Developing and Maintaining Team Cohesiveness and Positive Interpersonal Relationships
The success of an organization is highly dependent on the quality of the human personalities and professional that the organization is endowed with. However, there is a possibility of the organization failing to realize its objective not because it lacks the required resources, but because of lack unity, team works and cohesion within the groups. Therefore, the success of an organization is highly influenced by the level of team works, outstanding cohesiveness, and positive interpersonal relationships among the team members. It is for this reason that it is important to build a positive and strong teamwork for in order to realize the group’s objective within the allocated time. On this account, teamwork, cohesion, and understanding within the group, irrespective of their diverse social and cultural backgrounds, are critical in realization of the set objective both in the long-run and short-run. The first step in building teamwork and positive interpersonal relationships within the group calls for embracing personal differences and perceptions of individuals forming the group. A strong groups cohesion and unity cannot be constructed and maintained without involving all the leading stakeholders that take part in the group’s decision making process. On this account, bringing together all the members of the team without invoking their personal beliefs, cultural constructions, and perceptional differences is the most fundamental stage. Since all the team members have different cultural and social history, creating unity within the group would not be possible unless such differences are recognized. Harmonizing the different personalities possessed by the team members to create a common foundation and objectives that are consistent and acceptable by the entire group is essential.
Building unity and understanding within the team is not a day’s events, but along term exercise that may take time. However, once constructed, the bond forms the pillar for which team is founded. This process calls for recognizing different personality traits and how such personalities can be positively made use of for the success of the whole team without hurting any person within the team. Some of the traits that are essential in developing teamwork and cohesion include openness, conscientiousness, neuroticism (emotional stability), agreeableness, and extraversion. These five personality traits play a significant role in enhancing team understanding, increasing the degree of group cohesion and constructing positive interpersonal relations within the team. By embracing these personalities, the team will benefit from relative degree of tolerance, least irritation and temperament, more trust within the team, dependability, social understanding, high creativity and innovativeness, cordial team relationship, and openness to new ideas. Such traits are, therefore, critical to team unity and understanding, thereby, increasing the productivity of the entire team. Other personality traits that would be important in strengthening the bond in the team include locus of control, self-efficacy, self-esteem, affectivity, self-monitoring, and proactiveness. These traits would enhance the capacity of the team to solve problems in the best interest of the team, develop positive moods, and have a positive feeling about each member of the team. The other aspect of team building is through team perception management. Perception plays a significant role on how the group members detect and interpret the surrounding environmental issues and concerns. Social and personal perceptions must, therefore, be addressed in line with the team objectives and goals. In summary, creating team cohesion, understanding, and unity, personal values, personality, and cultural differences must be emphasized.
Avoid Free-Riding within the Team
One of the major challenges to teamwork is free-riding. Free-riding is the concept in teamwork where some members of the team prefer sitting back and watching others do the rest of the work for them. This problem lowers the productivity of the team hence, minimizing ability of the team to maximize on its potentials. Addressing this challenge is, therefore, fundamental in enhancing the productivity and effectiveness of the team. One way of addressing free-rider problem is by motivating and fairly rewarding the entire time. Maslow hierarchy of needs is major way of addressing free-riding in the team. Maslow theory asserts that although motivating the every member of the group is important, it is important to rank the needs and actualizing them in order of the needs identified. Maslow identified the following categories of needs; physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self actualization. When these needs are recognized and rewarded fairly, then, the team members will feel appreciated and will therefore actively participate in the group activities without waiting at the rest of the team to act on their behalf. On the other hand, hygiene factors and motivators help in minimizing free-riding within the team. Hygiene factors that are critical in reducing free-riding include salary and rewards, ensuring security of the team, increased supervision and improving the working conditions. With respect to motivators, this theory asserts that team members must be recognized and increased their responsibilities. This would make them be more committed to the team and also increased their productivity.
In addition, the need for minimizing free-riding in the group can also be achieved through acquired-need theory. This theory is founded on the need for achievement, power, and affiliation. The other way of realizing a free-rider free environment is justice and equity within the team. Advocating for fairness and justice in the decision making process will create an equitable environment in the team. Treating the group member with a lot of respect, dignity, and kindness would enhance the participation of team through interactions and interpersonal skills. Distributive justice, on the other hand, affects the degree of fairness in the organization through the determination of the outcome of the team. Equal team participation can be realized through expectancy theory. The expectations of the team are attributed to the efforts of each participant. According to this theory, each person in the team must engage with the rest of the team in ensuring that the objectives of the group are realized. Through expectancy, instrumentality, and valence principles, it would be possible to reduce free-riding in the team. Eliminating free-riding problem in the team calls for creating a social environment that is accommodative to the diverse cultural and social backgrounds of the team. Finally, reinforcement theory is critical in achieving a free-rider free team. The team manager should praise the rest of the team equally by introducing positive reinforcement that targets positive behaviors. The management of the team will have no choice, but to recognize the contributions of the entire team. The team members should, therefore, have the opportunity to freely express their ideas and views without being any form of discrimination.
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