The main objectives to consider when looking at a team is the key word “team” as my understanding is that a team is a number of individuals working together as one to achieve a common goal. It was identified by Larson and LaFasto in 1989 in their book “what must go right/what can go wrong” a team must have 8 pre-requisites to an effective team which are;
1 – A Clear Goal
The best way to describe this is by using my experience at St Marys Convent in which my team and I were tasked to look after the residents under the CQC requirements (Person centred care, dignity and respect, safety, consent, safeguarding from abuse, food and drink, premises and equipment, complaints etc). The ways we achieve our goal is by making sure all staff competent and have the required qualification in NVQ level 2 or 3 in Care, delegation of duties and supervising of duties.
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2 – A result driven structure
With the Goal being the focus, the team would need a winning way to achieve that goal, so creating a structured plan with the end result being the goal is the best way forward. This is achieved by having input from all members of the team to productively create that winning structure, I do this at St Marys Convent by using Handover reports and checking which staff I have on site and who I need to delegate to which areas.
3 – Competent Team Members
A team is only as strong as its weakest member, understanding individual’s strengths and flaws can create an organised, productive team. It is possible for a productive team to be let down or dragged down by a weak individual but upon understanding this we can assign correct training for where it is needed. Part of my job in St Marys is assigning duties, I understand there may be less experienced staff, so I would team them with a more experienced staff so not only could learn more but I know they are correctly supervised.
4 – Unified Commitment
As we understand about a team, the Goal is the end result, but for a team to achieve this, all members of that team must agree, hence “unified.” I would say unified commitment could be considered more important than the goal. In my day to day work after I assigned staff members their duties, I double check to make sure those duties are done, if they have not or have been done incorrectly the responsibility would then fall on me to make it is done and that the staff members has knowledge of what is happening, the problem with this is that it takes me away from other duties needed to be done and slows down the daily schedule for other tasks during the day.
5 – A collaborative Climate
Collaborative climate is one of the major factors influencing effectiveness of work, Collaborative climate tends to improve with age, education and managerial role. It could also be understood as the team working within a happy, stress free environment, if this is possible work rate becomes better and more efficient. The way I try to keep a collaborative climate at St Marys is by
6 – High standards that are understood by all
High standards of care are delivered consistently, setting clear goals and standards for improving quality and resident’s safety, and providing the means for staff to deliver these goals within available method.
7 – External support and encouragement
Stimulation is very important for the success of a company. Any encouragement is worth it, whether it comes from team members or from outside. A team that feels supported and valued cannot but be more committed and determined to achieve its objectives.
8 – Principled leadership
The final characteristic of high performing teams is principled leadership. As teams begin their work, it is essential that they are lead by highly motivated individuals who have a willingness to set aside narrow and parochial interests in order to identify and achieve a vision and mission that are larger than any one individual. Effective, principled leaders focus their efforts on the collaborative process of how people from different disciplines and agencies work together rather than on a particular point of view.
As a unit manager I am expected to undertake a full range of duties in the unit and manage and supervise a team of staff and maintain and manage the unit environment. My job indicates that I will be leading team, take part and I have the responsibility of motivating and inspiring them to achieve and to be successful. I must also provide support and implementing changes required and role model best practice to the staff. Being the focal point of my team I am able to challenge them and in doing so I can keep them all motivated. As a leader I should be able to see how my contribution has had an effect on the team which can include growth and development.