As an organization grows, its structure becomes increasingly important. A large organization can’t be managed properly unless it has a strong internal structure. There are several ways to structure an organization, including by function or by department. One of the most common is a team structure. In a team based structure, the organization consists of teams that perform the organization’s work. These teams usually are a mix of people from different departments working together. It is essential for the employees to be trained to work on teams, receive cross functional skills training, and be rewarded accordingly. Without a properly implemented team based pay plan many of the benefits of a team structure may be lost.
Some Advantages of the Team-based organization is as follows:
Shared goal setting
Since most teams work on projects and they usually have little to no functional hierarchy. Teams are provided with a few guidelines that they must work on. This helps in setting goals that are mutually agreed within the team. Management helps collaborates with the teams to set goals and objectives.
Trusting each other is one of the most essential part of team organization. Team members must trust each other capabilities and since most of the work they do is dependent on the performance of the team. Being a part of a team helps the members rely on each other, they do assigned job through mutual support.
A team is a small group of people with various skills. They are all experts in certain areas of knowledge, yet their tasks are interdependent to each other. It facilitates to develop competitive advantages of the organization.
A team is self reliant, autonomous and self-managing. There is little to no hierarchy and rules to be followed by team members. Team members set objective, prepare plans and policies, develop strategies and implement plans independently. Top level manager only supervises and coordinates team performance just to make sure that their work aligns with the company expectations.
Disadvantages of Team-based organization is as follows:
Source of conflict
Based on the nature of the work, it is usually divided amongst team members. There may be the possibility of conflict among team members as the responsibilities are interdependent to each other. Another area of concern differing opinions since employees from different division might have a different approach to any given task. It may create a barrier in uninterrupted functioning of the organization.
Difficult to coordinate
Since people work in their own time and work in their own style, it might be difficult to coordinate or match/keep up with the pace of the work of the entire team. This might cause an imbalance, and the project assigned might not finish on time.
Lack of effective control
Various teams are formed based on nature job. Since all members are merely part of the team, there is no one to keep a check on the progress of the project. This might cause a problem because there will be no one to inspect the quality and quantity of work an individual is doing.
There is interrelation and interdependency over the performance of all the teams in the organization. The lack of effective performance in one team generates problems in the operation of all the teams of the organization since if one function of the job is not done it will be reflected in the finished product. The short-comings of one team might be felt throughout the organization. Similarly, the shortcomings for one individual in a team might cause the entire team to suffer
In case of a quarrel within a team, the working condition for all the team members might suffer. if any misunderstanding arises among team members or amongst teams, it will be disastrous for the team since it will not only affect the work of an individual, it will hurt the quality of work of the entire team. The satisfaction of the workers in the team might also suffer.
Ways to make team-based organizations more effective
Consider each team member’s ideas as valuable. Giving each member of the team its due respect and encouraging members to give their feedback to each other would be a good way to see if everyone is on the same page. This will help setting standards for the level of work and improve the quality of the work done.
Encourage trust and cooperation among employees on your team. The relationships team members establish among themselves are most important since it is highly dependable on the work productivity. Failure to have a good relationship with the fellow team members might cause the quality of work to suffer. Therefore, the team should be comfortable working with each other.
Encourage team members to share information. Encouraging employees to be transparent on the work they are doing and taking updates on the task assigned is a good way to measure the level of progress and see the pace at which the project will be finished.
Facilitate communication. Facilitating communication does not mean that there should be meetings all the time. Instead, it means being open to proposals and concerns, by asking questions and offering help, and by doing everything you can to avoid confusion in your own communication.
Use consensus. Using consensus is a fair way to solve any problem, whenever there is a disagreement within the team, a consensus can be used to find the popular opinion and implementing it will make the team work more harmoniously.
Set ground rules for the team. The rules can be pretty basic, like “team members are to be punctual for meetings” or “every team member has the right to offer ideas and suggestions”, that can be set with the help of consensus. This will help in making the team members commits to them, both as a group and as individuals.
Encourage listening and brainstorming. employees are often afraid to disagree with one another and this fear can lead a team to make mediocre decisions. Encouraging debate will inspire creativity and that’s how the team can yield better results.