Working in any organisation always involves collaborating with other individuals. In saying that, organisations usually have managers or directors that administrate these individuals to make sure that they perform their jobs well independently or collectively. Although at times, it is challenging having to make sure that everyone in the workplace is doing their jobs the best they can. Therefore, having an amazing team is the first step towards success as a reliable and competent team can make any difficult task simpler and easier to do. In an organisation, the manager must make sure that their team is functioning well as success can only be reached when everyone works cohesively with each other. Although some may find it difficult, managers must learn methods to get people or groups to work together effectively.
Team management according to Pachura & Hairul (2018), is when an organisation or individual administrates and ensures that their employees are performing the right tasks proficiently to reach a common goal. There are various ways in which a manager can do to increase the team’s capacity to work efficiently and productively. Most resources that are written by professionals that belong in organisations believe that effective Communication, Leadership and Motivation are three main important factors in improving team management.
The purpose of this literature review is to discuss three major factors that enormously contribute to an organization or an individual’s proficiency in managing teams. This literature review can hopefully help managers to better the way they lead their teams towards success.
Communication is the number one key in managing a team. It is simply defined by Irimies (2013) as a means of imparting or trading information from an individual or a group to another. The act of communicating always involves at least one sender and a receiver where both can be influenced by various things: emotions, culture, values and location to name a few (Irimies, 2013). Though the idea may seem straightforward, communication can be extremely complex.
It is a team manager’s duty to know how to communicate effectively (Irimies, 2013). They should be experts in communicating in order to not only get their messages across but so that the receiver can accept and understand their messages. One cannot expect a task to be done correctly if the doer is not sure of what needs to be done. Therefore, team managers must make sure that they use the right language their employees would comprehend (Irimies, 2013). Communication is such an important part of our careers that it is often taken for granted. Employees often do not realise that the way they communicate can easily affect the work they are trying to finish or the goals they are trying to achieve (Irimies, 2013). By communicating clearly will help individuals understand the tasks they have to do (Irimies, 2013).
Turaga (2019) claims that communication is the main skill people who work in organisations should acquire and always improve on. It is such a significant and influential concept that can determine an organisation’s efficiency and productivity (Turaga, 2019). The level of communication can be best assessed by its influence on others, the effect it produces and the outcome it reaches. Therefore, it is no wonder that companies are working day after day facilitating workshops to assist, support and enhance their staff in learning to communicate successfully (Turaga, 2019).
Turaga (2019) also discusses three ways to which a person can become an effective communicator. The first technique is that in order to communicate effectively, one must think before speaking (Turaga, 2019). Emotions can highly affect the way people communicate, therefore, us individuals should learn to pause and deliberate so that we can respond well in any unpredictable or uncontrollable situation and to not impulsively react so that no further problem can ensue (Turaga, 2019). Another tip Turaga (2019) suggests is that effective communicators must be assertive. People must be honest and open about what they say. To communicate, we must be straight-to-the-point so that others can understand exactly what we mean, need or want (Turaga, 2019). Being assertive helps people to express what they feel and think in an uncomplicated and appropriate way in which helps the organization in improving their means of communication (Turaga, 2019). Listening, which is another method, is one of the core aspects of communicating (Turaga, 2019). People working in organisations must know how to actively listen to others so that they can receive information completely without any uncertainty. Turaga (2019) explains that us individuals should not just listen to what is being said, but to also empathise with the person we are communicating with, feeling what they are feeling so that we understand fully what they are trying to get across. By doing this can also help us individuals to respond properly thus to communicate well (Turaga, 2019).
Brewer & Holmes (2016) agree with Irimies (2013) as miscommunication is often one of the major causes of mistakes in the workplace. Usually, employees are unclear on what needs to be done, how the tasks should be done or when they are due. Therefore, managers have to make sure that everyone is on the same page (Brewer & Holmes, 2016). Any person who does not know how to communicate efficiently with others they work with have high chances of failing or not achieving their goals (Brewer & Holmes, 2016). Brewer & Holmes (2016) also think that most companies heavily depend on communication. It is important that everyone in the workplace correspond well with each other as one small detail that is inaccurately communicated can easily determine failure. Therefore, we should all learn how to interact and converse with precision to avoid complications (Brewer & Holmes, 2016).
On the other hand, Jain (2018) believes that having good communication will not only help the manager to improve the team’s performance and productivity, it can also develop relationships between each other and better their teamwork, in which will allow them to reach their goals faster and solve any problem or crisis that comes their way. Communicating is more than just talking – it is more about connecting with other individuals. By communicating truthfully with others will help build trust between people which can develop a relationship between each other, creating a more positive and fulfilling working environment (Jain, 2018).
Jain (2018) considers that one of the greatest advantages of effective communication in the workplace is that it engages workers. When a good communication environment is established in a workplace, employees are more involved in their jobs – this betters their association with their company’s objectives and ambitions (Jain, 2018). Jain (2018) also thinks that communication can increase employee engagement in many ways. One way is that it allows the team manager to recognise what stimulates and satisfies their team members (Jain, 2018). Managers can then use this to encourage their employees to perform their jobs efficiently (Jain, 2018). Another way is that managers are able to distinguish their employee’s abilities and talents that can be overlooked. With this, managers will be able to point employees to the tasks they do well in, which can further cultivate their talents as well as increase the organisation’s productivity (Jain, 2018).
Effective Leadership is also an important factor in enhancing team management. According to Adiguzel (2019), leadership is the capability to direct groups or individuals towards specific tasks with the intention to achieve organisational ambitions. Leadership efficiency expresses the capacity of a successful leader to use their skills and talents to reach expected organisational goals. Although Adiguzel (2019) claims that some scholars interpret the meaning of leadership slightly differently. Others say that leadership is a process where people need to be influenced by a leader’s behaviour in order to accomplish a goal (Adiguzel, 2019). A leader must gain the acceptance, attentiveness and loyalty of its followers to attain the organisation’s purpose. However, for some, leadership refers to instructing suitable skills, beliefs, attitudes and behaviour to followers for success (Adiguzel, 2019). That to be a great leader, one’s influence should leave an inspiring and positive impact not only to their followers but also to the whole organisation (Adiguzel, 2019).
Schuetz (2017), on the other hand, thinks that successful leaders should first earn their follower’s respect and admiration in order to win their devotion and dedication. This is because the follower’s commitment to its leader is an essential factor to the leader’s effectiveness that can guarantee that the organisation’s aims can be achieved (Schuetz, 2017). Leader efficiency can also be established by including and understanding their team members in the workplace (Schuetz, 2017). Although this can only be attained if the leader and their followers trust, believe in each other and work as one (Schuetz, 2017). Moreover, great leaders are the ones who are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses as they can use this as an advantage for their personal development (Schuetz, 2017). These individuals know and are clear of how they operate, therefore, it will be easier for them to identify how their employees function and have more opportunity to help them succeed as they are already confident and certain with themselves (Schuetz, 2017).
Prochazka, Vaculik, Smutny & Jezek (2018) agree with Schuetz (2017) that a leader is only effective if their followers consider them a leader. The authors also believe that leadership effectiveness consists of five traits such as openness to experiences, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism (OCEAN) (Prochazka, Vaculik, Smutny & Jezek, 2018). Fluid Intelligence is also a factor in effective leadership. Fluid Intelligence is described as a person’s ability to receive, arrange and theorise any gained information (Prochazka, Vaculik, Smutny & Jezek, 2018). Through using these traits, leaders will set a good example for their followers that will then allow them to build up the individual and team performance – thus, will lead to productivity at work (Prochazka, Vaculik, Smutny & Jezek, 2018).
To become an effective leader, one must be a great role model (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009). A follower’s work ethic tend to become influenced by seeing or observing how well their leader does their job in the workplace. Employees are likely to imitate their leader’s performance as leaders are usually the ones who set the standards in the workplace (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009). Leaders who give their one hundred percent effort at work helps the followers see the level of work and effort they need to put in if they are aspiring to be leaders themselves in the future (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009). This can also push them to do better if they think that they have areas they need to improve on. Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber (2009) also discuss how essential trust is in leadership. Workers must be able to trust that their leader can support them and guide them to their main goal (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009). To have trust, leaders must prove themselves to their followers through their willingness that can be displayed by working as hard, if not, harder (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009). Lastly, trust fortifies the connection between a leader and their followers which is what leadership values – a healthy interpersonal relationship. Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber (2009) believe that this can be done through taking risks alongside others, honesty and selflessness.
Great leaders must also have individualised consideration towards their followers which Ng & Rivera (2018) describe as thoughtfulness and care for others in order to make them feel special and valued. Having awareness when to show care for employees or other individuals shows compassion that can establish a good rapport (Ng & Rivera, 2018). The employees’ well-being should be always considered to prevent conflict at work and damage in relationships (Ng & Rivera, 2018). Individualised consideration can also be a factor for an employee to remain in the company (Ng & Rivera, 2018). Companies and organisations who treat their employees well can expect loyalty from them. It can also create willingness and better cooperation with tasks that they are expected to do (Ng & Rivera, 2018).
Ng & Rivera (2018) also discuss that Intellectual stimulation can contribute to good leadership as it promotes creativity. This can be done by letting employees think of new or better ways to do certain tasks to improve old methods. Ng & Rivera (2018) believe that this can be helpful in team-based environments as it allows employees to become more resilient, flexible and practical and will give them a chance to be confident in solving any problem that can occur (Ng & Rivera, 2018). Having the ability to perceive things and think in different ways will allow employees to contemplate multiple strategies for any possible future circumstance. With Intellectual stimulation, employees can get used to being placed in uncomfortable or unusual situations which stimulates self-reliance and enables team effort to arise with more effective answers to challenges (Ng & Rivera, 2018).
Finally, Motivation is also an important aspect of managing a team. Avbar (2016) describes the idea of motivation in an organisation as a person’s encouragement towards others to act or perform tasks for the betterment of a company. Team managers should be able to inspire and motivate employees in performing well to achieve the shared vision on their own eagerness and accord. This can be done through support, providing feedback and teaching them easier ways to get their work done thoroughly and fast (Avbar, 2016). When workers do not feel personally empowered in their company’s goal, they may consider that the tasks given to them are like a mundane chore instead of something that they are keen to give their time and effort to (Avbar, 2016). Inspired individuals in the workplace have a high possibility to be more productive in doing their work and performing above expectations. This can also better their self-esteem and develop professionally (Avbar, 2016). Therefore, it is a necessity for employees to have enthusiasm about getting their jobs done as this will take them closer to the goal they all share (Avbar, 2016).
Rahman, Osman-Gani, Momen & Islam (2015) on the other hand, think that one of the effective ways to motivate a person is through reward. Whenever an employee does something praiseworthy or well, it is the manager’s job to acknowledge the individual (Rahman, Osman-Gani, Momen & Islam, 2015). Any manager who can recognise accomplishments and effort done by their employees can provide them great motivation as this gives them a sense of belonging and appreciation (Rahman, Osman-Gani, Momen & Islam, 2015). Managers can also provide employees incentives which can drive them to work harder in the future (Rahman, Osman-Gani, Momen & Islam, 2015). Knowing that one’s effort is recognised and valued is a major factor in developing their confidence at work which can lead to a higher dedication in doing their jobs as well as loyalty to the company (Rahman, Osman-Gani, Momen & Islam, 2015).
Lastly, Ramadanty & Martinus (2016), claim that motivation plays an important role in an organisation because of the multiple benefits it can provide. Not only long-term benefits such as how it can contribute to the company’s overall success, but because it can increase work productivity, guarantee loyal and proactive staff as well as ensures administrative efficiency (Ramadanty & Martinus, 2016). Motivation meets the emotional needs of employees which then pushes them to do well. Extremely-motivated workers have high levels of self-esteem and devotion towards the organisation’s objectives which makes them eager to do more (Ramadanty & Martinus, 2016). This can also lessen employee turnover and decreases the need to continuously hire new employees (Ramadanty & Martinus, 2016).
This literature review aimed to examine key factors that can improve team management in an organisation. Based on resources found, most professionals believe that effective communication, great leadership and motivation are some of the most essential aspects that can contribute to this. Out of the three, communication is the number one factor. It is important for team managers to know how to communicate effectively. This is because communication can easily determine an organisation’s success. Managers not being able to clearly connect with employees can definitely affect the tasks employees are attempting to finish or the purpose they want to achieve. Great leadership can also improve team management. A manager cannot expect to be followed if their employees do not consider them a leader. In order to be a respected, admired and trusted leader by their followers, they must be able to understand and be thoughtful of their team, know their own strengths and weaknesses, logically encourage or challenge others and be a role model to everyone. Finally, motivation also plays a huge part in team management. Managers should be able to inspire their employees to work well and push themselves to reach shared organisational ambitions. This can be done through providing support, feedback when they perform tasks as well as giving them recognition or rewards such as incentives when they work well. By doing this can ensure loyal employees which will decrease employee turnover and escalate work productivity, that can lead to organisational success.
- Adiguzel, Z. (2019). Relationships among Leader Effectiveness, Learning Orientation, Effective Communication, Team Creativity and Service Innovation in the Service Sector. Business & Economics Research Journal, 10(1), 131–148. Retrieved from https://doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.20409/berj.2019.159
- Avbar, D. (2016). Motivation in the workplace and its influence on the effectiveness of work. Revija Za Univerzalno Odličnost, (3), 222. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsdoj&AN=edsdoj.4800ea90bf641f69447288b238d8ca5&site=eds-live
- Avolio, B., Walumbwa, F., & Weber, T. (2009). Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions. Annual Review Of Psychology, 60(1), 421-449. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163621
- Brewer, E. & Holmes, T. (2016). Better Communication = Better Teams: A Communication Exercise to Improve Team Performance. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, (3), 288. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.1109/TPC.2016.2590018
- Irimies, C. (2013). Effective communication – an essential step towards public success. Journal of Media Research, 6(1), 37–42. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=85270760&site=eds-live
- Jain, N. (2018). Inclusive Leadership and Effective Communication: An Unbreakable Bond. Language in India, 18(12), 207–215. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=133855965&site=eds-live
- Ng, L. T., & Rivera, J. P. R. (2018). Exploring Transformational Leadership and Fellowship in a Cultural Context: The Case of the Philippines. Asia-Pacific Social Science Review, 17(3), 136-141. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sih&AN=128818020&site=eds-live
- Pachura, A. & Hairul, H. (2018). What Matters in Project Team Management? Polish Journal of Management Studies, (2), 211. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.17512/pjms.2018.17.2.18
- Prochazka, J., Vaculik, M., Smutny, P. & Jezek, S. (2018). Leader traits, transformational leadership and leader effectiveness: a mediation study from the Czech Republic. JEEMS, 23(3), 474- 501. DOI: 10.5771/0949-6181-2018-3-474
- Rahman, M. S. ( 1 ), Osman-Gani, A. M. ( 1 ), Momen, M. A. ( 2 ), & Islam, N. ( 2 ). (2015). Testing knowledge sharing effectiveness: Trust, motivation, leadership style, workplace spirituality and social network embedded model. Management and Marketing, 10(4), 284–303. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.1515/mmcks-2015-0019
- Ramadanty, S. & Martinus, H. (2016). Organizational Communication: Communication and Motivation in The Workplace. Humaniora, (1), 77. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.21512/humaniora.v7i1.3490
- Schuetz, A. (2017). Effective Leadership and its Impact on an Organisation’s Success. Journal of Corporate Responsibility and Leadership, (3), 73. https://doi-org.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/10.12775/JCRL.2016.017
- Turaga, R. (2019). Effective Communication in Organizations. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 13(1), 63–69. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=136003906&site=eds-live
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