Addressing Challenges of Groups and Teams

Addressing Challenges of Groups and Teams
Amanda Wallace
May 24, 2010
Paul Wallace

In order to effectively create a training program that will help the organization to succeed, WorldCom, we need to understand what a work team is. Robbins & Judge defines work team, ???generates positive synergy through coordinated effort, efforts result in a level of performance that is greater than the sum of those individual inputs???(p.? 339). This is why we are going to address the organization as a team not a group, for they need to work as a team and not as an individual for the company to succeed. This paper is going to discuss the challenges and benefits of communication, collaboration, and conflict, to increase the effectiveness teams, along with a training program that could have help WorldCom with its unique challenges such as with all the acquisitions. But first we are going to look at the challenges and benefits of communication, collaboration, and conflict management.
Benefits and Challenges of Communication, Collaboration, and Conflict Management:
???Communication serves four major functions within a group or organization: control, motivation, emotional expression, and information??? (Robbins & Judge,? 2007,? p.? 368). These four areas support the cohesiveness of the team and guide them to reach the end results of the team. Team/Groups need to learn to communicate with each other for if they fail at this function the group as a whole will fail as well. Having good communication will benefit the group by: allowing the team members to give feedback and receive honest performance feedback from other members, allow for better understanding of what are the task at hand, and when conflicts do arise they are able to address them openly and honestly and move on quickly. When a team does not have good communication there could be confusion on their roles as team members, by having confusion on between members there could be challenges that need to be met by: having role confusion, assignments not getting done because someone thought the other member was going to do it, and conflicts not being resolved in timely and an effectively manner.
Collaboration cannot happen unless the team has met all the challenges of communication and have succeeded in creating a positive forum of communication. Tyson? (2010), ???By combining the skills, perspectives, and experiences of individuals, they can accomplish much more than they could if they worked by themselves, making team collaboration an attractive option for many businesses??? (Summary,? para.1). Even though work could be completed by a team if they are not working in collaboration with each of the product will be inadequate. Benefits of collaboration are: synergy, innovation, and stability and education. The challenges are: trust, communication, and momentum. In order to have a team thrive a company needs to realize that collaboration takes a lot of hard work and teams cannot just be thrown together.
When teams have different backgrounds as far as skills, knowledge, and experience, conflicts are going to arise as team members try to find their place on the team. Believe it or not conflict within teams can have benefits, ???Conflict can lead to new ideas and approaches to organizational processes, and increased interest in dealing with problems. Conflict, in this sense, can be considered positive, as it facilitates the surfacing of important issues and provides opportunities for people to develop their communication and interpersonal skills??? (Resolving Conflict in Work Teams,? para.3). Along with benefits conflict has its challenges as well they could be as simple as a disengagement to personal agendas being priority, others include using the conflict itself to get ahead, silo thinking, and lack of clarity.
Training Program for WorldCom:
From my week one paper I talked about one of WorldCom??™s major failures as an organization and it was the inability of the management team to merge the new and old organizations into a single company. When the CEO, Bernie Ebbers, started acquiring companies this was a triumph for the company or at least it have been, had he taken the time to inform his managers how they were all going to come together and create on functioning team. Even with his scandal had the company successfully merged the companies they would still be in business now. Now that all the acquisition are done the company will complete a survey of all of their employees finding out what are their attitudes, emotions, personalities, and values, then they will be placed in groups that will be effective bases on these traits. The groups will complete a week long training session that will teach them how to work with customers, learned the new computer program, how to communicate with management and peers, and how to report unethical behavior. These training classes will be in a classroom setting where there will be hands on activities to build team trust, how to handle diversity and conflict, role playing, and feedback from the class. Once the training sessions is over there will be a test to ensure understanding, the employees must fall within the 85th percentile to continue working, if they do not they will be put on probation along with help from a mentoring program for the next 30 days, then if they still test below the percentile they will be terminated from the company. This training program is to ensure the effectiveness of the team and the company. This will also address the challenges the company faced when they merge the companies together and where unable to have them work as a team.

Understanding the benefits and challenges of team communication, collaboration, and conflict an organization can create a successful team training program for their organization. Having a team create a team charter with the guidelines of what they want to accomplish in the beginning can be used to help the team stay focused and complete the project in a timely and effectively manner. WorldCom would have been still going strong had the upper management taken the time to create a structure training program to help the employees understand how to react to the merging of all these companies. This would have kept moral up and the value of the company on stable grounds when the scandal took place, for the new CEO would have had something to work with.

Robbins, S.P., & Judge, T.A. (2007). Organizational Behavior (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc.
The Team Building Directory.? (2008).? Resolving Conflict in Work Teams.? Retrieved 05/24/10 from
Tyson, B.? (2010).? Benefits and Challenges of Team Collaboration.? Bright Hub.? Retrieved 05/24/10 from