It is a common trend in business to create and utilize high performing teams in order to maximize productivity of their workforce nowadays. Many companies now implement team-based organizational business set up. Studies conducted among Fortune magazine 1000 companies revealed more companies (68%) want to utilize teams in their businesses. Only 1% among those surveyed have intended to reduce utilizing teams. A study have also been conducted by Training and Development Journal where employees were asked of their preference to work as a team or work individually?Sixty percent of the employees of the 1000 companies interviewed chose to work in teams.
High performing teams are aimed to meet the demands of globalization. Team working can bring about better business decisions. For one, more heads are better than one. It can also create more creativity and have been an effective tool in problem solving. Unfortunately, not all businesses can effectively implement the transition to create good high performance teams. When it comes to design and innovations, teams failed due to several factors as pointed out by the study in NYU Stern School of Business. One, the lack of managerial training and experience on the part of the managers in handling a team workforce can influence employee motivation. Second, some business do not have the right approach that is fitting to the needs of the company and its operations. Third, focus of the business is sometimes on how to make team members fit together according to their skills rather than focus on how to challenge the team to attaining their highest productivity like giving them incentives. Fourth, lack of management support or the leadership failure to implement high performance cannot sustain the effectiveness of this style of business operation. On a final note, failures of the past must be taken into account and be avoided so history will not repeat itself.
In the case of the Mantua Manufacturing Company and Levi-Strauss, several of these factors can be pointed out. One of these factors as seen, is the leadership motivation to encourage productivity among its workforce. Weintraub, the company’s president, utilizes his managerial or leadership skills to influence his employees to meet their target quotas by giving them besides their basic salary of $12/hour, an incentive of $3 or 25% bonus for targeted productivity. This kind of incentive challenges Mantua Manufacturing Company employees to produce what is expected of them and be paid accordingly commensurate with their performance.
On the contrary, Levi-Strauss failed in comparison due to leadership failure to motivate the employees by giving them incentives to make them become more productive. Their implementation of a team-based organization was not well researched by management thus can be seen as a failure on their part. They have in fact misread the situation as that caused by misplaced skill levels of workers rather than giving challenges to their employees to be more productive. It could have made a difference if they have focus their research on to what could challenge their employees to attain the desired productivity the company needs. There was an innovative plan on their part but the way the plan was implemented was not motivational to increase productivity. It was seen by those highly skilled in their jobs as lack of management support for them resulting to their unsatisfaction in their jobs which greatly affects their productivity and production as a whole. It also encouraged the less skilled to not improve on their performance for they were being paid the same with those producing more anyway. It all gave the wrong signals to the workforce, instead of focusing on becoming more productive. Levi-Strauss lack of research findings to implement a team-based organization was a contributing factor to its failure as a business.
Much can be said with the internal and external factors which greatly affects the implementation of a team-based organization. Internally, it is important to note the need to know and grasp the effectiveness of teamwork, how every member needs to give their share of team building and what is needed to develop productivity. Externally, environmental factors have to be taken into account to attain the desired high performance. Incentives or rewards with managerial support can bring about the effectiveness of a good high performance team.
A high performance team is one that can bring the best out of its members and applying them in their jobs. The team need to be aware of their tasks and what is expected of them, how this can be attained or done. They have to have a desirable environment to achieve this, a management job to look into. Goals need to be achieved should be well explained to the workforce. The workforce is entitled to receive motivation through incentives or rewards. With such expectations, the objective of team building will not be a difficult thing to do. Having the right focus on the job can produce good results, productivity and high performance.
George, J. M. ; Jones, G. (2005). Understanding and Managing Organizational Behavior, Fourth Edition. USA: Prentice Hall.
High Performance Team. Retrieved August 4, 2008, from http://www.citychallengeuk.com/highperformingteams.html
Managing High Performance Teams. Retrieved August 4, 2008, from http://www.stern.nyu.edu/mgt/courses/summer_2004/b2351_maruffi1.pdf.
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