what is a team work?

What Does Work team Mean

We explain what a work team is, the roles it contains, its types and other characteristics. Also, its role in the animal world.

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Work teams allow combining the capabilities of different people.

what is a team work?

A work team is a group of individuals aimed at achieving a single common goal , that is, the undertaking of teamwork or collaborative work. Usually, it allows associating people with different talents, knowledge or abilities , to advance towards the common goal, thanks to the synergy of individual capacities.

Since time immemorial, teamwork has been one of humanity's most effective development strategies , since where the individual fails, the group generally prevails. Not for nothing are we social beings, gregarious, who prefer to live in the company of their peers. And in that sense, work teams of a different nature have always existed.

Its strength and effectiveness lies in its cohesion and in the sense of belonging shared by its members, which encourages solidarity and cooperation . Thus, the weaknesses of some are compensated by the strengths of others, and the group can advance towards its proposed objectives .

However, these types of dynamics can only occur when teamwork does not lead to competition and internal struggle.

See also: Organizational structure

Characteristics of the work teams

Work teams are usually characterized by:

  • Have common goals. Every work team advances jointly towards the achievement of the same objective, whose advantages will be shared among the members of the group or that will be equally beneficial for all. All equipment must operate as if it were a single entity.
  • Possess some kind of leadership . Every work team has a leader , or a group of leaders, in charge of the management and decision-making , if not the coordination of efforts and the resolution of internal disputes.
  • Its parts are interdependent. This is, that the members of a work team need each other to be able to achieve the objective, since otherwise they could try to do it on their own.
  • It has communication dynamics . For a work team to function, it must have communication dynamics, that is, ways of sharing information and nurturing each other.

Types of work teams

Informal teams can emerge spontaneously.

There are six possible forms of work team, depending on their orientation and purposes. These are:

  • Informal teams. With a flexible internal organization, usually self-managed, these groups arise from the common interests of individuals or the possibility of solving doubts, needs, etc., regardless of all types of officiality or administrative formality. And with such simplicity they can be dissolved, once the proposed objectives have been achieved.
  • Traditional equipment. As their name indicates, they are teams formed "in the old fashion", that is, from the legitimate power that the organization emanates , and therefore they are formal teams. They have clear and well-defined guidelines within it, and they usually constitute clearly identified functional areas, departments or teams.
  • Problem solving teams . Created for a specific purpose, these teams arise to face the problem in question and disappear as soon as it is solved, bringing together the best-trained individuals in the meantime to jointly give it a quick and effective resolution.
  • Leadership teams. Also known as management teams , they are made up of leaders of areas, departments or other teams, and are formed to agree general guidelines of the organization or collaborations between areas that would be very cumbersome to carry out by bringing together their entire staff.
  • Self-directed teams. Common in outsourcing , these are teams that are given the freedom and autonomy to lead their efforts and decide what is the best strategy to achieve a goal, regardless of their position within the organization or company. They tend to elect their own members and have a horizontal leadership structure.
  • Virtual teams. Typical of the global era that inaugurated the 21st century, they consist of groups of individuals geographically distant from each other, but connected thanks to technology . Their work tools are usually videoconferencing, email and other forms of connection via the Internet .

Roles in a work team

A work team can have as many roles as required, and these can be formal or not, fixed or rotating, all according to the nature of the group. In some cases, even the same individual can play more than one role.

The main assignable roles in a work team are:

  • Leader or coordinator. Who makes the decisions, guides the joint effort or resolves internal disputes, trying to maintain a cordial and efficient atmosphere within the group, oriented towards teamwork and not towards competition . Their duties include motivating and setting an example.
  • Secretary. One who is in charge of the internal bureaucracy of the team, if any, or of the minimum administrative management necessary to have an internal order, such as keeping the file, making a minute of each meeting, communicating the members of the group with each other, etc.
  • Creative. The person or persons in charge of the artistic or creative part of the group are usually dedicated to the design , beautification or writing of the documents emanating from the team, as well as presentations, lectures, etc.
  • Resource generator. One who is in charge of obtaining the necessary resources for the constant and fluid operation of the group, regardless of what type of resources it is. He can be thought of as a "producer" in cinematic terms.
  • Evaluator. The one who evaluates, as its name indicates, the management of the work group, in order to give it feedback from the objectives achieved and to know how close to achieving the final objective they are.

Work team and work group

At first glance, both terms seem to be synonymous : work group and work team. But a fundamental difference separates them, which has to do with the degree of internal organization that one has.

Thus, work teams are usually stable, fixed, with a certain level of commitment and formality, even when it comes to informal teams. There is a hierarchy and an internal order in order to solve certain problems .

Instead, the working groups are much more flexible and horizontal . They do not necessarily have a leader, nor a fixed agenda, nor are they guided by much more than the needs of those who comprise them, which can vary often. A work group is a group of people who are organized around a common goal, but often without distributing the tasks.

Teamwork on animals

The ants stand out for the efficiency of their work teams.

Animals also work as a team, especially in cases where there is mutual benefit for individuals , such as biotic commensal relationships . Commensal animals enter into a mutually beneficial or mutually beneficial relationship without detriment to the other, generally around food or protection against predators .

So do, for example, some marine predators and certain species of scavenging crustaceans : the former go to the latter to clean their teeth, removing the pieces of the hunt, in exchange for providing them with easily accessible food .

It is also common to see teamwork between individuals in a massive hive or den , as is the case with many insects. These common efforts among numerous individuals make it possible to repel aggressors, transfer huge amounts of food and, in short, benefit the entire hive, even if it is at the expense of a few individuals. Ants are the best example.

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