Teamwork is becoming the preferred way for today’s business organizations to accomplish their objectives. Teams are essential in today’s competitive hospitality industry where guest service is paramount. Teams can help businesses respond more quickly because they are empowered to make decisions, can see things from multiple perspectives and can accomplish more with fewer resources.
What is a Team?
Teams typically are formed with specific goals and tasked with the responsibility of meeting those goals. Teams allow members to focus their diverse skills toward solving complex tasks and achieving common goals. Teams also utilize the strengths of each member, which can make problem-solving faster and smoother.
Four Types of Teams
1. Work Group
A work group is an idea team. Work groups are typically made up of associates within a single department, such as a sales team. Rather than forming to address a particular problem, they work together on a consistent basis, as a permanent part of the department. Work groups or idea teams are involved in decision making and goal setting. They also identify potential problems that need to be solved or avoided. An organization may have one or dozens of work groups.
A work group at a resort might look at whether to expand food and beverage service to guests outside of normal dining areas such as poolside. In a hotel, a work group might examine how to speed the inspection of cleaned rooms before a guest arrives.
2. Action Group
Action group teams work on the first steps of quality improvement projects. They typically include associates from different departments affected by a common problem or challenge that needs to be solved. For example, if a foodservice challenge is being addressed by an organization, an action group might include those who buy the food from the vendor, along with the associates who prepare the food and those who serve it. In this way, action groups are cross functional.
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3. Quality Improvement
A quality improvement team may include middle management-level personnel, sales department supervisors and idea team leaders. This team takes the ideas from action groups, develops suggestions for quality improvement and presents them to an organization’s senior management team. They may also appoint action groups to address specific quality improvement challenges. A quality improvement team recognizes and rewards achievements in quality management, approves ideas and projects, and monitors quality improvement through measurement and analysis.
At the resort that expanded food and beverage service, a quality improvement team might devise procedures to coordinate preparation and service to ensure guests’ orders arrive promptly. For the hotel, the team could institute an inspection checklist for rooms.
4. Senior Quality Improvement
The fourth type of team is the senior quality improvement team, which defines policies and procedures for quality management in daily operations. This team directs, coordinates, refines and improves recommendations in the continuous quality improvement process. This could include expanding poolside service procedures to other company properties, or making a room checklist standard.
How Teams are the Key to Success
Teams are only as strong as their members. To achieve full participation and cooperation, team members must be motivated and encouraged. Motivation occurs when each individual’s values and vision connect to those of the team and the organization. Facilitating understanding of team members’ unique roles and contributions, along with the desired results and the team’s overall direction, can be accomplished by establishing clear goals.
Additional team-building guidelines include:
Management can create successful, self-directed teams that know how to improve quality and then make it happen. If team members’ visions and values are well-connected to the organization, great things can happen and negative issues can be eliminated.