Opinions Fri, 11 Jul 2014

Effective team building: the future of businesses and associations in Ghana

‘Two heads,’ they say, ‘are better than one.’ It is a conventional truth that where team playing is given priority, productivity rises culminating in further increase in returns. Team building has been explained by many people including sociologists as pulling all resources of an organisation including its human capital together and relating with one another in a mutually beneficial manner for optimal maximisation of the goals of an organisation.

A team is a unit of two or more people who interact and coordinate their work to accomplish a specific goal. The concept of team implies a sense of shared mission and collective responsibility.

Although a team is a group of people, team and group are not interchangeable. Putting together a group of people does not necessarily mean you have built a team.

Team building is part of a psychological discipline often referred to as organisational psychology. It stimulates communication among groups of workers through a series of events that are fun and motivational. This eventually gives workers greater job satisfaction that leads to a hike in productivity.

Values of team building

Team work involves more people sharing resources, ideas and energy for a common goal. Such team work provides avenue for strengthening the weakness of all parts of the organization especially the leadership.

Team provides an opportunity for a wide spectrum of perspectives on how to meet an objective, thus, devising numerous options for each situation.

Again, effective teamwork creates a situation where credits, losses and blames become shared responsibilities. This in effect, precipitates a climate of understanding and we-feeling; individuals do not see losses or weaknesses as opportunities for championing their own ulterior whims and caprices.

Whose responsibility?

Human beings have been described as gregarious animals by anthropologists. In almost all spheres of live, leaders have often been chastised for flaws in organisations vilely upon mere speculations. It is unequivocally factual that it takes all parts of the human anatomy to make one function well. In the same vein, an organisation can be described as an entity that works efficiently when all its components execute their functions in a cohesive manner.

It is indisputably clear here that it takes the collective efforts of both employees and employers to make an organisation succeed or fail. In other words, team building is a responsibility of both line management and subordinates.

A chief executive officer or a managing director, whose demeanour in an organisation suggests a master-servant relation, elicits fear from his/her lieutenants but not without hate, ridicule and ill-wish. This situation disintegrates rather than integrating the publics of an organisation.

Some people for some self-aggrandizement would want to segregate themselves from any attempt at an organisational team building. Peeved, dejected and uncertain they become sociopaths and do things that obviously affect the team adversely.

Managers must therefore develop sturdy interpersonal knacks so as to induce good working relationship based on mutual trust, respect and support.

Managing team building

As I have already stated, an organization is a human institution with so many parts all of which are essential for attaining the organizational goals. As a human institution, it is difficult to have a perfect team building. It can however, be well managed to achieve the desired results. The following are important in seeking to achieve team building in your firm:

• Assure a free flow of communication and an exchange of ideas between management and the other workers encouraging those who don’t participate to actively get involved;

• Define specific targets and objectives and make known such objectives to the workers:

• Define clearly, what duties are to be accomplished by various departments and if possible, each individual;

• Feedback box is important. It gives workers opportunity to feed management about what facilitates effective cohesion and what inhibits effectiveness;

• Hold seminars to explain the vision and mission as well as the objectives, to clarify roles and expectations, and to build cohesion among the workers.

• Sponsoring informal events such as get-together (including spouses or partners); rewarding hardworking workers selected by co-workers, or celebrating a worker’s birthday or achievement brings about affection and oneness in an organisation;

• Management should not take sides in conflict situations;

• Compliment workers in public while correcting them only in private (where possible).

All workers in an organization should first and foremost appreciate the fact that they are not visitors who are doing the organization a favour by working there. They should realize that it takes their efforts, commitment and willingness to build a paradise that would eventually affect their own welfare positively.

After all, as Rensis Likert puts it, ‘the greater the loyalty of a group toward the group [or the organisation], the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the [organization] and greater is the responsibility that the [organization] will achieve its goals.’

We must as workers, appreciate the fact that talent may win games but teamwork and intelligence win championships.

Columnist: Isaac Nunoo