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LIS 504 - Group G: Team Building
Transcript of LIS 504 - Group G: Team Building
: Brent Kubara, April Ripley, Andrea Johnston, Eunhye Cho, Leanne Skingley
First, what is a work team?
more than just groups of two or more individuals who have something in common (O’Connor, 2005, p. 136): teams have shared
II. Why should information professionals have team-based motivation in their workplace?
III. Examples of Team Building
->Team Building Process
->Team Building Activities
Team Building Activity Examples:
IV. Case Studies
#1. Fosmire, M. (2008). Teams: What are they good for, and how do you get them to work?
Science And Technology Libraries, 28
(1/2), 123-132. doi: 10.1080/01942620802097018
This study aimed to establish and define exactly what a ‘team’ looks like within science-technology academic libraries. It asks why teamwork is important for sci-tech librarians, when and when not to use teams, offers examples of team-based activities, and discusses potential negative and positive results. It also uses models of team-building methods and exercises conducted within the Purdue Library organization (West Lafayette, Indiana) in order to illustrate key concepts and findings.
The study suggests that teams need to be context-based, contain caps and limited timeframes, and that they must include staff members on all levels. New methods of communication, information sharing, participation, collaboration, and learning to think collectively are paramount aspects of a successful team, (Fosmire, 2008). One of the most important features of thinking and working collectively is to ascertain and comprehend the difference between dialogue and discussion. Dialogue is the “free and creative exploration of complex and subtle issues, a deep listening to one another and suspending of one’s own view. [Discussion] is the stage, once dialog has uncovered all the aspects of a topic, that different views are presented and defended and there is a search of the best view to support decisions that must be made at this time,” (Fosmire, 2008, p. 128). This is an important distinction.
The study did suggest that conflict will appear in any creative endeavour. So, in terms of team-building specifics to negate or diffuse conflict, Purdue Library suggested implementing a Team Leader Training Workshop. The workshop consisted of verbal and physical exercises, video, lecture, and readings. Overall, the institution noted evidence that “team leaders incorporated some of these [new team] skills into their work throughout the year, and some team leaders asked for follow up training for their staff, so the entire team could benefit from the concepts presented in the training,” (Fosmire, 2008, p. 130). Overall, the research showed that teams are incredibly beneficial if exercised, appropriated, and tasked effectively.
#2. Russo, M. E. (2006). Team effectiveness in academic medical libraries: A multiple case study.
Journal of the Medical Library Association, 94
(3), 271-278. Retrieved from
The purpose of this study was to apply a systematic framework (Hackman’s) of team effectiveness to the academic medical library world and evaluate the results. Utilizing qualitative research through the use of interviews and focus groups amongst 75 participants, the study looked at the teamwork within three separate medical library institutions. It identified the main characteristics of an effective team - both large and small, dimensions, outcomes, characteristics and briefly touched on the potential evolution of teams in the future.
The study showed that, quite obviously, “groups of individuals working together [do not] necessarily make an effective team,” (Russo, 2006, p. 271). The study was able to identify five leadership conditions that contribute to a successful team. These included a real team, compelling direction, enabling structure, supportive context, and expert coaching, (Russo, 2006). Three additional lesser-known dimensions that lead to general team effectiveness include the end results, socialization (aspects), and personal growth, (Russo, 2006). But, these are independent from the influence of outside leadership. These must be innate within individuals.
The interviews with participants and focus groups also identified additional characteristics that were important, as well as some common themes of apprehension and uncertainty. These were widespread and universal across all three libraries. The essential positive characteristics included enhanced communication, leadership personality and behaviour, support structure, and relationship building, (Russo, 2006). The identifiable negative barriers included a lack of team structure, a lack of accountability, hostile behaviour, and poor communication, (Russo, 2006). One of the key unexpected issues within the teams was the “group empowerment effect,” where the staff most impacted by the work or project just simply implemented suggestions made by superiors and upper management, (Russo, 2006, p. 272).
Although the study doesn’t offer any specifics on team building exercises and/or methods to strengthen the effectiveness of teams, it does offer excellent insight into the thoughts and processes of library professionals as individuals. These could most certainly be utilized to design future programs,
exercises, and team-based standards.
a. What are teams?
b. What is motivation?
c. What issues can be addressed with team motivation
d. Elements of successful team motivation
Fosmire (2007): "the team seeks to create a synergy in its work by explicitly encouraging effective group interactions throughout the process, from planning for a team, all the way through assessing the impact of the project or task the team has been working on,” (p.124).
Clark (2005): "For a team to exist (for motivational purposes), team members must play different roles or bring different skills to the table. Those different skills must be required to achieve team
goals" (p. 13).
Both definitions place the emphasis for good teamwork on the relationships within the team, suggesting that the effective team is
more than just the sum of its individual parts.
Different kinds of teams:
project-based and temporary, or
long-term, based in a certain department, service area, or program
Next, what is motivation in the workplace?
more than offering some kind of reward or incentive
For Meyer, Becker, and Vandenberghe (2004), motivation is “an energizing force” that “induces action in employees.” It “has implications for what employees are motivated to accomplish, how they will attempt to accomplish it, how hard they will work to do so, and when they will stop” (p. 992)
Motivation can consist of both intrinsic and
Clark (2005): “initiates the level of mental and physical effort required
Definitions of motivation highlight it as a key to
(vs. passivity) and
(vs. deceleration or stalling):
to achieve a goal by converting intention into action, sustains the level
of mental and physical effort required to achieve a goal by
tasks” (p. 14).
supporting focus in the face of distractions and competing work
extrinsic forces (O’Connor, 2005, p. 136)
What issues can team-based motivation address?
•no accountability or understanding of evaluation procedures
•Team members do not understand and respect the diversity of team roles (Fosmire, 2007); team members not willing and/or able to learn from difference (Broom, 2002)
•There is no common understanding of the project
and the purpose of the team; the ultimate goal is not commonly understood
•conflict is not being handled in a positive way
•no accountability or understanding of evaluation procedures
•lack of strong project management skills (Fosmire, 2007, p.128)
•team members not receiving support from others on the team and lack of attention to ideas OR
a lack of support (Broom, 2002)
•low productivity due to “hostility, conformity or dispirited ennui” (Broom, 2002)
•decisions not made in a consensual manner (Broom, 2002)
•team members do not feel empowered (Broom, 2002)
Elements of successful team motivation
O’Connor (2005) argues that successful team motivation requires awareness of certain factors affecting individual motivation, which in turn influence team motivation. A few of these factors include:
•Faith in collective efficacy, believing his or her own contributions to the group will result in positive group accomplishments ... it is important to stress to team members both the relevancy of the tasks and the value in achieving the team’s goals” (p. 137).
Social influence, social rewards, and sanctions that are in play among individuals (p. 137).
•Social dilemmas in the form of “[h]earty, but respectful conflict can help to maximize both individual and group performance” with effective communication (O'Connor, 2006, p. 137)
•Potential for social loafing within groups; critical to set clear goals and administer appropriate punishments (p. 138).
Elements of successful team motivation
These are some motivational goals for team building that reflect the potential issues of teamwork and work to address them:
•Foster mutual respect for the expertise of all members
Team members need to be reminded of skills of other members. One
way to do so is to “actively attribute successes to each team member’s expertise” (Clark, 2005, p. 14).
•Help weaker team members believe that their effort is vital to team success
->Provide positive feedback for effort, as opposed to ability; notice
the result of progress and increased effort and its result on team goals (Clark, 2005, p. 15)
•Support a shared belief in the cooperative capabilities of the team
->Debrief after success or failures and go over interactions between group
members that may have led to positive or negative outcomes (Clark, 2005, p. 15)
•Hold individual team members accountable for their contributions to the team effort
->When individuals on a team believe that their efforts are being accurately
and fairly assessed, social loafing disappears. Make sure all members of the team are aware of the evaluation process (Clark, 2005, p. 15).
•Strive to make room for feelings relating to self-identity and status for individuals; Tyler and Blade (2001) find that “pride and respect lead to cooperative behavior” (p. 212)
Problems associated with teams:
Broom, M. F. (2002). From effective groups to powerful teams: Organizations can reap many long-term benefits from encouraging employees to work intelligently together.
(11), 66. https://search.ebscohost.com
Clark, R. E. (2005). Five research-tested team motivation strategies.
Performance Improvement 44
(1), 13-16. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com
Dyer, W. G., & Dyer, J. (2013).
Team building: Proven strategies for improving team performance (5th ed.)
. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Fosmire, M. (2008). Teams: What are they good for, and how do you get them to work?
Science And Technology Libraries, 28
(1/2), 123-132. doi: 10.1080/01942620802097018
Fresh Tracks. (2009).
Free Team Building Activity: Blindfold Square.
Retrieved from http://www.freshtracks.co.uk/free-team-building/blindfold-square/
Fresh Tracks. (2009).
Free Team Building Activity: Egg Drop.
Retrieved from http://www.freshtracks.co.uk/free-team-building/free-team-building-activity-egg-drop/
Hhibner. (2013, March 26). Team building.
Library Lost & Found.
Retrieved from http://librarylostfound.com/tag/team-building/
Leeder, K. (2014). The play time manifesto: Why having fun makes us better workers.
Journal Of Library Administration, 54
(7), 620-628. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com
McDevitt, T., & Jones, J. (2013). We are all in this together: Stress reduction and team building activities for modern library organizations.
(3), 78-99. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com
Meyer, J., Becker, T., & Vandenberghe, C. (2004). Employee commitment and motivation: A conceptual analysis and integrative model.
Journal Of Applied Psychology, 89
(6), 991-1007. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com
O’Connor, M. (2006). A review of factors affecting individual performance in team
environments: Theories and implications for library management.
Library Management, 27
(3), 135-143. doi: 10.1108/01435120610652888
Parker, G. M. (2010).
Successful team building: 20 tips, tools, and exercises.
Amherst, MA: HRD Press.
Russo, M. E. (2006). Team effectiveness in academic medical libraries: A multiple case study.
Journal of the Medical Library Association, 94
(3), 271-278. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com
Sigma Nu Fraternity. (n.d.).
Team Building Activities.
Retrieved from http://www.sigmanu.org/programs/lead/team_building.php
Tyler, T., & Blader, S. (2001). Identity and cooperative behavior in groups.
Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 4
(3), 207-226. Retrieved from https://search.ebscohost.com
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Step 1. Recognizing the problem
Team building starts with recognizing the problem/issue. At this point, a manager must gather data and determine the required actions to solve the problem (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
Retrieved from: http://www.zeepedia.com/depository/52/ch32/52-32_files/52-3200001im.jpg
Team Building Process
Step 2. Data Gathering and Analysis
After identifying the issue, the manager has four options on how to proceed. The four options are:
1. Ask the team members.
2. Use an outside resource.
3. Use survey instruments.
4. Undertake laboratory training (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
Option 1. Ask the Team Members
The manager can ask team members directly about the discord in the team and get possible suggestions in either meeting or in an interview with each of the team members but if there is a lack of trust, this may not elicit any real data (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
This is best used when either the problem is minor or if there is a strong relationship and trust between the manager and the team members.
Option 2. Using an Outside Source
This is a common method of getting information. The manager can contact an outside person who is either outside the team but in the organization (usually a human resource or organization development specialist) or an external facilitator (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
The data is gathered through interviews, focus groups, personality surveys and observation (Parker, 2010). In particular, personality style surveys are often used by facilitators to “enhance the experience and to address interpersonal issues that are identified during the data collection” (Parker, 2010, p.16). Personality style surveys can help address conflict, poor communication and difference in approaches.
The gathered data is then fed back to the manager (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
Option 3. Use survey instruments
There is a wide range of survey instruments that can be employed to gather data. If possible, contact a human resource person to handle this task and then summarize the data to be returned to the manager (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
The recommended method for using this data is to have the manager present a summary of data to the group, indicate acceptance of the data, announce some preliminary actions that will be taken, and ask the team members to suggest other appropriate changes (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
Personality Style Survey Resources:
Undertake laboratory training.
This method was used often in the past. The manager is to go to a training program that features giving feedback to all participants on their interpersonal style and then bring back a summary of this feedback to the team to check with the members about its validity and to work out a program of improvement (Dyer & Dyer, 2013).
A one-or two-day meeting are held to increase the effectiveness of the team and the members (Parker, 2010). The meeting provides “feedback on the data collected as well as appropriate exercises, activities, surveys, discussions, and the creation of plans to improve the functioning of the team” (p. 4)
Step 4. Evaluation
The manager should assess which the goals of the team were achieved and to what extent they were achieved. The assessment methods may include “comparing the data collected prior to the intervention with a similar data set collected at selected intervals following the intervention” (Parker, 2010, p. 4).
Initiatives are designed to allow groups to work through a problem together and become comfortable and effective in work situation by
raising issues and posing relevant challenges to the team (Sigma Nu Fraternity, n.d).
Unlike with the icebreakers and energizers, facilitators or the manager should not participate in this activity (Sigma Nu Fraternity. n.d.)
Egg Drop: “Teams of between 3 and 5 participants are asked to make a structure from limited materials, which will prevent a raw egg from breaking when it is dropped by the facilitator from a height of 10ft” (Fresh Tracks, 2009, para. 2)
Energizers are simple activities that can be used with any size group that are “used to break up monotony, invigorate individuals after a break or meal, or to add some action to a program or event” (Sigma Nu Fraternity, n.d., para 13). Energizers are designed to get a group moving and to give a break from long periods of sitting down (Sigma Nu Fraternity. n.d.)
Blindfold square: “The challenge is to take a length of rope and lay it out on the ground to make a perfect square. Throughout the task all team members must wear blindfolds” (Fresh Tracks, 2009, para. 2)
The ice breakers are usually used at the start of the activities. There are two different types of ice breakers.
2. Team building practice:
The purpose of these activities “is to introduce some basic concepts of teamwork and give the group some practice in working on a typical team building exercise” (Parker, 2010, p. 14).
The Newspaper Game:
Prior to the meeting, take apart a copy of a local newspaper and create several sections of the paper composed of pages from a variety of different sections. Give each team member one of the mixed-up sections and give the team the task of putting the newspaper together correctly. Set a challenging time limit for the task.
(Parker, 2010, p.14)
You’re deserted on an island. What ten items does your small group want? Write your items on a flip chart. The group facilitator will do the “reporting” to the larger group by reading your list to everyone and pointing out similarities/differences from group to group. Everyone participates in the discussion, no one is singled out, no one has to perform, everyone has to agree on ten items. (Hhibner, 2013, para .3)
1. Getting to know one another:
The purpose of these activities “is that as people get to know each other better, this helps establish a more relaxed and informal climate where people do their best work” (Parker, 2010, p. 14).
The Whole Truth:
Each person tells the group five things about themselves (e.g., hobbies, past experiences, likes/ dislikes), four of which are true and one that is false but could be true. The other members try to guess which one is false (Parker, 2010, p. 14)
There are 6 reasons:
To help cope with stress, including “technostress”
To create job satisfaction
To reduce the amount of turnover
To create and achieve a common vision for our organization
To increase productivity and creativity
To create a collegial, respectful, and tolerant work environment
: To help cope with stress, including “technostress”
“Technostress”: results from the huge influx and need to be current with databases, online catalogs and circulation systems, email, chat, Facebook, Twitter, etc (McDevitt & Jones, 2013, p. 81).
: To create job satisfaction.
“The research of Williamson, Pemberton, and Lounsbury verifies that having a teamwork disposition is related to job and career satisfaction and reducing employee turnover. Moreover, these qualities contribute to librarians’ ability to cope with change, decreasing the level of debilitating stress and leading to an organization where library employees can provide patrons with exceptional service” (McDevitt & Jones, 2013, p. 83).
: Reduce the amount of turnover
Our profession can be an uncertain one.
: To create and achieve a common vision for our profession.
“As a library director, one of my biggest challenges is to unite the staff at my library so that we can work together effectively to create and achieve a common vision for our organization. This is a tremendous challenge. We work at a new community college and in a field that is changing dramatically year by year, so both our organization and our profession demand that we invent and reinvent ourselves on a daily basis: our spaces, our services, our collection, our technology, our teaching, our role on campus,” (Leeder, 2014, p. 621).
: To increase productivity and creativity.
“Fun, by definition, makes people happy, and happy people are more productive. As Samuel West (2014) writes, ‘By bringing fun into relationships, play helps break hierarchical and social barriers so that people find a common connection point and move into meaningful collaborative relationships’” (Leeder, 2014, p. 623).
: To create a collegial, respectful, and tolerant work environment.
“Perhaps most important is to improve communications with co-workers and develop a support system with peers and management. A solid support system helps individuals make it through difficult periods by providing empathy, help in problem solving, and the opportunity to provide the same assistance to others,” (McDevitt & Jones, 2013, p. 83)
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Retrieved from: http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/sahuber/rpd/Pictures/Broken%20Egg.JPG
Thank you! We hope you enjoyed our presentation.
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When participants in [stress reduction] workshops were asked about the source of stress and frustrations in their work places, they indicated many causes including: patrons, workload, supervisors, schedules, lack of positive feedback, colleagues, lack of information and training, conflicting demands, technology and equipment, physical plant, unchallenging work, uncertainty, and budget issues (McDevitt & Jones, 2013, p. 79-80).
Team-based motivation, however, can create a more productive group which could lead to less turnover.
Given time, space, and encouragement, a group of people can come together resulting in trust, patience, and a sense of common purpose (Leeder, 2014, p. 622).
“Our staff is collegial, respectful, and tolerant of each other’s differences and foibles… We have built this library and this staff together through a fluid, consensus-based shared leadership model. Our ability to make decisions together is based upon our ability to agree and disagree constructively, and that, I argue, comes from playing and having fun together. Game break is one of the ways we play together,” (Leeder, 2014, p. 621)
As Clark (2005) noted, what makes a team successful is when a group of individuals, playing different roles and bringing different skills to the table, come together to achieve common goals (p. 13). However, it is not enough to simply bring these personalities together. As Russo’s (2006) study showed, “groups of individuals working together [do not] necessarily make an effective team,” (p. 271). Therefore, it is essential that the individual members not only bring their unique skills to the team, but that they also form relationships with each other. This formula for success is no different in a library environment. In fact, after thorough investigation it can be concluded that team building is crucial to high morale in library environments.
As discussed throughout this presentation, there are many positive attributes of team building. The main benefits of team building in libraries include:
lower turnover rates
higher levels of staff engagement and productivity
reduced stress levels
happier, healthier, more confident employees
higher level of support is felt between team members
provides safe space for employees to share
current issues can also be understood, & strengths and weaknesses can be discovered
All of these attributes allow for more
balanced and loyal employees.
In addition to the aforementioned attributes, “new methods of communication, information sharing, participation, collaboration, and learning to think collectively are paramount aspects of a successful team,” (Fosmire, 2008). Our chosen case studies shared ideas on what a team looks like, how these benefits are attained, as well as useful ideas for group activities. In the end, a successful team means hard work, embracing difference, empowering members, and coming together to make joint decisions to work toward a common goal (Broom, 2002, p. 66).
II. Why team-based motivation for information professionals?
III. Examples of Team Building and Motivation
a. Team-building process
b. Examples of team-building activities and exercises
IV. Case Studies wherein team motivation is used
I. What is team-based motivation?