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The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) is the professional body for those involved in Human Resource Management and the development of people.

HRINZ represents the interests of 3,000+ individual members who make up around 45% of the known New Zealand HR market. Read More

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Reality Of Teamworking

Teamwork is an important and integral part of business. In our everyday work situations, we all work in teams to a greater or lesser extent. In doing so, we are frequently engaged in collaborative relationships with others where there is a shared purpose. For instance, we may have membership of a management team, a work team, a quality and improvement team, a new product or service development team or a project team. Indeed, acquiring team membership is becoming less restrictive, with the main membership criteria being the type of skills required to achieve a particular task output. This gives individuals potentially more freedom to develop skills in a wide business context, through the transfer of knowledge and skill among individuals and the collective learning experienced in pursuing a common purpose.

Moreover, teams are rapidly becoming the elemental building blocks in organisations. Also with work now being organised more around processes rather than tasks, teams are starting to own their own processes. But teams don’t just happen. They need to be developed and there are essential skills embracing both the soft behavioural skills and the harder skills, such as planning and control. Without such skills, team performance will be, at best, mediocre.

But among these skills, balance is importance. While being helpful and supportive are valuable team behaviours, such bias should not take priority over getting things done, accomplishing tasks within organisational constraints, typically of time and cost.

Within any team, there is always an interdependency of need. To be successful, therefore, team members need to relinquish independence for interdependence, but without losing individuality. However, self-interest can override unless individuals feel and believe that they can achieve greater benefit from collaboration in a team than from pursuing individual actions. For a team to be ‘real’, the members actually need to do some real work in the team; this is more than the team meeting from time to time to monitor and progress individual task actions.

This abstract was taken from the article written by Bryan Smith, for HRINZ publication.

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Disclaimer: This information has been written for and submitted to HRINZ for publication and has been published in good faith for the general information of HRINZ Members of the Institute. HRINZ accepts no legal responsibility for the contents of the Knowledge Base and appropriate professional advice and assistance should be sought in particular cases.

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