What is Team Effectiveness in Organizations? - Definition, Models & Assessment

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  • 0:03 What Is a Team?
  • 1:22 Effective Teams
  • 2:17 Effective Team Models
  • 4:06 Assessing Team Effectiveness
  • 5:18 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ryan Hultzman
In this lesson, we will learn about teams. We will explore common team models and learn how to assess if teams are effective. Test your knowledge after the lesson with a quiz.

What Is a Team?

'Oh no! I've been put on another team!'

Is this how you respond when your boss assigns you to yet another problem solving group at work? Many people dislike being on a team because they've had experience working as part of an ineffective one. However, effective teamwork is an essential component of any successful organization.

First, let's talk about what a team is. A team is two or more individuals in an organization with common goals. There are lots of different types of teams. Task force or project teams get together to solve a particular problem. For example, let's say a company needs to make changes to its processes to comply with a new government regulation. They might set up a compliance project team to accomplish this task.

Self-managed work teams can help increase morale by giving employees the authority and responsibility to get things done while managing themselves. Cross-functional teams pull together individuals with a wide range of experience and skills so that they can look at a situation from multiple perspectives. Virtual teams consist of members who are not geographically close to each other and who communicate electronically.

Effective Teams

Remember that old axiom 'Two heads are better than one'? Or how about the more modern saying, 'Teamwork makes the dream work'? People working together can achieve much more than individuals working alone. But what makes a team effective?

Effective teams are made up of members who have the skills necessary to accomplish their goals. Everyone brings their own viewpoints and knowledge to the group. Members exchange in open communication, using active listening and responding. Goals are reasonable and realistic and have a clear time frame for completion. Tasks are divided so that no one is overwhelmed by responsibility. All members are accountable for achieving goals and are motivated to do well. Individuals acknowledge one another's achievements. In the most effective teams, co-workers trust and support one another.

Effective Team Models

There are many models for effective teams. One of the most widely used models is Tuckman's stages model. In this model there are five stages of team development:

The first stage is called forming. In this stage, the team members get to know each other. They begin to develop a social dynamic and find ways to relate to each other. This is when the ground rules are established. The second stage is called storming. In this phase, team members will set goals and objectives, formulate plans and set an agenda. The next is norming. This is the interval in which the team becomes more cohesive. Members determine the role each individual will play in the group and learn how to resolve conflict. Typical roles in a team include task specialist, leader, researcher and recorder. Things really come together in the performing stage. The team works together and accomplishes the objectives set out in the storming stage. The final stage is known as adjourning and this is when the team disbands so that each individual can move on to other projects.

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