Leadership is a critical aspect in the development of an organization’s long-term success. One of the core goals of leadership is to promote a strong relationship with internal organizational stakeholders. Dubrin (2013) affirms that nurturing a strong relationship amongst internal organizational stakeholders is paramount in the success of a leader. Dubrin (2013) further emphasizes that leaders have a duty to influence organizational performance.
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A study conducted by the Centre on Leadership and Ethics [Duke University] on 205 executive leaders of well-established public and private companies shows that leadership can foster strong organizational performance (Dubrin, 2013). However, this goal is only realizable if the leaders are inspirational and responsible. Thus, organizational leaders should adopt the best leadership practices in their pursuit of long-term survival (Dubrin, 2013). One of the leadership practices that leaders should entrench in their organizational culture entails teamwork, which is considered as the “heart of great achievements” (Maxwell, 2003, p. 6).
In an effort to improve organizational performance at my workplace, the organization highlighted the importance of integrating teamwork into the firm. One of the strategies that the manager intends to apply in achieving this goal is training employees on the significance of teamwork. As a leadership teamwork consultant, I was appointed to lead a team of nine members in proposing a new teamwork-training theme for the organization to adopt in its teamwork project. Through a brainstorming session, the team proposed collaboration in teamwork as the training theme. This paper illustrates the issues that will be considered in implementing the training project.
In order to succeed in implementing the project, I will ensure that a transformational leadership style is adopted in directing the team’s activities. One of the aspects that I will consider entails ensuring that the team members are empowered adequately. Therefore, as the team leader, I will ensure that all the team members’ opinions are heard.
This aspect will aid in entrenching a culture of team ownership amongst the team members. Additionally, the team members will be assigned different roles, depending on their capabilities. The team roles that will be considered include coordinator, plant, shaper, implementer, specialist, finisher, team worker, monitor evaluator, and the resource investigator (Dubrin, 2013). As the team leader, I will take up the role of a specialist in order to offer the team expert knowledge on various aspects that might be encountered.
Impact of teamwork project on organizational performance
The concept of teamwork is not new within the business environment. The impetus towards teamwork has originated from the need to attain synergy in organizational performance (Stagich, 2001). However, the successful implementation of teamwork has remained a challenge in many organizations. Teamwork collaboration is one of the critical aspects that organizational leaders should focus on in entrenching a culture of teamwork. Dubrin (2013) defines collaboration as the process of interaction amongst employees by building trust and valuing the accomplishment of a predetermined goal. Therefore, investing in the teamwork-training project will influence organizational performance in a number of ways, as illustrated herein.
The development of a shared goal
Effective teams are usually comprised of members from different backgrounds, such as expertise, interests, and opinions. However, teams are formed with the objective of attaining a specific goal. Thus, training employees on the importance of teamwork collaboration will play a fundamental role in enhancing the development of shared goals amongst team members. Stagich (2001) accentuates that an organization’s success in developing synergy depends on the uncompromised commitment amongst the team members towards the set goals and mission. Thus, developing a collaborative team is imperative in establishing shared goals.
One of the ways through which an organization can develop a shared goal is by ensuring that the team members understand how they will benefit from the organization. The training project will play a fundamental role in eliminating personal interests that might affect a team’s performance adversely, hence the organization’s long-term performance. Moreover, the project will influence the team members’ opinions positively regarding their personal and organizational success. For example, team members will appreciate the view that their success is anchored on their organization’s success. Therefore, the chances of achieving an organization’s vision will be improved considerably due to the internal commitment to organizational projects and work goals.
Strong employee relationship
The team project will also improve employee relationships amongst the organizations’ employees. One of the core motives for the manager to incorporate teamwork is to ensure effective working with the team. However, this goal can only be achieved if a strong relationship is established amongst employees. By investing in the teamwork-training project, the organization will gain remarkably from the strong employee relationship that will be developed. The team members will appreciate the importance of diversity within the team.
For example, training on collaboration will eliminate bias and negative energy. Therefore, the likelihood of conflicts amongst team members will reduce significantly. Moreover, the team members will gain insight on diversity as a source of knowledge and information that can improve the attainment of a shared goal if exploited optimally. Consequently, the organization will be in a position to leverage individual strengths. Dubrin (2013) asserts that heterogeneity in the “workforce may offer the company a creativity advantage as well as improve its problem-solving and decision making capability” (p. 443).
Limits on socially responsible projects
Attaining long-term sustainability is one of the fundamental goals of most organizations. Organizations can adopt different strategic management practices in achieving this goal. One of these practices entails corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is comprised of two main dimensions, viz. the internal and external dimensions (May, Cheney & Roper, 2007). Establishing an environment conducive for working is one of the dimensions of internal CSR. Therefore, nurturing a strong collaboration amongst the internal stakeholders should be a prime concern for organizations.
Training employees on collaboration ensures that they adhere to ethical codes, hence eliminating unethical behaviors. Additionally, training employees on collaboration improves an organization’s operational efficiency, hence ensuring that customers are served optimally (Dubrin, 2013). However, it is imperative for organization leaders to ensure that their investment in CSR is beneficial to the organization’s long-term success. Some of the issues that the company should consider in developing CSR policies are illustrated below.
Costs and benefits of CSR
It is imperative for organizations to ensure that investing in socially responsible activities does not affect the attainment of the organization’s long-term goals due to the high costs involved in the process. In order to achieve this goal, it is imperative for an organization to conduct a cost analysis. For example, the analysis should focus on assessing the costs of investing in external and internal CSR activities. The organization should avoid investing in CSR activities that are characterized by negative financial ramifications. Incurring high financial costs in CSR may pressurize the organization to increase the cost of its products and services. Subsequently, the organization might experience a reduction in the customer base, and hence its financial stability.
The organization should consider investing in CSR activities that will contribute to the improvement in the organization’s long-term sustainability. Subsequently, the organization should avoid short-term oriented CSR activities. May et al. (2007) are of the opinion that some “corporate citizenship initiatives are simply efforts to downplay some of the realities of today’s corporate practices and short-termism through image manipulation” (p. 78). Thus, the organization should ensure that the projects being adopted contribute to the organization’s sustainability. Some of the CSR activities undertaken might not have immediate results (Dubrin, 2013).
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Effects on CSR on the company bottom-line
Investing in CSR activities will enhance the organization’s corporate image. For example, investing in the employee training program will lead to the establishment of a strong relationship between employees and the organization. The strong link is spurred by the view that employees appreciate the organization’s effort in improving their talent, and hence their chance of progressing through their desired career path. Therefore, the development of such a relationship will influence positively the level of productivity amongst employees, hence organizational operational efficiency.
The development of positive corporate reputation improves the competitiveness of an organization in the labor market (West, 2012). Thus, the firm will be in a position to develop a talented workforce. Moreover, the organization will be in a position to increase the rate of employee retention, hence increasing the likelihood of improving its long-term performance.
Approaches of integrating ethical behavior in the teamwork training project
Entrenching strong ethical behavior is one of the aspects that will be considered during the teamwork-training project. In order to achieve this goal, a number of approaches will be adopted as illustrated below.
Diversity training program
An extensive diversity-training project will be developed in order to ensure that the team members develop a better understanding on diversity at the workplace. The diversity-training program will ensure that no team member is discriminated due to his or her cultural or demographic background such as race, age, gender, sexual orientation, level of education, nationality, and religion amongst other factors. This move will aid in the development of a friendly working environment.
Ethics and CSR training program
Dubrin (2013) asserts that training on ethics and CSR increases the employees’ level of awareness. Thus, the training project will focus on ensuring that all the team members understand the stipulated organizational code of ethics. Some of the issues that the teamwork-training project will focus on entail the anti-discrimination laws. The ethics-training project will reinforce the significance of developing socially responsible and ethical behaviors.
Teamwork training and transformational leadership
Investing in teamwork training will establish a strong foundation for the development of transformational leaders due to a number of issues as explained herein.
The teamwork-training project will focus on the importance of cooperation amongst team members. The team members will be trained on the importance of cooperating in order to achieve a shared goal. Additionally, the team members will appreciate the importance of cooperation in making innovative decisions that enable an organization to deal with future challenges.
The teamwork-training project will also focus on establishing an open communication channel amongst team members. The objective of open communication will be to provide the team members with an opportunity to share relevant information and knowledge. Through such sharing, the team members will appreciate the importance of gathering information from subordinates, which is a fundamental element in transformational leadership.
Team member’s reaction
One of the members had proposed that the team should adopt an independent approach in executing the team projects. In his proposition, the team member was of the opinion that the team would avoid conflicts if the project was subdivided and each of the team members assigned his or her role. His proposition was based on the need to avoid conflict amongst the team members by working independently.
However, in my opinion, the approach suggested by the team member would affect the team’s performance adversely. First, the team’s capacity to contribute positively to the organization’s positive performance would have been affected negatively due to the lack of knowledge and information sharing. Furthermore, adopting an independent approach would have affected the organization’s capacity to position itself as a learning organization through collaboration amongst employees.
Focusing on the theme of collaboration during the company’s teamwork training program will play a fundamental role in establishing a strong organizational culture. For example, the organization will be in a position to work as a system, hence improving its long-term performance. Furthermore, the incorporation of the above elements will allow team members to develop a positive attitude towards the organization, hence increasing their commitment.
Dubrin, J. (2013). Leadership: research findings, practice, and skills. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Maxwell, J. (2003). The 17 indisputable laws of teamwork workbook: embrace them and empower your team. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.
May, S., Cheney, G., & Roper, J. (2007). The debate over corporate social responsibility. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Stagich, T. (2001). Collaborative leadership and global transformation: developing collaborative leaders and high synergy organizations. Miami, FL: Global Leadership Resources.
West, M. (2012). Effective teamwork; practical lessons from organizational research. Chichester, UK: Blackwell Publishers.