Certain aspects need to be changed to turn Google’s HR group into a real team. For instance, leadership should be turned into a shared or group activity. This is because no individual should be solely responsible for the direction that the group takes. Another aspect regards changing accountability from individual-centric to both collective and individual-centric. This is so as to increase correspondence among the group members and in turn force the group members to work together so as to increase competence of each individual and of the group as a unit (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013). The HR group must moreover come up with a mission or purpose that is unique to the goals of the group. This is so as to create a group objective that each group member works toward. In addition to that, Google’s HR group should integrate problem solving into its daily routine, rather than viewing it as a part-time job. Lastly, effectiveness should be assessed through focusing on the collective result of the group.
Q2. Whether the members should have been instructed beforehand and how it should have been achieved.
Google’s HR Team members should have been instructed beforehand regarding teamwork competencies. This is because teams become more effective if their mother organization nurtures and facilitates them. This nurturing is inclusive of providing the teams with any information or instruction that they may need. Instructing groups on what they should do will give the group a sense of direction thereby increasing its relevance to the organization. Moreover, informing the team members on what the organization expects them to do will set a target for them to reach or better yet surpass. The instruction of the HR team should have been carried out by following a four-step instruction sequence. The first step is verbal instruction. The second step is visual display through charts and mind-maps. The third step is demonstration and it involves doing the task in front of the team. The last step is letting the group members do the task themselves.
Trust is a critical element that adds to a team’s effectiveness. It is important because lack of it will make the different cross-functional teams in the organization lack coordination in their delivery. Thereby, team managers should build trust in cross-functional teams where it is inexistent. To quickly build trust, open communication should be encouraged among teams and team members. This can be achieved through keeping the teams updated about the progress of projects so as to reduce occurrence of members feeling left out . Another measure that can be taken to enhance open communication is through asking the various teams and team members of their preferred communication style. This is because some teams may need encouragement for morale boost while others may simply need presentation of raw facts so as to assess the direction of the joint project. The last suggestion is encouraging team recreational activities such as participating in multi-player strategy games (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013).
Instrumental cohesiveness is more important that socio-emotional cohesiveness in the context of Google’s team building efforts. This is because while socio-emotional cohesiveness may give team members satisfaction on an emotional level, the team was organized for achieving a purpose more serious than social interaction. Instrumental cohesiveness on the other hand is based on mutual dependence of the members and in trusting that the other members of the group will play their part. Thereby, instrumental cohesiveness would apply more in Google’s HR team since it focuses on achievement of a group’s goals. The purpose of the three thirds strategy lies in creation of a diversified team such that each third of the team plays a certain role independent of the other two. Therefore, it would be prudent to foster a cohesiveness that makes it possible for the teams to trust that the other team members will be instrumental in fulfilling their role in the group’s joint project (Wendt & Euwema, 2009) (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013).
Several points may be recommended to Lazio bock on how to effectively manage Google’s cross-functional HR team. The first point is to celebrate and capitalize on the diversity itself since the more diversified the HR team is, the larger the number of people it reaches out to. Moreover, he should strive to foster instrumental cohesiveness in the team since it increases competency but still encourage socio-emotional cohesiveness so as to cultivate a culture of trust among members. The other point regards regularly reminding of competencies of teamwork so as to make sure the members do not stray away from the team spirit. Moreover, the effectiveness of the group should be assessed by considering the group collective rather than individuals so as to reduce competition among members. He should also host regular meetings so as to increase effective communication among members while also providing a platform for brainstorming for creative ideas (Google) (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013).
I have in the past participated in a team project that was effective. The project was a class group assignment and the team members were several of my classes. There were several factors that contributed to the effectiveness of the team. Firstly, there were clear group objectives in that the lecturer had given an explicit description of the assignment. Another factor was that the members had balanced roles. Everyone got a role from researching, to typing, to printing and finally to presentation of the assignment. The team also made use of effective processes in tackling the assignment. Moreover, familiarity with each other made the team members to trust and communicate effectively among each other. In addition to that, the selected leaders were also effective. All in all, the factors contributing to the group’s effectiveness mirrored those discussed in the chapter readings. Among them, communication and good leadership were the most resonant (Google) (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2013).
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