BSBWOR502 Lead And Manage Team :
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Lead and manage team effectiveness
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- Create a team charter……………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
- Seek input from the team……………………………………………………………………………………… 12
- Encourage participation in team activities………………………………………………………………… 15
- Communicate with stakeholders…………………………………………………………………………….. 18
Adult learners are internally motivated and self-directed.
Adult learners resist learning when they feel others are imposing information, ideas or
actions on them (Fidishun, 2000).
This learner resource gives you an overview of all the areas of study. This learning resource also facilitates your learning by offering a series of additional resources for you to access. As you bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to your study it is up to you what areas you choose to explore further using the resource lists provided.
This learning resource cover BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team .
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This learner resource will provide the necessary guidance for a manager/team leader to promote their team’s ability to accomplish their own and the team’s goals and outcomes. The unit focuses on how managers can utilise the right tools and make some fundamental choices around communication, feedback and coaching to team members, line managers and stakeholders.
Promoting team effectiveness begins with bringing the team together to develop a performance plan and team charter. This is achieved through reflecting on and agreeing to how they will work on a particular project setting goals and expected outcomes as well as establishing how they will achieve these. This is supported with processes of formal and informal feedback and coaching to support team members meet their own and the team’s expected performance outcomes.
In order for individuals to work effectively within a team to achieve outcomes that benefit individuals, the team and overall business goals, it is important that clarity of expectations and a method of work practices is established from the start. Best practice for ensuring a positive team experience is to create a team charter with new and existing team members. A team charter is effectively a road map, whereby all members of the team are engaged in exploring the purpose of the team, how they will work within the team and what outcomes are expected.
Team members, whether they work on or off site, need to initially be made aware of the businesses goals, processes, policies, vision and values (if available). These can usually be found within the business plan for small businesses and within structured policy statements in larger businesses. Access can be obtained by reading these or spending time in training, if relevant.
The team meets, discusses and plans how they will work towards meeting expected outcomes. The layout of team charters will often vary according to the project, working arrangements and the individuals that make up the team. The most important element however is that the team comes together and agrees collectively on the elements involved.
Some elements when developing a team charter may include:
- Mission and goals
- Arrangement of team, roles and skills
- Resources and support
- Negotiation and agreement
Sets out the foundation of the team and why it has been formed. This will further document the project requirements, the issues the team will be endeavouring to solve, how this project fits in with the broader objectives of the business, the expectations of the delivery, and the consequences should the issues not be addressed.
Mission and Goals
This makes up the core of the team charter. By stating a mission, the team is made aware of what it has to achieve. Without this, individual team members may pursue their own agendas regardless of the principal goal.
Next step is to take the mission, and turn it into measurable team goals. These are the key targets and milestones that will keep the team on track, also highlighting an individual’s contribution and influence in achieving these team goals.
Managers can support team members by coaching them to write goals and objectives in a way that they can be measured to promote achievement of them. A useful tool when writing goals is by using the SMART framework:
Once goals are established, managers check in with team members formally and informally to ensure they are on track.
Arrangement of Team, Roles and Skills
Teams are most effective when they are made up of members who can bring experience, skills and methodologies needed to complete the objectives of the task. These approaches can vary and come from a wide range of backgrounds.
Once this has been established, the manager will work with each team member to define their personal contribution to the team and the overall business goals by:
- Matching team member to roles and responsibilities.
- Establishing method of communication between team member, manager and stakeholders.
- Clearly defining duties and expected outcomes.
- Establishing clear time frames to meet goals.
- Uncovering gaps in skill set and planning for development (on the job or formal training).
Once individual roles are defined, the manager is faced with the task of ensuring that team members have the ability to complete the requirements of the project alongside their other commitments. By providing support to team members, managers can ensure that boundaries are established and individuals are able to perform tasks expected of them.
Resources and Support Available
Team members are made aware of the resources available to them to accomplish the goals, including budgets, time, equipment, and people. Further to this, the manager can provide details of training and coaching support available and how performance BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team assessments will be conducted.
It is important that team members to study BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team are made aware of the day-to-day operations of the project. This can be detailed or simplified depending on the needs of the project.
For example, areas of consideration in scheduling meetings may include:
- Day and time of meeting
- How often the team will meet from then on (details may be agreed upon and followed consistently throughout the project e.g. 2pm Thursdays)
- Duration of meetings
- Presentation lengths from each member at meetings (e.g. short status reports)
- Communications to group should members be absent (e.g. email, phone call to manager, etc.)
- Who will take minutes and distribute?
Negotiation and Agreement
A good team charter is ideally developed through a process of negotiation and by studying BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team . Whereby the mission of the project may be established by business owners or clients, the objectives, roles, boundaries and resources are developed by negotiation between the manager, the team, and relevant stakeholders.
Finally, members come to an agreement, by signing off on the charter. This indicates the commitment to the purpose of the team charter, the roles and responsibilities each member has agreed upon, the mission, and most importantly the accountability each signature holds towards the team and the business.
“What gets measured gets done.” The importance of regular measurement and reporting when working towards a common goal and using the information agreed upon to measure progress. The most critical measurements are referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
“What gets measured gets done. What gets measured and fed back gets done well. What
gets rewarded gets repeated.”
John E. Jones and Peter Drucker
Key Performance Indicators ( KPIs)
KPIs are a type of performance measurement of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team used to determine the success of a particular activity in which individuals are engaged, when striving to achieve the companies overarching objectives. Success can be measured by repetition, for example achieving the same results over and over or achieving a consistent percentage of customer satisfaction. Alternatively, success can be measured in progressive terms towards achieving strategic goals, for example incremental increases in performance.
The key factor when setting and measuring KPIs for team members of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team is having an understanding of what is important to the business and aligning relevant KPIs in order to achieve this success.
Therefore KPIs should:
- Be drawn from the overall business objectives
- Measure influencing factors driving the success of the business
- Point out where further action is required
KPIs may be used to measure such areas as:
- profit of project
- product quality
- customer service
- timeliness of activity completion
- customer referrals
- staff turnover
Once KPIs are set, agreement on BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team how they will be measured and examined is paramount. Best practice is to maintain records of results in order to have detailed information to track performance over a set period of time.
KPIs are consistently changing according to the demands of the industry or business focus. Because of this, team members KPIs need to be regularly revised, providing the flexibility to reflect the changing needs of the business.
In order for individuals to successfully achieve their own personal goals within the company’s objectives, best practice is to allow for some strategic goal setting within the team members performance plan.
Using the S.M.A.R.T. goal methodology is a solid indicator that the goals are:
|Specific||Target a specific area for improvement. The what, why and how of the goal. e.g. All approvals and permits authorised by (date) so construction can commence on (date)|
|Measurable||The tangible measure that indicates the progress of the goal. e.g. All quality of workmanship to A Grade level.|
|Achievable||The appropriate knowledge, skills and ability to achieve the goal are present and the individual is stretched slightly to gain a benefit from the goal. Achievable goals act as motivators. e.g. To reach lock-up stage on a residential build within 14 weeks of slab stage.|
|Realistic/ relevant||The results can genuinely be achieved, given available resources and create an outcome relevant to the business’s goals e.g. To have a team of 6 reliable employees.|
|Timely||Results achieved are linked to a timeframe that has a personal sense of urgency between the present reality and the vision of the goal. e.g. Lock up will be completed by (Date)|
A goal may be to have an engaged team.
To turn this goal into a smart goal it would need to be expanded upon:
Completing a performance planning document maintains a record of what, how and when a goal of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team will be achieved and what resources are available or need to be sourced to gain a successful outcome. This document then provides the foundation of accountability toward meeting the goal. The planning document can be a very simple form populated by several goals followed by the actions, requirements and revisions towards success.
Regular catch up meetings with the employee are advisable to ensure they are on track with the goals set.
There are several ways that effective managers provide the support a team member needs to successfully meet their responsibilities. Most importantly the manager’s role is to provide support to the individual without removing the responsibility of them completing the task on their own. Best practice for this is by:
- Providing regular formal and informal feedback
Coaching individuals within the team of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team is often an effective way to support members regardless of their expertise. An important skill when coaching is the ability to ask powerful questions, ensuring they are open questions. Avoid asking closed questions that prompt Yes or No responses. As important in effective coaching is the use of active listening skills and allowing the team member to do most of the talking. The coach is often not required to fill in the silences.
Using a structure such as the GROW model can provide a foundation to coach people towards success.
- Current Reality
- Options (or Obstacles)
- Way Forward
Look at the Goal
Firstly the team member and manager will examine the goal that has been set for that individual. Some questions to ask might include:
- How will you know that you have achieved this goal?
- How will you know that the problem or issue is solved?
- Does this goal fit with the overall team objectives set out in the Team Charter?
Examine the Current Reality
Next, ask the team member to describe their current reality. This is an important step as it asks the individual to consider their starting point and highlight all concerns without skimming over important information that they need in order to reach their goal effectively. As your team member talks about the current reality, some solutions may start to emerge. It is important here to allow for the individual to discover these through guidance rather than providing solutions. Useful coaching questions to examine current reality may include:
- What is happening now (what, who, when, and how often)?
- What is the effect or result of this?
- What steps have you already taken towards your goal?
- Does this goal conflict with any other of yours or the teams goals or objectives?
Explore the Options
Some ways of exploring the possible options to reaching the objectives may include brainstorming, whereby the manager encourages and guides the individual or team to explore their ideas, offering procedural suggestions to enhance the discoveries where relevant. Useful coaching questions that can be used to explore options may include:
- What else could you do?
- What if this limitation were removed? What would the impact be to you, the team and the overall goals?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of………… ?
- What considerations will you use to make your decision?
- What do you need to stop doing in order to achieve this goal?
- What do you need to start doing in order to achieve this goal?
- What do you need to continue doing in order to achieve this goal?
- What obstacles stand in your way?
Establish the Way Forward
After having examined the current reality and exploring various options, your team member should now have a clearer strategy towards achieving their goal.
To ensure that your coaching provides the individual with a clear roadmap, they will need to finally commit to specific actions towards success. This will motivate them to move forward by providing the opportunity to act on strategies.
Some useful questions to ask may include:
- So, what will you do now, and when? What else will you do?
- What could stop you moving forward? How will you overcome this?
- How can you keep yourself motivated?
- When do you need to review progress? Daily, weekly, monthly?
An important step in defining accountability from team members is to agree on actions that will be taken and setting a review date.
Providing feedback on a regular basis allows for team members to quickly and efficiently know that they are on track or alternatively need to change something in order to get back on track. Feedback can be about the task at hand and the choices that the individual took in order to perform the task, or can be about the behaviour that the individual adopts when working with others.
Actions and behaviours can be observed or measured against performance criteria. They can include specific detail and guidance through coaching to assist the individual to move closer to the goal, or can be quick and specific to ensure that an action or style is changed for improvement.
Feedback can come from various sources including:
- The manager
- Team members
Businesses can adopt a 360 degree feedback model, which is a multiple sourced tool designed to address various aspects of an individual from the perceptions of all who have contact with them, thus gaining insight from managers, direct reports, peers and customers. This is a very formal approach to feedback and assessment and is often used in large organisations.
Chapter 2: Develop and facilitate team cohesion
Effective managers can use different methods to build trust and gain commitment from individuals and the team. This can be achieved by developing strategies that ensure individuals have the opportunity to be involved in planning and executing ideas, creating solid processes and policies that align to specific industry needs and business methods, and establishing solid communication strategies that set the team up for success and reward accordingly.
Not all team members will be forthcoming with their input on a project. The challenge that many leaders face is creating openings where individuals can be encouraged to have input across the board. Effective planning, preparation and allocation of time by the leader is a critical strategy to promote involvement from team members.
The manager needs to be diligent in seeking the way that different team members contribute. Not all individuals enjoy speaking up at meetings and often the quiet ones get left behind. By adopting various strategies to allow individuals to contribute sets the whole team up for success. These may include:
- Brainstorming during meetings – whole group and small group discussions
- Encouraging requests to team members for their ideas via alternative methods both verbal and written
- Provide opportunities for coaching to individuals who are less experienced (this may be through mentors, more experienced team members, team leader)
- During planning meetings dividing team into smaller groups to come up with ideas and share back to larger group
- Coaching team members to engage them to share their thoughts (either in the group or individually)
Much can be gained from conversing with individual team members at the beginning of a project to uncover their thoughts and ideas on approaching a project. Should some members of the team seem to be flying under the radar, the leader is responsible for touching base with the individual to gain their input.
Managers’ awareness of personal preferences ensures that individuals can contribute their ideas in a supportive way.
Whilst encouraging participation from team members is integral in motivating individuals to be accountable for their contributions, managers must provide a framework to ensure distribution of fair and reasonable work allocation to all team members. These processes provide guidelines for employees to understand and work within the expectations of the company.
Some policies and procedures of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team the business may already have in place that will support and guide the employee may include:
- Hours of work – ordinary, overtime, shift, starting and finishing times
- Time off – in lieu, rostered days off
- Rest pauses and meal breaks
- Leave options – annual, parental, carer’s, leave without pay, sick leave
- Procedures around monitoring and approval of leave forms to ensure the work can continue whilst the individual is away
- Employees’ participation in service activities – union, community engagement
- Equal opportunity policies
- Travel policies
- Performance review and succession planning
- Feedback, coaching and development
- Performance management
- Social media guidelines
- Health and safety policy
- Allowance of work tools for personal use – phones, laptops, tablets, car
For the development of team cohesion, the manager may wish to develop policies and procedures that include:
- Work allocation – according to strategic and operational objectives of the business, team and individual that recognises the skills and capabilities of the team members appropriately
- Appropriate scheduling to ensure that any absence of a team member is adequately covered
- Communication policy, adhering to the methods that are appropriate to the project (email, meetings, texting)
- Decision making policy – guidelines that state appropriate methods and alternatives when various levels of decisions need to be made
- Conflict resolution and escalation – guidelines that state at what stage in conflict the manager will take the issues to HR or senior management
Having assisted team members to create SMART goals and objectives, understand their KPIs and have a working knowledge of how they will achieve expected outcomes, the manager’s task is to now create a platform to provide detailed feedback on evidence of achievements made and provide rewards and recognition accordingly.
Giving both critical and positive feedback effectively to team members is important for continuing improvements and performance. Some guidelines towards providing a positive experience around formal and informal feedback includes:
- Make it timely
- Make it regularly
- Prepare before hand
- Be specific
- Focus on facts
- Give the critical feedback privately
- Recognise efforts
- Celebrate success
- Reward according to what motivates employee (time, money, responsibility)
Timely and regular feedback ensures that the individual and the team are able to use the information provided to move forward in their work practices. Constructive feedback given as close to the event to address the issue, can support the development of the individual and the success of the project.
When giving constructive feedback, often the discussion can be difficult. Preparing the approach, knowing the facts and where to show empathy will ensure that the conversation stays on track, whilst providing the opportunity to engage the individual to develop strategies towards making necessary changes, without undermining their whole work ethic.
When the feedback is critical, it is best practice to take the time to hold the discussion of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team in private to avoid embarrassing the team member. This builds trust and fosters an environment of respect.
Positive feedback encourages the individual and team that there is acknowledgement of work that has been completed well. Celebrating small wins helps motivate individuals and the team and allows them to know their
journey towards rewards. Managers may set up rewards and recognition programs to provide motivations according to individual or team preferences.
|Some rewards programs may include: Financial bonusTime in lieuGift vouchersOpportunities to travelResponsibility|
The formal feedback process is best achieved when it is a dialogue, where manager and individual are able to work together to find a solution. Starting the conversation by gaining clarity of the individual’s perception of what they think is a good start.
|Asking open questions such as: What do you think of …Tell me about what happened in relation to …I have some thoughts around …, I would like to hear what you think first will help managers to understand how to angle their discussion.|
Using this coaching approach to critical feedback allows the manager to ascertain the individual’s understanding of the situation and can open up the dialogue towards developing a solution as opposed to a culture of blame.
Team members are the best contact between management and the frontline. Often it is a challenge to foresee all the issues that are likely to arise on a worksite or project BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team even if it is similar to worksites from the past.
An effective leader provides a platform for team members to feel empowered about identifying concerns and addressing them with their manager. This can be achieved by ensuring that there is consistency in how to approach certain issues in order to build an environment of trust and professionalism. However, even if the manager has established a level of open communication and support to team members, individuals may shy away from verbally raising concerns to avoid backlash from their involvement.
To combat anxiety around raising issues the manager must set up functional, consistent steps for team members to follow when they identify an issue such as establishing the process of filling in details in an Issues Log Book that is checked frequently by manager.
|An issues log may include the following information: The issue type – technical, process driven, management, resourcing or third partyIdentifier of the incident or anonymously reporting the incident· TimeDescription – in detailPriority – high = critical; medium = noticeable impact; low = not urgent (can use a traffic light to symbolise)Owner of resolutionDeadlineTrack progress – open, investigating, implementing, escalated, resolvedResolution description|
Chapter 3: Facilitate teamwork
Team cohesion is best achieved when individual team members take responsibility for BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team their own efforts. This can be achieved by setting up functional opportunities for the team to work independently and have a consistent platform to engage in dialogue. This is further supported by how the manager identifies and resolves performance issues that may arise within the team, alongside the choices the manager makes when role modelling behaviour and work ethic.
The Team Charter provides the foundation for BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team team members to acknowledge the level of participation required within the project activities. At times competing priorities may preside over the individual being able to cooperate in whole team activities, such as attending all scheduled meetings.
The leader can encourage team members to take responsibility for the team activities by actively giving feedback to members and encouraging their efforts, whilst reminding them that the team could only exist with the individuals involved because of the skills and attributes they bring to the team, ultimately resulting in the success or failure of the project.
Communication is critical in fostering a positive cohesion for all members. Functionally the team is required to be kept up to date with all relevant details, updates, documents, schedules etc. Some tools to assist the team within their communication processes include:
- E-mail – create an e-mail list/group for the team. This ensures that all correspondence can be distributed at the same time
- Online Storage – there are numerous websites (i.e. Dropbox; Base Camp; Google Docs) that offer free limited file storage and sharing options that can be accessed by team members who are invited to join. Check with your company’s policies prior to using these resources.
- Skype/FaceTime – Audio and video conferencing solution for members who may be working remotely
- Meeting Regularly – either as a whole or a sum of the team’s parts to keep engaged in process
- Open Door – giving permission for team members to contact the leader and each other spontaneously with questions or ideas
Functionally these tools allow for information to be transmitted, however this only takes care of half of the process. In order for effective communication to exist, an important component is to ensure that the messages or ideas conveyed are understood.
When individuals receive a message, a percentage of their understanding of the message is impacted by perception. Therefore, it is critical when engaging team members with vital messages to check for understanding at every stage.
Building trust within the team to question and ask for clarity when there is confusion and to offer suggestions to how different messages need to be delivered according to importance is vital. For example the team may agree to upload documents and spreadsheets on an online storage or forum but agree that when something is urgent that an e-mail or text message is sent to highlight the issue.
Issues and concerns are very rarely the same for every team. Conflict can arise from a difference of opinion – which can also be helpful in seeking innovation and alternatives – to all out disagreements and disputes. As a team leader knowing when to intervene to assist in resolution is often a tricky situation and requires the instinct of the leader to make the decision. If the team members are capable of resolving the issue without including others then no intervention is required. If however, the disagreements start to become more aggressive, leaders and relevant line managers may need to be called upon to support the resolution of the conflict.
Steps to Resolving Conflict
Acknowledge the Conflict
It is never a good option to sit back and ignore issues affecting the team and its potential to achieve its outcomes. Coming together to discuss the impact of the conflict and the effect on the team dynamics and performance is crucial to moving forward. Therefore, all parties involved in the problem need to agree to communicate and cooperate towards resolution.
Getting the Facts
Where the leader is required to coach or mediate the situation, they will need to collect all the facts, assumptions and beliefs as soon as possible in order to support the team members to objectively see all areas of concern and align it with the overall scope of the project at hand. Should an individual counter attack in order to win rather than reach an agreement, the leader will need to support the mediation and give the individual feedback accordingly.
Asking questions may assist the analysis of these facts, assumptions and beliefs. Examples of questions to consider include:
- Which facts and assumptions of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team are true?
- Which are important to the outcome of the project?
- Is there additional information that needs to be considered in this argument?
- Who will be most affected either way?
The uncovering of facts and assumptions of BSBWOR502 Lead and manage team allows individuals to separate from their emotional attachment to the issue and see it more objectively.
Once all the information is laid out and each party understands the other’s point of view, a best course of action needs to be agreed. If an agreement cannot be met then further analysis and evaluation is required. The leader can support further evaluation or draw on the expertise of line managers to provide strategic platforms for reaching a resolution.
When the conflict is resolved, it is important to acknowledge individuals’ contributions and behaviours to support team cohesion and assurance of their ability to problem solve.
The strongest influence on employee behaviour is their direct team leader, and because of this influence the importance of modelling the correct work practices and behaviours expected at work, is paramount in effective leadership.
The leader who can gain the respect and admiration of their co-workers is often likely to gain commitment to projects with a high standard of outcomes on a consistent basis.
When influencing others, the role model does not expect team members to mirror every aspect of themselves, authenticity also comes from individuality. For example, when the focus is client centric, effective role modelling guides team members on how they personally could take time for the customer in various ways.
Customer friendly role models can be observed showing empathy to the customer and taking personal responsibility to follow through with requests.
Some characteristics of positive role models may include:
- Professional experience and credibility
- Strong communication skills
- Pay attention to their acts
- Effective listening skills
- Ability to build rapport internally and externally
- Encourage teamwork and cooperation
- Commitment to growth and development of others How to be a good role model:
- Self-reflect. Reflect on actions and the reactions that they produce. Leaders who understand why they do something in a particular way, will be able to guide others in similar situations.
- Receive feedback. Self-awareness and an open mind to improve oneself is an important trait in effective role modelling.
- Confidence in self and role. A favourable approach to tasks and problem solving will be mirrored by others.
- Communicate. Good communication means listening as well as speaking. An effective role model builds confidence in others. When people know what is expected of them they are able to add value with their contributions.
- Show empathy. People need to know that they are being heard and understood, that the challenges they face are supported and acknowledged by their manager.
- Have a clear vision. Setting clear expectations of short term and long term goals models the expectations of the business to all employees.
- Lead by example. Good leadership role models are honest and practice what they preach.
Chapter 4: Communication
Managers and team members hold an integral role in keeping stakeholders aware of progress and important obstacles or issues that may be faced during a project. Stakeholders may include internal or external parties and in both cases individuals or groups need to be kept aware of progress and concerns and what measures are being taken to keep the workflow on track.
Managers consistently share progress reports on projects upward and outward to senior management, business partners and external stakeholders such as clients, to ensure alignment of business goals and project outcomes.
A team leader is in a unique position as they will act as spokesperson for the team and carry much of the responsibility and perception from stakeholders towards their team’s efforts. Depending on the culture of the business, these liaisons can be either stressful or empowering for the leader and the team. A positive environment is one where the lines of communication are open, direct and consistent.
Open communications come about from maintaining personal contact and building rapport with business partners and clients on the basis of mutual respect and trust. Authentically showing respect to all stakeholders provides the foundation for communication that is heard and understood. Listening objectively to how management responds to work practices and staff behaviour that is represented in the team and responding accordingly, enables a two way line of communication for feedback and continuous improvement.
Sharing success or challenges back to stakeholders from actions taken as a result of these discussions builds trust that ideas are followed through, consistent information is presented and a level of flexibility in work practices is maintained to achieve the project’s objectives.
|Methods of communication that may be used to keep stakeholders informed include: Providing frequent written progress reportsMeeting regularly with stakeholders to update them on project trackingInviting stakeholders to the more important team meetingsSharing the team charter with stakeholders|
The team leader is generally the spokesperson to advise the team of any problems, updates or changes that need to be made to the project from top down. When these messages include communications that aren’t favourable, the leader is accountable for ensuring the team is supported to make changes as well as motivating them through difficult situations.
Some ways of providing support to team members may include:
- Giving some context regarding management’s decisions
- Delivering the message as an ambassador for change and improvement
- Positively modelling their own commitments to new information
Upon receiving information from management, the team leader must ensure that they have understood the information and they have all relevant facts that need to be shared with the team.
Advising the team should be done in a timely and relevant way, ensuring that all important information is presented in a clear and concise manner. It is important that the leader checks for understanding during the delivery and creates an environment of open communication where clarity can be achieved for all team members.
When dealing with issues and concerns within the team, more often than not resolution can be found without concerning others. There are however instances when unresolved problems need to be addressed by a line manager, business partner or other stakeholders due to the nature of the issue being complex or alternatively issues have been identified from outside the team and need to be addressed in order to make the team leader and team aware of the impact the issue is having on the broader business. Some examples of when this is necessary may include:
- There has been a breach of company policy
- There is reported harassment that needs to be investigated
- An individual is being bullied by other team members
- The team leader is unable to facilitate a resolution
- The problem is getting out of hand and is starting to affect the deliverables of the project
- Changes have been made to the original brief of the project that will affect some members of the team
- Changes have been made in legislation that affects the progress of current works
When approaching line managers, specific details and evidence is critical as is a summary of what the team
leader’s actions have encompassed to date. Should there be physical evidence such as emails, text messages or any other form of reporting that can assist the case, these should be presented to the relevant person as soon as possible.
The team leader remains the central point of communication and in these situations the approach that the manager adopts in their communication skills both to line managers and team members is critical to the relationships that have been fostered within the business.
Team members will reflect on how a leader approaches an individual and the team while dealing with difficult situations. It is therefore critical that the team leader displays empathy and leadership in these instances, focusing on facts and what is best for the individual, team and ultimately the business and project. Although line managers will provide details to the team leader, role modelling is very important here to insure that the messages being filtered back to the team provide a level of trust.
When the issue is resolved, team members perform duties and actions as required toward reaching their goals. The team leader provides follow up progress reports back to line managers with details of how the team is tracking. Keeping the lines of communication open and transparent at either end of the scale is vital to the success of a project for all concerned. Building relationships that can support and nurture growth and development ensures that problems can be resolved holistically while empowering individuals and the overall achievement of the business’s outcomes.
Glossary of terms
|Performance Plan||A plan of action that is used to guide team members towards achieving specific goals|
|Team charter||Road map for individuals to explore and agree on the purpose of the team, work strategies and expected outcomes|
|Goals||An observable and measurable end result to be achieved within a fixed time frame|
|Outcomes||A final produce or end result|
|Feedback||The process of getting information or advice on a task or job performed. This can be done formally or informally.|
|Coaching||Supporting the development of another to achieve a specific goal|
|Business plan||A formal statement of goals and plans of action that provide a framework around the purpose and methods of the business|
|Resources||Tools and people required to complete a task|
|Stakeholders||A person or group that has an investment, share, or interest in a business or industry|
|Facilitate||To assist the progress of a person or group|
|Role Model||A person whose behaviour, example or success is or can be copied by others.|
Fidishun, D. (2000) Andragogy and technology: Integrating adult learning theory as we teach with technology. [Conference Paper]: 5th Annual Instructional Technology Conference.
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