Managing Groups and Teams
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New Seasons Market through its Green Teams has managed to exemplify the ways in which organizations can create cohesive teams. Firstly, the management of the organization has ensured that the goals of the Green Teams are aligned with those of the larger organization. For instance, some of the organization’s corporate social responsibility initiatives which include both social and environmental sustainability have been adopted by each Green Team. This ensures that all staff members get a chance to participate in such programs so as to achieve the common objectives of the organization. Secondly, New Seasons Market has worked towards creating cohesive teams by ensuring that group members work in the same store. Each store has its own Green Team that works towards achieving the entire organization’s goals. Thirdly, the management praises and rewards members frequently. This builds their self-confidence thus improving team cohesion since each member feels appreciated. Moreover, New Seasons Market treats its employees with respect thus creating a feeling of equality. This further creates cohesive teams since there is no favoritism and every person is valued. Finally, New Seasons Market creates cohesive teams by granting their employees freedom to creativity and to pursue their goals streamlined towards the organization’s success. One of the managers acknowledges that they balance between freedom and rules so as to encourage their employees to work passionately towards achieving the company’s goals and objectives.
The New Seasons Market Green Teams may fall under several categories. To begin with, the Green Teams may be described as functional teams which work together to achieve the tasks they have set. The tasks performed by the Green Teams include both social and environmental sustainability initiatives that are aimed towards improving the welfare of all stakeholders while at the same time protecting the environment. These Green Teams may also be classified as problem-solving teams, which according to Tilson (page 1 of 10) are teams whose main focus is finding solutions to specific issues within a defined time frame. New Seasons Market Green Teams focus on solving both social and environmental problems such as waste disposal and land conservation. Finally, these Green Teams may be termed as self-managed teams since they have the autonomy to choose the activities they would want to achieve as well as the leadership structure they prefer. These teams have been granted the freedom to set tasks they want to accomplish but are required to report to the company sustainability coordinator once every month.
It is quite easy to tell that New Seasons Market Green Teams are a success. Looking at their activities, it is clear that these groups have managed to achieve the set tasks of social and environmental sustainability. The teams have managed to improve the welfare of the communities around them by beautifying a local school and providing low-income families with a cheaper source of food. Additionally, the teams have managed to protect and conserve the environment and its resources through proper waste management and land conservation. Moreover, the autonomy of the teams is clear proof that these teams are successful. Granting autonomy to teams is one of the many ways of creating cohesive and successful teams. The existence of a healthy competition between the Green Teams further proves that the teams have been quite a success. Furthermore, the Green Teams have been successful since they have managed to encourage all members to give their full support to all their projects. As outlined in the case study, participating in the teams has boosted the self-esteem of the members since they feel appreciated and valued.
Just like any other teams, the New Seasons Market Green Teams may face several problems which if not well tackled may lead to poor performance of the groups. One of the biggest problems that may face the Green Teams is poor performance of members which is in other words known as social loafing. According to Bauer and Berrin (224), poor performance of group members may be caused by lack of motivation and lack of ideas. It is also common that when people work together in groups, some individuals tend to contribute less with the assumption that the other group members will do the rest. Another problem that may face the Green Teams is conflict among members which according to Bauer and Berrin (224) are nothing out of the norm. However, if these disagreements are not well managed, the activities of the group will not be accomplished and the group may face eventual disintegration. Moreover, the Green Teams may be faced with the problem of dominating members who always shut others out thus affecting the performance of the entire group. This problem can be solved by the group leader developing a culture where each member is given some time to give their contributions in terms of ideas.
To resolve potential conflicts in the Green teams, I would recommend the following. Firstly, the leaders should identify the cause of the problem or the people with the conflict. It is after identifying the source of the conflict that the leader can initiate the resolution process. Secondly, potential conflicts can be solved through division of responsibilities such that members will not have to argue over tasks to be performed. Another way of dealing with potential conflicts is by laying down some rules on members’ behavior within and outside the group. For example, the members can agree that group issues should remain within the group and nobody should take them outside. Finally, potential conflicts can be resolved through accommodating different points of view such that each member’s contribution is highly regarded.
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