job. This became evident during the period when she was shadowing other members of staff. any time she found the substantive staff carrying out a task, she will, in turn, decide to partake of the task, if however, the substantive staff is allocated a different task and have to leave and go and get it done, the trainee will not take any initiative to continue the work that has been done at the time. Once she was given a specific task to do in the team. She treated it as an individual task hence any other occurrence in the unit she did not attend to even if she was free at the time. This lead to other members of the team tagging her as not being a team player. As a manager, I took her on and realised that she needed to be given more information in order for her to understand her role and subsequently give her best. Communicating with her more often and more in-depth is beginning to yield results as she now realises that the work is not about finishing only your assigned task but ensuring that we work together as a unit to deliver quality care is most important. Showing her how we as a teamwork even though working individually still come together to achieve the common goal as our roles are inter-dependent. When she is free and a resident buzzes even if she was not assigned to that resident on the day she should at least attend to the resident if the assigned carer was busy at the time. This improved her performance as she now fitted well into the team so our team meetings were a lot smoother and our output as a team was great.