Working in Groups Essay
Workplaces are diverse settings. Companies harness diverse knowledge, sills, and experiences of various employees to improve their bottom line. Teams are effective and powerful vehicles in building morale and producing desired results (Akron et al., 2016). When managed effectively, teams can outperform individual efforts and unleash creativity while also building skills. However, teams can experience conflicts, friction, and uncertainty, leading to missed targets and hence poor performance.
Numerous factors can contribute to poor performance among teams. To begin with, lack of common and clearly defined goals may hinder team effectiveness, leading to poor performance, since team members may take contradictory or conflicting approaches (Akron et al., 2016). Secondly, poor interpersonal relationships such as disrespect among team members may lead to poor performance. The reason is that if team members disrespect one another, they may be reluctant or unwilling to share vital skills and knowledge. Thirdly, poor management style can lead to poor team performance (Akron et al., 2016). For instance, over-management of highly experienced employees may lead to disempowerment and frustration, hence poor team performance. Similarly, lack of direction may cause inexperienced workers to make mistakes, translating into poor team performance. Additionally, impact of change can cause poor performance among teams. For instance, if key team members leave, successful and high performing teams will be likely to hit problems.
To maintain a productive work environment, companies should work on approaches to improve intergroup relations. It is recommended that organizations ensure new employee orientation as a key strategy to develop a tolerant workplace. The organizations’ policies should be anchored on promoting intergroup cooperation, and the policies should be outlined in the employee handbook (Akron et al., 2016). Companies should also develop comprehensive strategies that seek to convey the organizations’ zero tolerance to intergroup discrimination. What is more, managers should be encouraged to practice sensitivity and patience when handling intergroup issues. Moreover, managers should receive diversity training to enable them understand how best to address intergroup conflicts. Besides, companies should implement recruiting and hiring policies and strategies that eliminate any potential for discrimination. Such policies can include omitting the age, name, religion, and ethnic background of a candidate from the hiring process (Akron et al., 2016). Importantly, organizations should ensure that their management teams comprise of diverse members to allow intergroup relations issues to be addressed effectively.
Group cohesion significantly influences group performance. Group cohesion refers to the tendency for a team to be in unity while pursuing a goal and satisfying the members’ emotional needs. Social cohesion occurs when members of a social group are linked to one another as well as to the group as a whole. According to Akron et al (2016), members of a cohesive group tend to be more likely to participate readily and to remain committed to the group. Akron et al (2016) reported a strong link between group cohesion and group performance. To begin with, strong group cohesion leads to motivation of team members since each member of the team feels confident being in the team. The reason is that social loafing is rare when there is social cohesion. The greater the motivation of each team member, the better the group performance (Akron et al., 2016). Group cohesion also leads to task commitment among group members, thereby translating into good group performance.
To improve group performance, groups should be motivated to perform even better by appealing to the self-interests of group members. Since group members act in part for themselves, the rewards they receive will be helpful in making them enjoy being part of the group (Akron et al., 2016). Additionally, organizations should improve communication as well as information sharing among group members to improve group performance. Importantly, setting appropriate goals that are specific and attainable is critical to group performance.
Akron, S., Feinblit, O., Hareli, S. and Tzafrir, S. (2016). Employment arrangements diversity and work group performance. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 22(5/6), pp.310-330.