This, he says, is a big challenge considering the fact that all team members along with the top management come from different cultural backgrounds.
Polley and Ribbens (1998) in their pioneering research assert that team wellness has got to be tackled in order to create high performance teams. The challenges that need to be over come have been thoroughly researched. The most commonly found problems are: lack of commitment and consideration from top management; probability of sharing enhanced productivity; creation and sustenance of trust (Polley and Ribbens, 1998); and skills to deal with conflicts; both within tasks and amongst people (Amason et al., 1995).
Polley and Ribbens (1998) assert that emergence of these problems can be either (1) persistent; and/or (2) immediate and/or intense. Extending the team wellness concept, Beech and Crane (1999) outlined a five dimensional strategy to overcome the problems most event managers might face when creating high performance teams. These five aspects are: monitoring; maintenance; creating productive group procedures; support teams all the way through; work routines that reduce stress (Beech and Crane, 1999).
Katzenbach and Smith (1993) articulate that creating diversity within teams is bound to increase performance. This is because diversity leads to higher levels of personal satisfaction and motivation and both these factors lead to higher levels of team performance. Diversity creates an environment which enables individual team members to contribute significantly; this in turn increases their level of motivation and satisfaction; which leads to higher performance. Non-diverse teams enforce its members to adjust and contribute less, which decreases motivation and team performance (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)
Davison (1994) in his research outlines problems faced by event management companies in creating high performance teams by illustrating real-world examples. He ends his study by providing the following nine suggestions: planning and implementation should be the core skills of all high performance team members; teams along with top management should evaluate costs and find finances from within the organization; the top management should work with the teams to eradicate bureaucratic barriers existing within the organization; involving team leaders in eradicating procedural barriers by requesting team performance reports on a regular basis; giving all team members an insight about the work related variations and give them clear instructions about the goals that need to be achieved; constant training in operational and functional skills; training to overcome problems in a multi-cultural environment; ensure that team leaders have the skills necessary to complete the task and accountability is made for the performances of all team members; clear goals, timelines, strategies and tactics are given to all team members and access to top management is made easy give clear term of reference, time scales and direction and be available if the team needs you.
All these proposals are in line with the problems being faced in creating high performance teams within the event industry. Top management should work towards executing goals with a clear and precise methodology. Furthermore, they ought to develop a strategy, based on aforementioned features, for creating an environment where normal teams can enhance their results and become high performance teams.
Event management/leadership and Outsourcing:
"There are wide selections of Chinese restaurant chains that have expressed interest in Macau, and already entered the market, including the Laurel Group from Guangdong (Galaxy Star World), South Beauty, and Little Sheep."
Outsourcing is a complex process. Nonetheless, companies tend to consider only the macro aspects of a firm. They do not inspect the company at the micro level, which results in decline in quality and also outcomes in reduced profit margin. Adair and Thomas (2004) assert that top management is not aware of changes in team characteristics of the event management firm they have chosen for out-sourced resources, which gravely hinders in creating high performance teams. They elaborate the problems as follows: understanding of team background and history; participation with team members; proper communication; cohesiveness; constructive atmosphere; setting up of adequate standards; and understanding of structure and organization.
Understanding of team background and history
Top management in the event industry often overlooks the importance of giving time to the new teams with which it has to work with. They fail to share the strategies they think are necessary for quality control and as a result needs and expectations get mixed up considerably in this newly formed relationship. Clear boundaries are not set and a great deal of freedom is given initially which confuses teams about their working boundaries (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Similarly, a team with a great deal of experience will have its own set of characteristics. Their past experience will influence not only their new relationship but also the quality of the work. Signing outsourcing contracts with companies based on expected costs savings; without understanding previous working experience of the teams within the firm has seriously shown to jeopardize product quality (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Adair and Thomas (2004) assert that companies need to assess the strengths and weaknesses, along with past performances of the companies they wish to outsource their processes. The best way to do that is to understand team dynamics of that firm (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Participation with the team members
Adair and Thomas (2004) point out that lack of participation with team members is another challenge that needs to be overcome in the event industry. Mostly what happens is that the event management company hires temporary staff and burdens them with most of the work which decrease quality and efficiency of performance. He highlights the different ways in which one team interaction is different from another team's interaction. He asserts: "Teams interact in different ways depending on the situation at the time. Sometimes it may be all one way dialogue coming from the leader or another member; or it may be just a few members joining in the discussion, or it could be a multi-directional discussion with the leader and members talking interactively with each other (Adair and Thomas, 2004; pg 8)." Leaders need to be aware of the different patterns of interaction and participation before they decide to interact with the team. Quite often they end up negatively influencing the team discussions, which reduces motivation amongst all team members (Adair and Thomas, 2004).
Business communication is all about setting goals and outlining strategies and tactics. How well do leaders perform these important tasks has a direct impact on the outcome of team performances. This becomes even more critical when a company is outsourcing its resources. Managers have got to be aware of the common terminologies of the teams it is going to be interacting with for accomplishing their business processes. Also, they need to give more time to listening what team members have to say about the new working relationship. All of this can influence perception of team members about the significance of the new working relationship and leadership. Adair and Thomas (2004) point out that a lot more time needs to be given to communication with teams when outsourcing resources. They provide six pointers for effective communication: setting clear goals and outcomes; speaking clearly and leaving out cultural terminologies; giving vivid explanations and leaving the visualization phase to the teams; candidly discuss the goals with the team members; being an active listener; and being short, concise and to the point
Another challenge in creating high performance teams for outsourced resources in the event management industry is finding an environment where all team members feel wanted and are eager to participate in an organized manner. They identity six aspects which have hampered in either the forming and/or finding of a cohesive business environment: failure of top management to work closely with the team members in the initial period; failure to build common bonds when confronted with similar problems; failure to bring together individuals with same age, values and attitudes in a particular team; failure in overcoming clash of personalities; failure in removing formalities; and building large teams instead of small ones.
Finding a company which produces a positive social atmosphere is the most critical outsourcing decision that an event management company can make. Adair and Thomas (2004) outline a set of characteristics of a constructive social atmosphere and also outline a set of characteristics of an unconstructive social atmosphere. The characteristics of a constructive social and culturally acceptable atmosphere are: warm; friendly; relaxed; informal; and confident. The characteristics of an unconstructive and culturally unacceptable social atmosphere are: cold; hostile; tense; formal; restrained; anxious; and pressured.
Teams work best when the social atmosphere is the former (constructive). While companies look for firms which work under a constructive social environment to outsource their resources they also have to draw a line between persuading their new-found team members (once they have found them) to achieve their goals and rebuking them. They have got to ensure that they do not cross that line under any circumstances (Adair and…