Work groups consist of two, or more, people combining their individual knowledge to complete a goal or task that meets the needs of the company. A work group is mainly a formal group when the sole purpose of the gathering is benefiting the company as a whole. While the personalities may not necessarily mesh together, and one person’s Job doesn’t necessarily effect another’s, the work combined meets the goal. This type of group is easily built, as it usually contains one or more people from the different departments, such as accounting, racketing and research.
The three departments, though individual, benefit the company when all the parts work together. Grouping these folks together provides ultimate efficiency for the company. There a few different types of formal groups. A command group and a task force generally answer to one supervisor. While the command group is usually permanent, the task force is built to answer a specific need and then dissolved when the Job is over. Similarly, teams are also temporary, consisting of people who work closely to achieve a common goal.
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The team may be self-managed, whereby the members have an assigned leader that coordinates the efforts of the other members, while no formal manager is involved. An informal group, such as a church a group, bowling league, or all groups that consists of people with the same interests. These folks are often friends and gather not only to help each other in their tasks, but to provide each other with outside colonization. This group is even easier to put together, because the interests are the same, even though the skill level varies. Unlike the groups, teams depend on the relationships between the members.
Since they work so closely, and the success of the project effects all equally, teams are much harder to build. Management must take into consideration, not only the specialty and experience of each member, but the personalities that are being thrown together. In self-managed teams, for example, it would be important to ensure that the people in the team can accept one leader, and contribute fairly. Groups, formal and informal, operate by a set of rules. The rules will change for each task, but never the less, they are part of every functioning group.
The rules are designed to dictate the purpose and unction’s of the group while working on the specific task for which they were developed. The rules help the processes run smoothly and also give incoming members a place to start in how they will contribute to the group. Sometimes, rules are adopted from the company’s general procedure manual, while often they are created out of specific need to the group. Formal rules are often written in a procedural manual, but there are also unwritten rules. These rules are referred to as the “norm”. Generally, this is simply behavior that is expected while conducting group business.
They are usually based on typical business behavior; an example would be giving credit for idea, where due, rather than take credit for yourself. The trick to the “Norm” is finding the balance between acceptance and defiance. Conformity and defiance, are two ends of the same spectrum. It is important that groups and teams find a balance between the two, because too much or too little leads to poor productivity. When the group has members that deviate from the rules, it is time to rethink the rules and make changes that everyone can live with. Microsoft made a big mistake when it came to conformity and defiance.
When they developed a super-secret methodology of performance reviews, they also instilled a very strict policy on the employees. This led the employees to become paranoid about how their Job would be effected by the review. Because the employees were not aware of exactly how their performance was being rated, they began to feel that they may be treated unfairly, if they didn’t get along with one of the supervisors giving the review, or that their co-worker would get higher marks simply because of past social relationships. Because of this, teamwork became too competitive and promotions and assignments were sketchy.