Team Effectiveness Paper
Selected Model Alignment
Selected Team Effectiveness Model
The Hackman Model of Team Effectiveness presents five concomitant conditions within its framework, including; being a real team with clear boundaries and a stable membership, having a compelling direction with clearly defined goals that each member is motivated to achieve, having a supportive structure that helps to accomplish goals and organize tasks effectively (as opposed to roadblocks such as one member needing to approve the work of twenty people), having the proper organizational context with enough resources, information, backing and support, and finally, having the availability of expert coaching and mentoring to help guide through any issues that may arise (Valdellon, 2016; Hackman, 2004). This model for effective teams maintains the idea that above all else, the five aforementioned conditions must be present for effective team performance (Hackman, 2004).
Model Alignment with High-Performance Teams
A high-performance team consistently delivers excellent results to their stakeholders, matures into a more capable team overtime, and continuously enables team members individual growth and capabilities (O’Neill & Salas, 2018). Hackman’s model aligns with this definition of a high-performance team on multiple levels. The condition of being a real team with consistent membership allows for consistent results to be achieved as well as for refinement in processes over time. Refining team processes is part of learning and improving, and an interest in learning is part of a high-performing team’s culture (Forbes Coaches Council, 2016). Having a compelling direction drives the team to strive for continued excellence. A supportive structure conducive to teamwork processes diminishes unnecessary frustrations and allows things to function smoothly and easily. Working within an organizational context that provides adequate resources, easily accessed educational information, peripheral support and cooperation from others allows a team to flourish. Competent mentoring and coaching is a crucial part of developing maturity within team members and the team as whole, in addition to helping individuals continuously stretch themselves and achieve their full growth potential (Hackman, 2004).
Leader’s Role in High-Performing Teams
A leader’s role in high-performing teams is multifaceted. Leaders of a team must have task skills, people skills, and diagnostic skills (Thornton, 2017). Without a strong leader’s guidance a team can easily stray from the tasks at hand and lose their vision and focus for the future (Kehbila, 2011). A leader must first lead themselves and model the behavior that is desired from team (Wing, 2005). Creating and keeping a clear vision of the future at the forefront of a team is a large part of leading a high-performance team (Harkins, 2014). Communication to the team is an integral part of leading a high-performing team. Over-communication and transparency helps to foster the all-important characteristic of trust, which is the foundation of all high-performance teams (Forbes Coaches Council, 2016).
According to Hackman, the main work of team leaders is to make sure the five conditions are present that were identified above (2004). In addition, effective leaders know how to extract the most significant performances in the most important times and help lead the team to their full potential (Hackman, 2004). Emotional maturity and courage are two more characteristics outlined by Hackman as essential to leading a high-performance team (2004). Courage comes in many different forms. Leaders must be willing to show vulnerability to their team, which helps create psychological safety, opens the door for feedback without fear of retribution, and creates a safe place for disagreement and conflict resolution. A high-performance team is guided by their leader to handle conflict in a constructive way and must be adept at different conflict management styles (Healey, 2018). These attributes of a leader contribute to a shared sense of accountability, both for the leader and for team members. When there is accountability for projects, deadlines, tasks and behaviors, the team functions as a motivator to all its members since no one wants to let their team down. Commitment to each other can typically prevent an outlier or weak link but if need be the leader must be willing to address subpar performance in order to demonstrate a commitment to excellence to the rest of the team (Harkins, 2014).
An integral part of leading a high-performing team is picking the right team members (Wing, 2005). One must seek to develop opportunities for each team member to excel and be challenged by building their confidence and recognizing their unique contribution. A good leader of a high-performance team is energized by other’s successes and celebrates what team members are able to do individually and together. Fostering an environment of positivity and encouragement allows people to learn from each other’s successes and failures and spur one another on in the face of difficulties. High-performing team leaders help the team rise to the occasion when unexpected hiccups occur and finds ways to energize the team by framing all situations through a learning mindset.
One of the most difficult things for many leaders to master is the art of listening. Among the most valued team characteristics is active listening, least valued; talking and offering information and opinions, and most lacking; active listening (Brock, McAliney, Ma, & Sen, 2017). While communication from the leader is needed in a high-performing team, more importantly is the communication from team members to the leader. Listening without fear of what one will hear must be a skill that is actively honed by a high-performance team leader. Open dialogue, the need for debate and flexibility in viewpoints is highly valued by team members and necessary in building an environment of trust that is so pivotal to achieving high-performance results (Brock et al., 2017).
Successful Group Work in School
The literature makes it clear that there must be a designated leader in order to guide a high-performing team (Kehbila, 2011). In order for group work to be successful in the context of school, the team must have a leader, preferably with as many of the characteristics mentioned above as possible. A clear goal must be defined in the initial planning stages and formation of the team and clear roles assigned with deadlines and clear expectations. Trust must be established as a given from the start of a group project and everyone must be willing to be held accountable to whatever responsibilities they were assigned. There must be a clear plan outlined and accepted by all the team members and each student must show respect to one another in all interactions. Continuous improvement must be an embraced part of the group project process and differing opinions need to be freely shared without fear of hurt feelings and conflict escalation (Thornton, 2017).
Hackman’s five conditions of team effectiveness (2004) can be achieved in group work by having a real team (easily established by already assigned team members), a compelling direction can be a good grade wanted by every member of the team, an enabling structure exists through the electronic platforms available, such as Zoom, Collaborate or Google Docs, a supportive context exists by the very nature of being in school and having the support of the professor and library resources etc., and finally expert coaching and guidance is available through professors, counseling, academic advisors and department chairs.
Application to Work
These same principles can be easily applied to any team created in a hospital setting.
What has your experience been in working with a team? Either in school or at work?
Brock, S. E., McAliney, P. J., Ma, C. H., & Sen, A. (2017). Toward more practical measurement of teamwork skills. Journal of Workplace Learning, 29(2), 124-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JWL-07-2016-0069
Forbes Coaches Council. (2016). 13 Characteristics of a high-performing team (and how leaders can foster them). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2016/10/14/13-characteristics-of-a-high-performing-team-and-how-leaders-can-foster-them/#289e2474394a
Hackman, J. R. (2004). What makes for a great team? Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2004/06/hackman.aspx
Harkins, P. (2014). 10 Leadership techniques for building high-performing teams. Retrieved from http://www.linkageinc.com/leadership-development-documents/files/content/10-Leadership-Techniques-for-Building-High-Performing-Teams.pdf
Healey, B. J. (2018). Principles of healthcare leadership. Chicago, IL: Health Administration Press.
Kehbila, A. G. (2011). Teamwork and its contribution to performance: Empirical field evidence. Journal of Marketing and Operations Management Research, 1(4), 313-322. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.library.drexel.edu/docview/1701282939?pq-origsite=summon
O’Neill, T. A., & Salas, E. (2018, December). Creating high performance teamwork in organizations. Human Resource Management Review, 28(4), 325-331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2017.09.001
Thornton, P. B. (2017). Common characteristics of high-performing teams. Retrieved from https://trainingmag.com/common-characteristics-high-performing-teams
Valdellon, L. (2016). 6 Different team effectiveness models to understand your team better. Retrieved from https://www.wrike.com/blog/6-different-team-effectiveness-models/
Wing, L. S. (2005). Leadership in high-performance teams: A model for superior team performance. Team Performance Management, 11(), 4-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13527590510584285