High Performance Work Teams

Managing projects, setting goals, clarifying roles, and solving problems in teams are skills that must be developed. New organizational skills must be developed if teams are to operate effectively and efficiently. Teamwork as a form of organizing work will vary in its manifestation between societies. Nevertheless teamwork is a recognizable approach to the organization of work. Thus, teamwork forms one of the underlying dimensions of work organization and employee involvement that we use to characterize high performance work organizations (HPWOs). At a broader range we may include employee satisfaction, employee stress, labor turnover rates, customer satisfaction, client retention and so on in HPWOs. Practices like developing higher levels of commitment to the organization, higher levels of motivation and using employees knowledge to introduce continuous improvements, etc. will increase the productivity and other organizational outcomes.

High Performance Work Teams

We have heard much about the benefits with implementing team approaches to improve organizational effectiveness and to empower individuals and teams with the information and authority to make decisions on the front lines. Business success today mandates the use of these high performance work teams throughout the organizations. But making the transition to teams is not easy. Training can be useful in many ways to help people function more effectively in team environments, including communication. People must learn how to communicate effectively in teams and between teams across the entire organization. Employees must use communication to resolve and manage conflicts, and to air and resolve grievances and complaints. Team leaders and upper management need to learn how to act as role models for team operation, and how to promote the active building, leadership and management of teams. Employees need help in overcoming fears about the loss of job security and independence, and to learn how to continue to make individual contributions within team structures. Interpersonal skills need to be developed, especially with respect to group problem solving. Today, it is the preparation of the workforce for optimum performance that gives the competitive advantage. A more relevant, business-focused training function distributed and integrated appropriately throughout the organization will not only be more in line with organizational performance and profitability, but will help to bring the rest of the organization along towards reaching the goal of using effective, efficient, and performing teams. The training function itself is a good place to start implementing high performance work teams. By reorganizing the training and development process into cross-organizational teams to improve the success of the business, trainers and instructional designers will become valuable resources to transfer their experiences, knowledge and skills of high performance work teams to others throughout the rest of the organization.

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