GM: MOD 5 – UNIT 1


Motivate and Build a Team



What Is Motivation?

The word means “ an inner state that energises or moves, and that directs /channels behaviour toward goals.”

Motivating is regarded as a process

The definition of Motivation

‘ To cause a person to act in a particular way.’

Oxford Dictionary

Motivation is the will to expend energy in the pursuit of a goal or a reward. In other words, it is that which makes a person want to do something.

Motivation is the single most important factor that contributes towards productivity, which is the supervisor’s or team leader’s ultimate goal. Motivation is the true measure of a supervisor’s worth in any organisation.

This is probably why the study of motivation has received more attention than all the other supervisory skills, or ingredients, put together. Hundreds of theories and techniques tell supervisors how to motivate people.

The most important thing that you can learn about motivation is that it is not something that a supervisor does to people, it is something they do for themselves.

As a supervisor, your job is to create an environment in which people want to do good work.

The following common characteristics underlie the definition of Motivation.

Motivation is intentional

Motivation has many facets

Motivation is based on the individual

Motivational theorists predict behaviour of people.

Why Motivate?


Increases productivity

Lowers absenteeism.

Lowers labour turnover and increases a stable workforce.

Increases productivity.

Increases manpower skills and specialisation.

Promotes high company morale with satisfaction in work worth doing, and pride in accomplishment.

Maintains high standards.

Increases the use of positive initiative where a climate for free expression exists.

Signs Of Demotivation

Some obvious symptoms of discontent are

Excessive talking

Griping and moaning



Some less obvious symptoms are


Poor attitude to work which may suddenly appear

The employee makes more mistakes than normal

Lack of cooperation

Research shows that people are unhappy in a job when they have no control over activities, and that work offering little variety or challenge has no intrinsic meaning. This undermines motivation and affects performance, leading to such problems as frustration, absenteeism and labour turnover.

Techniques to motivate a team


During meetings and group discussions it is important for team members to encourage each other to make contributions. Once another member of the team has expressed and idea or made a recommendation, that person requires feedback from the rest of the team.

As with every situation in life, there are two ways of handling a team member’s contribution to the discussion: you can handle it in a nice and friendly way or you can be rude about it. The best is obviously to handle it in a nice and friendly way – to respond positively.

Give Feedback

The purpose of having team meetings and discussions is to get every team member’s contributions in terms of ideas, recommendations, etc. Some of the ideas might seem silly to you, but it has value to the person who has aired them and you have to respect that person’s dignity. This is an important part of teamwork.

Feedback is often used to give positive reinforcement to a team member. Positive feedback, usually in the form of praise and recognition, is a powerful motivator in the workplace.

Follow the following guidelines for giving positive and negative feedback, not only to team members but also to your family and friends:

Treat the other person with dignity and respect.

Let the other parties tell their stories without interrupting or judging.

Listen with your full attention and try to understand.

Concede that the other party may be just as sincere as you are, and may be right on some issues.

Acknowledge that your position may not be totally correct (or even reasonable)

Giving feedback or responding, is a very valuable part of teamwork and needs careful handling. A careless, critical or impatient comment or interruption may cause a permanent rift in a personal relationship and damage the on-going attempt to develop trust between the parties.

Praise the person immediately after the contribution has been made: “Thank you for your contribution…”.

Be sincere.

Be specific about what he / she said: if you think closely about what the person said, something must make sense and add value to the team.

Show interest in the idea or recommendation.

Stress the positive things about the contribution.

Explore alternatives or variations on the speaker’s contributions, but don’t give answers or solutions: “That was an excellent idea. I wonder if we can use the idea in this or that way…?” or: “Let us discuss ways in which the team can benefit from the suggestion…”

Put yourself into their shoes. Even the silliest of ideas can be explored and adapted to the benefit of the proceedings. Some of the most amazing innovations came from silly ideas. The waterbed is a good example. Furthermore, while Edison was experimenting with a light bulb, everyone around him thought he was chasing after rainbows and nobody took him seriously. Where would we be today if Edison had not succeeded in making a light bulb?

Speak about yourself, not them.

Share information and ideas, don’t give advice. Someone once said: “If I had wanted your advice, I would have given it to you.” Think about this statement: it sounds like a contradiction, but it is a very valid statement – giving your advice to another person without being asked for it is very irritating to the other person.

Be specific, not general.

Don’t be sarcastic.

Don’t be judgmental.

Keep the talk centred on the main idea, not side issues

Try to make the other person feel good, and important

Remember that people want positive attention paid to what they say and do. They want acceptance of themselves and their ideas whenever possible.

Find a point of agreement to build on rather than disagree Rarely does anybody change their mind by being asked, told or directed to do so. If you want to influence the listener to see things differently, avoid using threatening language, verbal or nonverbal

Receive feedback

In a team, you must not only be able to give feedback, you must be able to receive feedback as well. If you feel panic when you receive feedback it is most probably because it sounds like criticism.

Most of us are sensitive to criticism and it probably originates from the ‘blanket criticism’ we receive as children: “You are clumsy…, rather than: “That was a clumsy thing to do…”

Remind yourself that making one or even a series of mistakes does not mean you are a bad person. It means you are a normal person who made a few mistakes. Contrary to what we were taught as children, human beings learn through making mistakes. So, when you make a mistake it confirms that you are a member of the human race.

If you receive ‘blanket criticism’ now as an adult, “ don’t like your attitude…”; “You’re always difficult about this kind of thing…”, use the fogging technique to find out the specifics about what the person wants to say.

Defuse the situation by:

Not arguing with the criticism as this would ‘add fuel to the fire’. Rather say thinks like, “maybe I am…”; “perhaps it is…”, etc.

Ask for more specific feedback. “Can you tell me exactly what bothers you…” “Can you tell me more about what you feel has gone wrong?”

Continue fogging until you hear a specific ‘criticism’ that you can begin to deal with, as per the example below:


“I don’t like your attitude when you are dealing with clients.”

“Perhaps my attitude to clients does need looking at. Can you tell me a bit more about what bothers you?”

“It’s just you, your attitude.”

“Can you tell me what it is about my attitude that bothers you?”

“It’s the way you dress.”

“Maybe there is a problem with the way I dress. Can you tell me what exactly you are concerned about?”

“It’s too casual.”

“Perhaps I do dress too casually. Could you say what it is that strikes you as too casual?”

“I just don’t think it’s appropriate for women professionals to wear ……… when they are interviewing clients.”


It took a while but now you know what the real issue is.

Accepting valid feedback assertively involves

Reminding ourselves that one mistake does not mean that we a re a total failure

Repeating the ‘criticism’ back to the critic to show that you have heard it clearly and accept it:

‘I agree. I have made a mess of this project.’

‘Yes, you are right. I should not have lost my temper with that client.’

‘Yes. I did rush through the points too fast at the meeting.’


Apologise if you want to but keep it short. Don’t go on and on.

‘I’m sorry that I was rude. I was under a lot of pressure that day but I realize that is no excuse.’


When you have clearly accepted and ‘owned’ the feedback you might want to add a positive sentence looking at how things might be improved.

‘I agree. I have made a mess of this project. Can you suggest what we can do to start recovering the situation?’

‘You are right. I should not have lost my temper with that client. What do you think is the most effective way of apologizing and regaining his trust?’

‘Yes, I did rush through the points too fast at the meting. I’m working on my tendency to panic and rush in meetings. I think I am slowly starting to improve.


Accepting a valid ‘criticism’ calmly and looking straightaway for opportunities for constructive action will usually keep the whole situation calm and positive, rather than it becoming a source of conflict and distress. Furthermore, you retain your power and personal dignity more effectively than resisting a criticism you know in your heart is true, simply because your ego gets in the way.

You do not have to agree with invalid ‘criticism’. ‘No, I don’t agree with that. I have not been unreliable. My monthly reports are always on time and accurate.’

Active Listening

The first step in communication is to LISTEN ACTIVELY to what the other person is saying:

Pay attention and focus on what the speaker says

Active listening a skill and is as important as giving orders in obtaining results.

Give your full attention to what is being said.

Make sure that you really understand.

Listen between the lines.

Look for non-verbal clues.

Mentally summarise and evaluate objectively.

Be empathetic.

Determine whether he expects: guidance, support, motivation, action or silence.

What Makes A Good Listener?

Good listeners use a variety of non-verbal and minimal cues to keep the other person talking. These include the use of phrases such as:


“I understand”

“And then what”

“Tell me more”

“If I understand you correctly…”

Do not make any negative comment about the person’s ideas and recommendations. It took a lot of courage for that person to voice his/her opinion and a negative reaction from you can end in that person never saying anything in a meeting again.

Treat Other People With Empathy

Empathy is

Trying to put yourself into the world, thoughts and feelings of the other person, as he experiences them and not as you want to see them.

To be in another person’s shoes. Your attitude is one of warmth, understanding and acceptance.

You feel (name of feeling) because…(reason for feeling)

Listen actively to identify the underlying feelings. “It sounds as if you are disappointed.”

Use these instead of “You feel…”

It is important for you to …

As I understand …

So you feel…

Are you saying…?

If I understand you correctly…

It seems as if…

Not SupportedWhat you mean is…

You think

What bothers you …

How to express your own feelings

Use “I-messages”

“I feel …(name of feeling) because (reason for feeling)


“I feel ….because…and I would prefer that…

What are the benefits of communicating in this way?

Other people can understand you better and it is easier to empathise with you. This prevents misunderstanding and conflict

The other person does not feel threatened and will not withdraw, defend themselves or attack you.

Express your opinion assertively and respect the dignity of the other person.

Management Styles

The Managerial Grid

Developed by Blake and Mouton (Robbins, 1980:323)

This enables a business leader to classify himself in terms of caring about people and caring about production, expressed on a scale of one to nine.

The graph, as illustrated, has nine possibilities on each axis, which gives a total of 81 different leadership styles, where a particular leader’s leadership style may belong at a given moment. This means that leaders adapt their style of leadership according to the situation. Unfortunately, the roster does not give any indication of the results achieved by the various leadership styles, it only indicates the dominating factors that play a part in obtaining results.

The five most important styles are:

Style 1.1, bottom left, shows little interest in either production or subordinates. This is also called the laissez-faire (impoverished) management style, because the leader is not devoted to his leadership.

Style 1.9 represents a style where the interest in the production is low, but shows a high concern for employees. This can be described as Country Club management. This is the opposite of 9.1

Style 9.9 is described as democratic management (team style). Maximum interest is shown in both output and subordinates.

Style 5.5 has an average interest in both output and employees.



Life Cycle Theory Of Leadership

The most effective leadership style is one that adapts to the so-called maturity of the subordinate. Maturity in this sense refers to the subordinate’s desire to achieve, his willingness to accept responsibility and of course how much experience the subordinate has and how competent he is in performing the required tasks.

In the initial phase a high task orientation is present with a low emphasis on the relationship between leader and subordinate.

During phase two workers begin to fit into the work pattern, but are not yet able to accept full responsibility. Confidence and support of workers increase and management gets to know the workers better. Management therefore becomes more employee-orientated.

Phase three is characterised by the workers’ desire for greater responsibility. Workers become more self-assured, self-motivated and have the experience to continue on their own.

Phase four is the maturity level where employees are willing and able to accept responsibility. This style has low behaviour relations and low task orientation.

This theory recommends a kind of dynamic and flexible leadership. The ability and experience of subordinates must be evaluated regularly to determine the leadership style that must be applied. As subordinates become more mature, the degree of direct control and supervision should decrease.

Effective leadership is defined not as one best approach to use all the time; it is the ability to vary one’s approach appropriately for different circumstances.
















Source: Adapted from Hersey & Blanchard (1982:152)


Using this leadership style

The three keys for effective use is the ability to:

Diagnose the team member’s development level

Be flexible enough to match behaviour to the diagnosis

Contract with the team member what steps to take

Phase 1

Low relations and low task: If the team member exhibits…

A low level of competence in the job or task

Low confidence

Then the leader would

Tell the follower what the job tasks are and how to do them

Make decisions

Set goals

Provide specific instructions

Guide and direct activity

Closely supervise and evaluate performance

Phase 2

High relations and high task: If the team member exhibits…

Limited ability to perform task or assignment, but

Willingness and motivation to try

Then the leader would…..

Continue close supervision but increase two way communications.

Explain decisions

Solicit feedback

Support progress and follower’s initiative

Phase Three

High relations and low task: If the team member exhibits

a moderate to high level of competence in the job, but

A variable degree of confidence in the job

Then the leader …..

Involved the follower in problem solving

Ask the follower to decide how to perform the task

Share responsibility

Work with the follower to evaluate performance

Promote discussion and share ideas

Provide encouragement

Phase Four

Low relations and low task: If the follower exhibits….

A high level competency in the job and

A high level of commitment/ confidence/motivation

The leader would…

Jointly define the problem with the follower

Turn over responsibility for decision and implementation

Allow the follower to develop action plans

Accept the follower’s decisions

Setting Goals And Objectives

As a team leader, you will be given goals and objectives to achieve. It is your responsibility to implement these objectives, even if you were not consulted when they were determined. This is your job, this is what you are paid for and YOU HAVE TO DO IT!

Right, so you get the goals and objectives from your manager. Now you have to implement these goals and objectives:

You have to plan how you are going to achieve the goals and objectives given to you. You do this by setting the goals and objectives for your department and then developing an action plan from the goals and objectives.

Formulate goals and objectives, according to the strategic and tactical plans developed by top and middle management

Ensure that goals are formulated in line with the vision and mission of the organisation

While you formulate goals and objectives, you also set the standards for key performance areas where performance can be monitored continually. Key performance areas are performance areas in businesses that are important and that can be checked on all the time. For example, sales figures can be monitored continually as can production figures.


To explain the need for setting goals and objectives, let us start with an excerpt from the delightful Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll:


The cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good natured, she thought, still, it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt it ought to be treated with respect.

“Cheshire Puss, ” she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all know whether it would like the name; however, it only grinned a little wider. It is pleased so far, thought Alice, and she went on, “Would you tell me, please, which way 1 ought to walk from here?”

“That depends a good deal where you want to get to, ” said the cat. “I don’t much care where, ” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk, ” said the cat.


Consider the following:

It appears that Alice lacks:

What are the implications of this for a company?

What are the implications of this for a manager?


Alice lacks a clearly defined goal. Therefore, she could not decide which road she ought to take.

Failure. Any individual or company who lacks a clearly defined goal will inevitably fail.

Disorganisation, demotivation of staff, failure! All managers should be aware of their company’s goals and objectives. Are they clearly defined enough to let you make decisions based on them?


In our except from Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll seems to capture the essence of goal setting. Alice lacks a clearly defined goal, therefore she could not decide which road she ought to take. Any organisation or individual who lacks goals will face the same dilemma. Given the choice of alternatives they won’t be able to decide which road to take.

It is interesting that just about everything a person does in life, both at home and at work, is based on some goal or objective. Without them, life’s activities would have little value or purpose.

The Difference Between A Goal And An Objective

A Goal is a general outcome statement.

An Objective spells out clearly and in measurable terms, what the goal or aim will look like when met.

first decide on a goal that can be achieved, to enable you to focus more accurately on the objective. It would be difficult to develop an objective without some idea [the goal] of what the goal is.

Therefore, the goal is decided upon first. Then we write our SMART objectives, is such a way that it will help everyone involved with it to attain it. This is why the goal always comes before the objective.


The Goal: Improve production in the assembly plant,

The Objective: by 10% before January 15, by upgrading the machinery involved.

The goal is usually only the action or activity. That is, to diet, to stop smoking, to devote time to the children, to paint the house, or tidy the garage, etc. These goals are adequate for home and sport activities, but do not contain enough substance to enable anyone to really become seriously motivated to actually attain them.

Setting Objectives

Objectives must always be SMART:





Time bound


Objectives must be specific. Don’t say, “I want to bake more cakes per day,” rather say: “I want to bake 50 cakes per day”.


You must be able to measure the objective if you want to use it as a control system. How can you check if you are achieving goals and objectives if you don’t know against what you should check them?

Include as many of the following as possible:

Quality: To SABS standard 1076; without any rejects; as per maintenance schedule rules, etc.

Quantity: reduce rejects by 5%; tidy up all the scrap; a minimum of six bottles per case, etc.

Cost/Value: reduce the overheads by 5%; cut the comptetitors price by at least Rl, etc.


You have to set objectives that can be reached. If you set objectives that cannot possibly be reached, you are wasting time and you and your staff will become discouraged. You cannot possibly start baking 1500 cakes per day, if you have been baking 50 cakes per day.


The objective must be relevant to the specific goal as well as the goals of the business. Don’t set an objective that has no relevance to the goal: “I want to make 45 meat platters per day” has no relevance to baking cakes. If your objectives are not relevant to the goal, you will confuse yourself and your staff.


You have to set a date by when you want to achieve the objective. “ I want to bake 70 cakes per day by the end of February.” Examples could be: Within the next two weeks; by January 15; before lunch break/stocktaking/home time, etc.

An objective without a time parameter is like an athlete running a race without being timed. He may win, but how good is that?

General rules when writing goals and objectives:

Always commit goals and objectives to paper. We tend to try and achieve goals once we have written them down.

It is obvious that objectives must be clearly understood by all those who will be involved with them, so always use clear and simple language.

Not SupportedTest the objectives on someone else first. If they express the slightest hint of doubt, don’t argue ‑ fix it!

Communicate both in writing and verbally, if you can.

Clarify and confirm understanding: ensure that the people who have to do the work to achieve the goals understand what is expected of them. When you have to clarify understanding, ask the person to repeat in his/her own words what is expected of them. Then you can listen to what they are saying and check if they really understand.

Analyse the following objectives. Do you consider them SMART?

To achieve customer satisfaction.

Great intentions, but far too vague. How exactly will customer satisfaction be achieved? What does customer satisfaction mean? There is no standard to measure it. It may means different things to different people. And, most importantly, there is no reference to time, so it can’t be an objective.

To produce acceptable machine outputs by 1 July.

Getting better! But what does acceptable really mean? Again there is no standard for acceptability. It means different things to different people. All that this objective has going for it is measurability, that is by July 1, assuming that this would be an achievable date by which to produce acceptable machine outputs in the factory.

Treble company profit in six years

Still better! It is clear. It contains a result that is measurable, that is, treble the company profits. It has a time limit, that is, within six years. If this is attainable, then it is an OK objective

To understand what makes customers tick

What does understand mean? This is a disguised word that should never appear in an objective. The Americans call it fuzzy ‑ a good description. What does tick mean? It means different things to different people, so it’s not much use in our objective, is it? And, most important, there is nothing relating to time, is there? So, if a person is not told when it should happen, you can hardly blame them for not doing it

To increase the number of calls made per representative from the current six, to eight per day by June 30.

Good objective! It mentions time: June 30. It states quality, to increase the calls. It states quantity, from six to eight calls per day. It is clearly written. If, assuming it is possible, with a little stretch. to achieve those extra two calls a day, it is a very acceptable objective indeed.


Writing Objectives

Here’s a handy tool to use when writing objectives. Use this format and your objectives should always be SMART. remember to align all your goals and objectives with the strategic and tactical plans as made by top and middle management, as well as the vision statement of your organisation and department.


An example can be found in handout 2

Obtain commitment from team members

What can a supervisor do with this information to motivate his people? The golden, or number one rule for any supervisor who wants to effectively motivate and encourage his people is to

Get To Know Each Team Member

Making a point of getting to know each of your people well enough to identify their motivation needs, that is, the five needs that Hertzberg identified in his research that made people want to work. Get to know what interests and motivates them, inside and outside the workplace. Simply keep your eyes open. Here are two examples to help you:

A person who always puts up all his certificates from training courses on the wall, obviously has a strong need to recognised. Meet that need by providing extra recognition for good work. A person who belongs to a lot of committees, , may be a good organiser and natural mixer. Put him in charge of a work group, or a position where he can fulfil this affiliation and belonging need in the workplace.

Guidelines for motivation

Recognise individual differences: each tem member has his own characteristics, needs, attitudes and expectations

Team workers must be suited to their work according to their individual characteristics and aspirations

Use objectives: team workers should have specific objectives about which you can give feedback. If there is opposition to objectives, implement participation when the objectives are set.

Make sure that the objectives are seen as achievable: the person should be confident that his effort can lead to the achievement of the objective.

Individualise rewards: use your knowledge of individual differences to individualise the rewards over which you have control

Link reward to performance: rewards should be made dependent on performance and used to reinforce performance

Control the system for equity: the person should see the reward of his/her efforts as being consistent with the inputs s/he made.

Use positive reinforcement: this takes place by creating the “right” work environment, praise, removing obstacles to the person’s performance, control through feedback and communication

Participation: participation in the setting of goals and objectives, the making of decisions, the implementing of the action plan, reviewing the progress of the action plan and feedback is a way of recognition. It makes the team member feel involved and accepted and creates a feeling of fulfilment.

Step 1: Identify The Need

Before you can identify needs you must get to know each person well enough to identify their motivational needs.

Once you have done this, be observant and keep your eyes open for the obvious and the less obvious symptoms of discontent.

Frequently the worker who is at a dead end is aware of his position and starts brooding about it. When you know that there is a possibility of a worker slipping in performance, be alert for obvious and less obvious symptoms of discontent.

Some obvious symptoms of discontent are excessive talking, griping, gossiping and arguments. Some less obvious are absence or poor attitude to work which may suddenly appear.

Step 2: Select The Method

Now that the motivational need has been identified, it is time to select a method that will satisfy and nurture than need. Below is a short list of some motivational methods from which to choose.



Target Date


Action Steps


What must be done

By when it should be done

Who should do it

How should they do it

What resources will they need to do it


Step 3: Introduce The Method

Not SupportedWithout doubt, the most important thing to be aware of when introducing any motivational method is change in routine.

The introduction of any motivational method, no matter how simple, will involve some form of change in routine for the person/s involved. People are all comfortable and secure with routine, so any change can be a little disconcerting. So, when introducing motivational method, remember:

Change: Make sure that the person/s are informed of any changes that may affect them, and allow participation in the changes, if possible.

Advise co-workers: It is always a good idea to advise all persons who may be directly, or even indirectly involved.

Follow-up: Check back to see that the method is working. Keep an eye open for improvements. If there is no visible improvement, then you must review the merit of the motivational method chosen.

The satisfaction of creating a motivational climate in which people can respond to challenge and then seeing these people grow, is the most satisfying part of being a supervisor

Team Decision Making

There are a number of ways to enhance the creativity of the team decision-making process:

Announce the meeting in advance. Define the issue to be discussed, and invite participants to come prepared with ideas and possible solutions.

Use a round robin to collect people’s ideas. Go around the room and ask people, one by one, to mention the ideas or solutions they’ve developed. List them on a flip chart or a whiteboard. During the round robin, there is to be no criticism or evaluation.

Encourage people to discuss the ideas with the group. Once it is on the table, the idea is a group issue, to be dealt with by the group.

Rephrase criticism in a positive way. A frequently negative comment is “we tried that and it didn’t work” A helpful response could be “what’s in this version that wasn’t in the one that we didn’t fly?” or “How have conditions changed to encourage us to retry the ideas?”

Ask for positive remarks from negative people. When negative comments proliferate, create two columns, “pro” and “con”, on the flip chart. Then ask each person who has made negative comments to put his/her objection in the “con” column, and then something for the “pro” side.

Set an example by not defending your ideas. When your idea is criticised, you may feel a protective instinct. Let others carry the ball. Remind the team that your idea is a group issue. If they misunderstand what you’ve proposed, clarify it, but don’t defend. Others will catch on and emulate your behaviour.

This approach reduces defensiveness, broadens thinking, and encourages people to look for solutions rather than problems


Research shows that people are unhappy in a job when they have no control over activities, and that work offering little variety or challenge has no intrinsic meaning. This undermines motivation and affects performance, leading to such problems as frustration, absenteeism and labour turnover.

Rewarding Successful Team Performance

Be certain to reward performance. Good intentions, activity, hustle and bustle, loyalty, and goodwill may be valuable, but they constitute inputs. Outputs count. When team members have accomplished what you have asked them to, reward them.

Reward soon after the accomplishment. Don’t wait. When people have done well and are feeling good about what they’ve done, reinforcing their success with a valued reward has great impact on the future actions.

Be specific about what you’re rewarding. Let them know what accomplishments you’re rewarding them for.

Be consistent. When you get the results you asked for, recognise the team’s success. Never take for granted that team members know how great your appreciation is.





Feedback: Rating The Leader’s Effectiveness We will give the following statements ratings of between 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest (least effective) and 5 being the highest (most effective)




Feedback to be made directly available to the worker


Copies of daily production/sales reports will now be distributed to each worker involved.

Introduce new/more advanced tasks not previously handled



In addition to only the check for tightness, how would you like to take control of that entire quality check for the component?

Remove constraints and controls, while retaining accountability



I’ll leave the job up to you, but I need results by lunchtime

Assign specific and specialised tasks to enable people to become experts




Kate, you’re good at figures and you know the business, could you check and report back on the individual branch budgets?

In a group, discuss the importance of praise and personal recognition. Note at least four examples where praise and recognition had a positive effect in your life and inspired you to try even harder.

Discuss how to develop a system to use in order ensure that team members are praised and their efforts recognized.



Leading is stating objectives in a way that is precisely understood, ensuring the commitment of individuals to those objectives, defining the methods of measurement and then providing the impetus to get things done. – Philip B Crosby.

For any team leader to effectively lead a team, s/he has to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the team. This is done by analysing the performance of the team.

The strengths and weaknesses of individual team members also have to be analysed, based on their individual performance, contribution to the team effort, commitment towards the team goals, attitude towards other team members, etc.

In team interactions there will be situations that cause concern or dissent in a group. Do not ignore these situations, analyse them, do a problem-solving exercise with the other team members in order to sort out the situation.

Then there will also be positive situations in team activities and these should also not be ignored. These should also by analysed to ascertain the causes and consequences of the situation, so that these positive situations can be repeated.

Components of leadership

Authority & power

It is the right to command and/or give instructions to subordinates. Managers have the right to perform certain actions according to specific guidelines, – the manager has the right to say who does what in his department. In reality, authority centres with top management, but this authority is delegated to middle and junior managers.


It is the process of subdividing tasks and passing a smaller part of it to a subordinate, along with the authority required to actually do the job.

The general manager of a transport operation will appoint an operations manager to manage the operations of the company. This will authorise the operations manager to delegate some of his tasks and authority to dispatchers, controllers, etc., who in turn will manage the drivers and conductors.

Likewise, a workshop manager will manage activities in the workshop, once again passing on some of his duties and responsibilities to the mechanics, who will then again delegate some work to assistants, cleaners, etc.

Depending on the size of the operation, there could also be a financial manager, human resources manager, admin manager, each in turn delegating tasks, and responsibility, to subordinates in their department.

Why Is Leadership Important?

You can buy someone’s physical presence, but you cannot buy loyalty, enthusiasm or devotion. These you must earn. Successful organisations have leaders who focus on the future rather than cling to the past. Leaders bring out the best in people. They spend time developing people into leaders.

Manager vs. Leader

Leadership is a part of the management function. Management has a much broader scope than leadership – in other words, a manager has to do more than just be a leader.

A good leader should possess the courage to accept responsibility and can probably infuse the same into those around him.

Leaders have to motivate their subordinates to do the work to the best of their abilities day after day. There are many theories regarding motivation, however it is agreed that people work to fulfil needs.

Needs are motivation. The supervisor who wishes to motivate his people must be aware of each person’s individual needs. There are two basic types of needs – innate needs and acquired needs.

Innate needs

Innate needs are also called primary or inborn needs. These are the need to eat, sleep, drink water, be safe, etc. Generally speaking, they are not conditioned by experience. Therefore, there is not much a supervisor can do to satisfy these needs.

Acquired needs

These needs are also called secondary needs. These needs, unlike the innate needs, are dependent upon experience. That is, they are learned (or acquired) needs.

This would include the need to drive to work in your own car, rather than making use of public transport, the need to dress expensively, the need to own a house with a pool, etc. These needs vary from person to person.

Part of the leading function of a manager is to find out what motivates his subordinates. An employee can easily sense when his boss disapproves of him. If a manager makes it clear by his attitude and actions, that he dislikes one of his people, this will cause anxiety, tension and frustration in that person. This is called management by expectation.

On the other hand, if the supervisor makes it clear by his attitude and actions that he is willing to help his people, that group will become motivated.

Effective managers are those who have made a commitment to improve their ability to influence and to motivate others. By being expressive and supportive, they make room for their own humanity, continuing to learn and grow along with the people they work with. They do not always do things perfectly, but they do things! They do not always say profound things, but they say something! They can laugh and be serious, be inconsistent and still know how to follow through on important priorities. They can be firm and, at times, flexible, and are able to be effective and realistic.

Never let the freedom and challenge to grow become an obligation to be perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect leader!

The Roles And Responsibilities Of A Leader

The job of a leader is to get the required results by employing these three key areas of leadership:

Achieving the task.

Building the team.

Developing individuals.

The leader’s skills in achieving the required results through the group are matched by his skills in managing the hostilities and anxieties of individuals and of the group.

This is the work the supervisor has to perform to be a successful leader. These skills are not inborn attributes or traits. They are skills that can be recognised, practised and developed.

Attributes of a leader

If you wish to be a successful leader, the following attributes should stand you in good stead:


Usually slightly higher than that of his subordinates. It is interesting to note that when the leader’s intelligence is excessively higher than that of his people, he often fails as a leader.

If a qualified civil engineer had to supervise the digging of a small garden, it would, for him, be just as exciting as watching paint drying on a wall. On intellectual level the engineer and the gardener are worlds apart.

Social Sensitivity

This simply means the ability to relate to other people. The leader should be “accessible” to his followers. He has to mingle and communicate with subordinates to keep in touch with them.

As far as he can, he should find out as much as possible about his team members. Know what their aspirations are, what motivates them, as well as what problems they might encounter, like domestic issues, financial difficulty, illness in the family, etc. Be sensitive to these issues and show empathy.

Social Participation

Participation in team activities outside of the working situation, like attending a sports event as a team will strengthen the bonds in the team and cultivate trust and team spirit. The leader will no longer be seen as “untouchable”, but as a partner who is an integral part of the team.

Communication skills

Effective communication skills are essential for successful leadership. The successful application of the abovementioned attributes totally depend on the efficiency of communication.

If the leader subscribes to an open door policy, and is fair, yet strict, his subordinates will feel free to communicate openly and honestly with him, knowing that they can trust him to treat them with empathy, yet objectively.

In addition to the abovementioned characteristics, the following attributes are also important:

The ability to stimulate enthusiasm.

Maintain a consistent level of expectation.

Recognition of performance.

Willingness to listen to new ideas.

Sensitivity and empathy towards staff.

Authority, responsibility, and accountability

A good leader is responsible, accountable and has authority

Authority – formal and legitimate right of a manager to make decisions, issue orders, and allocate resources to achieve organisationally desired outcomes.

Responsibility – duty to perform the task or activity an employee has been assigned

Accountability – the fact that the people with authority and responsibility are subject to reporting and justifying task outcomes to those above them in the chain of command



What Is A Team?

The most distinguishing characteristic of a team is that its members have, as their highest priority, the accomplishment of team goals.

To them, the most important business at hand is the success of the group in reaching the goal that its members, collectively and with one voice, have set. The members support one another, collaborate freely, and communicate openly and clearly with one another.

Groups on the other hand, tend to be collections of personalities with their own agendas.

Discussions and relationships in such groups are often characterised by shifting agendas, power subgroups, a going along with decisions rather than a wholehearted commitment, and even a win – lose orientation. One person or subgroup gains its wishes over another.

The Structure Of Teams

Teams are usually small, consisting of between five and twelve members. If a team has more than twelve members, the manager should think about breaking the team into two sub-teams.

Team members share leadership and responsibility. Role allocation is important. A sport team, such as Bafana Bafana, will have players with different personalities and preferences. A winning team needs a variety of skills: strong forwards, good defenders in the back line, fast attackers and a goalkeeper with safe hands. You can see that the goal is the performance of the team as a whole and not individual performances by the players. This can mean that the best attacker is left out of the team because his approach is too selfish and individualistic for the team to be successful. Team members can work well together if the manager matches individual preferences to the demands of team work.

As can be seen from the example above, a team needs a variety of skills. In the workplace these skills are: technical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills. Technical skills have to do with the actual work that has to be performed, while interpersonal skills have to do with how team members work together. Conceptual skills have to do with how members understand and interpret things in the team: the goals, the timelines, the budget, how to achieve the goals, etc.

The team leadership will be determined by the specific purpose and goals of the team. By rotating and sharing leadership the team benefits through participation by all team members. Sharing and rotating leadership also facilitates the best learning opportunities for team members. Functional tasks are distributed among team members over a period of time, thus giving every member the opportunity to practice leadership. Sharing leadership makes a lot of sense and should be a part of our daily existence: in our homes, schools, with our friends and also at work.

Team members are usually rewarded for their performance individually and as a team.

Your responsibilities as a team member

When you are working in a team each team member has to commit to the following in order to ensure the team functions effectively:

Commit to work together in a team

Commit to the goals and purposes of a team, find your place in the team so that you can also feel you belong.

Ensure that all team members are travelling in the same direction – working towards the same goals and purposes.

Take turns doing the hard jobs, it will benefit the team in the long run and therefore also benefit individual team members.

Encourage, support and praise each other.

Stand by each other and help each other in times of need.

Support the team: the members of the team and the goals of the team.

Remember that, to the outside world, you represent your team, so always represent your team well. When you hear about an athlete or member of a sport team that has misbehaved, it affects the way you on the outside view the team. This is also true of teams in the workplace.

Be accountable for the actions of the team and the accomplishment of the team’s goals. In a soccer team, every member of the team has the responsibility to prevent the other side from scoring a goal. Similarly, every member of the team has the responsibility of helping their side to score a goal. In the workplace, this commitment is expected of every member of a team.

This means that you, as a team member, have to make sure that you support the team and the goals of the team. If you dislike one member of the team or disagree with the goals, YOU have to overcome your resistance for the greater good of the team.

Individual contributions to the team

Not SupportedAs a team member, you have certain responsibilities, as does each and every team member. This means that your contribution to the team effort should include the following:

Support The Decisions Made By The Group If you don’t agree, you have to find a way to support the decision, you have to make peace with the decision and go along with the rest of the group. By doing this, you will contribute to the success of the group and be able to share in the credit of the group’s success.

Accept that you are part of a team and that the team needs your support and cooperation for the team to be successful and reach the objectives that were set to the team.

What do you think happens to a soccer or athletic team if they all don’t work together and support each other? In the 2006 Commonwealth Games there was an excellent example of teamwork: the participants in the Discus and Javelin events the two competitors enrolled for the other one’s event in order to support each other. Athlete A’s strong point was actually the javelin, but he enrolled for the discus event as well, to support his fellow athlete, and vice versa. I call that excellent team spirit.

Did you notice how the rugby team supports the cricket team by attending their games and the cricket team does the same? Did you watch cricket the day that the producers and cast of the movie Tsotsi thrilled everyone by attending the cricket and then, during lunch time, paraded with the Oscar that the movie won? Wasn’t that wonderful?

That is what team spirit is about and in the end all of us were winners. We accomplish so much in this country when we work together, support each other and, when we win something, share it with everyone.

On the downside, if the team makes a bad decision or encounters problems, it is your duty to support the team in the efforts of sorting out the problem. The team as a whole must get involved in all the good things that happen in a team, but they must also work as a team to sort out and solve problems.

When a soccer or cricket player does not arrive for practice, his negative action impacts on the whole team. The team cannot practice and prepare for games properly if all the team members do not cooperate fully and the results can be seen in the way the games are played and lost.

You owe it to your team to give your full support, to take joint responsibility for the team’s successes and failures.

Team Rules

Another duty that every team member has is to abide by the rules set by the team. These rules should include:

Rules for the behaviour of team members

Not SupportedGuidelines regarding the carrying out of duties: every team member has to know how they should complete their duties, by when it should be completed and what the resources will be to assist the member in the completion of the duties.

Team members should know what the parameters are within which they are to perform their duties: what are their responsibilities and what will they be held accountable for, what can they do on their own and which tasks will need assistance, information or inputs from outside sources.

When team members are unsure of exactly what is required of them, who can they go to help them clarify these issues?

All team rules, responsibilities and duties must be in accordance with the objectives set to the team. This sounds silly, but a soccer team must work together as a team in order to score goals to win the game. Each player in that team has certain duties and responsibilities and they have to know exactly what is expected of them. It is not the goalie’s duty to start the game by kicking off from the centre line, it is also not the duty of the goal scorer to arrange eats and drinks for the party afterwards, etc. Someone else who is not involved in the game can surely arrange the snacks for the party after the game.

Create A Positive Working Environment

The Lesson Of The Geese



Every year, just before winter, the geese in the northern hemisphere fly south for the winter. They always fly in a V-formation and scientists have discovered the reason why they fly this way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V-formation, the flock adds at least 71% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

When we apply this to teamwork, we can say that people who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.


Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and it quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

There is strength, power and safety in numbers when travelling in the same direction as others with whom we share a common goal.


When the goose in the lead gets tired, it rotates back in the formation and another goose flies in front.

It is worthwhile taking turns doing the hard jobs.


The geese from behind honk to encourage those in the front to keep their speed.

We all need to be encouraged with active support and praise.


When a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect. They stay with the goose unitl the problem is resolved and then they fly out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.

We must stand by each other and help each other in times of need.

(Source: Lussier, RN. 1997, Management: concepts, Applications, Skill Development. Cincinnati, OH: South Western,pp418-419)

Your future is linked to that of the company

What is the impact on our lives when:-

Things go wrong for the company

Things go right for the company

It is the same as being in a boat. We sink and swim together.

We may have different duties but we should all have the same purpose and the same destination.

Participate In Team Decision Making

When you are a member of a team or a group, your participation in discussions and decision-making is valuable.

Every team member is responsible for:

Generating ideas,

Collecting information

Giving opinions

Making recommendations

Process of making decisions

Whatever the method of decision-making that your team adopts, all the members have to ensure that the process of decision-making is followed:

Define the problem

Examine the facts

Select the optimum decision

Formulate the decision

Communicate the decision

Evaluate outcome

Each team member has a role to play during the decision making process and the implementation of the decision:

Some team members will be responsible for collecting information. Ensure that the information you collect is as complete as possible and that the information is relevant to the decision that has to be made. Remember that an informed, good and effective decision can only be made if all the information is available.

Every team member should make a contribution towards the making of a decision: your ideas, recommendations, and any extra information you may have can contribute to the team making a good decision.

Make sure that your opinions are objective: do not let your personal feelings about a person or a subject influence your decision. For example, just because you do not like a person does not give you the right to disagree or to vote against that person’s opinion. Similarly, just because you do not like an idea, does not mean that it will not work. You owe it to the team to put personal prejudices to one side when contributing to team work.

Positive working environment

What we can learn from the geese and the other notes about teams and teamwork is that the team leader, as well as individual team members, can create a positive working environment by:

Ensuring that all the team members share a common direction and sense of community – that they feel as if they belong

Taking turns doing the hard jobs.

Encouraging each other with active support and praise.

Standing by each other and help each other in times of need.

Realising that we may have different duties but we should all have the same purpose and the same destination

Making sure that everyone is part of the decision-making process

Supporting the decisions made by the group, even if we don’t always agree with it

Commit to work together in a team

Commit to the goals and purposes of a team

Support the team: the members of the team and the goals of the team.

Be accountable for the actions of the team and the accomplishment of the team’s goals

Support Systems

In the workplace, teams are always a part of the organisation, so there are support systems in the organisation if the team runs into problems that cannot be solved by the team itself. If the problem is raw material, for example, the purchasing department, stores or even the suppliers can offer their expertise to help the team. This is also true of administration, finance, training or any other kind of problem. In fact, the entire organisation structure, from the employees in the organisation to the management of the organisation can lend support to a team.

The team leader has to realise that there is a problem that cannot be solved in the team itself and seek support and help outside the team. This will usually be done in the form of meetings with the other departments or management in order to discuss the problem and select the optimum solution.

The most important factor is for the team to realise in time that they need support from outside the team, so that the problem does not escalate so far that it reflects on the team’s performance.

Groups in Organisations

Groups are the backbone of the organisation. They are responsible for attaining the goals of different departments and in the end they achieve the organisations goals. Managers are evaluated on the performance of their department as a whole and not in the results of individuals. Managers spend about 50-90% of their time as part of groups and it is important to know a little bit more about them.

A group may be defined as:

In the broadest sense, a group may be defined as any collection of individuals who have mutually dependent relationships. This includes individuals who are in close physical proximity as well as those who have only a psychological attachment. While each group exhibits different behaviors, they do have much in common.’

Gray and Starke (1984:438)


Why are groups formed?

Mullins provides the following reasons for this question:

Certain tasks can only be performed by a group of individuals working together.

Groups may share unpleasant tasks between members, and so give individuals the opportunity to be innovative and creative.

Groups provide companionship and a source of mutual understanding.

Members of the group feel that they belong somewhere.

The group provides guidelines for acceptable behaviour.

The group may provide protection for its members.

Effective groups have following characteristics:

The group knows why it is in existence.

Guidelines /procedures for decision making is in place

Communication between group members exists.

Group members receive and give assistance to other group members.

The group members give and receive mutual assistance

Members handle conflict in the group in a constructive manner.

The group members diagnose their processes and improve their functioning.

Group Roles




I don’t want to catch you coming in late again.

There seems to be a threat implied here. Not good leadership. It gets a low rating of 1 or 2 at best.


Peter, come into my office please. I’ve noticed that you are often late. Let’s talk about it.

The supervisor may still appear to be somewhat defensive. However, he is facing the situation openly, without prejudging it. This would rate a higher rating, 4 or even 5.


Late again, huh?

This kind of off-handed sarcasm rates not more than 2 at the very best.



If you two don’t settle your differences and quieten down, I’ll fire you both.

Again not more than 2 for this heavy handed approach.



This bickering has got to stop. I want to see you both in my office at lunchtime.

This supervisor seems a little impatient. And why wait until lunchtime? Why not handle the problem right then? Rate a 1 or 2 at the very most here.


While you’re here Pete, I have noticed a strained relationship between you and George. Do you want to talk about it?

This could have been rated a 5, except for the question ‘Do you want to talk about it? What will the supervisor do if Pete says ‘No, I’d rather not’?


Come in, George. There seems to be an unusually high number of errors from your department. Is there something wrong?

This positive approach and genuine concern rates a 5.


You did an excellent job on the Pretorius job.

If the supervisor really means it, it rates a 5! Genuine praise is always good leadership.


I am surprised to see how well you did.

Whatever the implication, it rates no more than a 3.




Formal and informal groups in organisations

Formal groups

In a formal group the goals and activities are directed to achieve the organisational goals.

Formal groups are part of the organisational process.

Formal groups include departments, sections, task groups, committees etc.

Informal groups

Here groups develop to satisfy the needs of its members.

The aim of the informal group is or not necessarily the same as that of the organisation.

An informal group may be e.g. a group of employees that have a common interest in running and then group together in an informal (friendship) group.

An informal group may influence the organisations functioning, e.g. if a group of employees build up resistance to a certain manager.

Functions different groups in organisations

Types of groups in the organisation according to Sayles (1957)

Group leadership

A group leader is not necessarily the one that has been appointed by the organisation. A group may informally appoint a leader to act on their behalf.

The history of the group

A group needs to move through various stages to be a secure well-established group.

Interaction in the group

A group may have the result that group members in the group forge special bonds like friendship between members.

A group may also react negatively to e.g. their group leader.

Group norms

A norm is an accepted standard that each member in the group is expected to abide by. Robins defines a norm as ‘ acceptable standards of behaviour in a group that are shared by the groups members.’

The impact of group norms on group behaviour

The information that is available to us on the impact of group norms on behaviour is mainly taken from the Hawthorne studies done in America. In this study it was shown that showing interest in a group of employees would increase their performance standards.


The difference between a group and a team

A group has a clear leader and consists of two or more members who perform independent jobs with individual accountability, evaluation and rewards.

A team has a small number of members with shared leadership and its members perform inter-dependant jobs with individual and group accountability, evaluation and rewards.

Differences between groups and teams

Source: Management principles: Smit and Cronje


As can be seen in the diagram organisations with a definite, rigid structure and clear lines of authority consist mainly of groups. There is a definite hierarchy. As groups workers work on one part of the product and then pass it on to the next person.

Nowadays people are re-engineering the process. Teams make the entire product, not just a part of it. Teams are usually small, consisting of between five and twelve members. They share leadership, job responsibility and are rewarded for both individual and group performance.

Groups versus Teams

We have all had at least one experience of being part of a group. Sadly, we aren’t all able to share glowing encounters about how wonderful it was to work in a group. In fact, some people have had such horrific group experiences that the idea of instituting group work in a more formalised way sends nervous shivers down their spine. Then, on the other hand, others would propagate group work as an ideal method to get work done effectively and efficiently. How is it possible for people to perceive group work in such polarised ways?

This session is dedicated to unlocking the factors to why certain people have such wonderful experiences of groups, yet others have terrible experiences of working in groups, even when the conditions of group work are similar in both cases. Or to put it in another way, how is it possible for one group to be high performing and produce dramatic results, whilst another group with the same number of people, doing a similar task with similar resources, is under-performing?

“Group behaviour has ranged from total chaos to dramatic success, but it is increasingly evident that groups enjoy their greatest success when they become more productive units called teams”. (Maddux: 1996:10)


The above quotation provides a clue to address partly the enigma of the factors and conditions that render groups effective.

The notion of teams is central to discovering why certain groups are successful and why others are not. Maddux defines a team as a group which becomes a more productive unit. The familiar saying of ‘a team is greater than the sum of all its individual parts’ echoes similar sentiments about a team being different to a group, because a team is able to yield far greater results than a group.

Maddux (1996:10) outlines the differences between groups and teams in the table below:


A formal group

In a formal group the goals and activities are directed to achieve the organisational goals.

Formal groups are part of the organisational process.

Formal groups include departments, sections, task groups, committees etc

A informal group

Here groups develop to satisfy the needs of its members.

The aim of the informal group is or not necessarily the same as that of the organisation.

An informal group may be e.g. a group of employees that have a common interest in running and then group together in an informal (friendship) group.

An informal group may influence the organisations functioning, e.g. if a group of employees build up resistance to a certain manager

A command group

The level of the employee on the organisational chart indicates this command. The higher the employee on the chart, the higher the level of command.

A task group

This is a formal group created for a reason. The group may be formed to do a special team like designing a new corporate uniform.

A interest group

This may be a formal or informal group. E.G a group of employees that get together after work to play pool is informal.


Teams are therefore

United around a common purpose and goal

Depend on each other to achieve this purpose and/or goal

Structured to work together in synergy

Empowered to implement decisions

Jointly responsible for the outcome of the task

Pokras, S. (1995) Building High Performing Teams. London: Kogan Page.

Developing groups into teams

As explained earlier there is a difference between groups and teams. The trend in South Africa is toward the development of teams in the organisation rather than groups. There are several reasons for this development.

It is a team and not a group that empowers people in the modern organisation.

Teams are more productive than groups

Modern management approaches are reliant on the team and not the group

Teams are more flexible and can respond to changes easier than the group.

Managers cannot just expect employees to work together in a team. They need to be trained to work in a team. It must also be remembered that the management functions are handled differently in groups and in teams so it may take a while to adjust.

When developing groups, members need to be aware of the following:

Different types of teams,

How to create high performance teams,

How to change individuals in to team players,

Management functions and teams.

Different types of teams:

Problem solving teams:

This team is made up of members who work together and meet once a week to discuss improving quality, efficiency and the working environment.

The team may suggest solutions but it does not have the authority to implement the changes themselves.

Self-managed work teams:

These teams function autonomously (they have full control of themselves). And they take full responsibility for the outcomes.

The management tasks become a team effort. These work teams can employ people, authorise purchases, evaluate each other’s performance etc.

The structure of the organisation will have to change drastically if the self-managed team is to be implemented. Structure changes would include things like:

A flattening of the organisational structure,

Distributing performance related information to employees,

Training and development,

Eliminating status differences,

Rewarding for performance and skills and

Creating conditions for employee empowering.

Cross-functional teams:

This team is made up of people on the same level as themselves (e.g. marketing manager, financial manager, HR manager etc. This team is suitable in situations where the problems are complex and expert advice is needed as well as specialists with diverse backgrounds.

Characteristics of effective and ineffective teams




Members think that they are grouped together for administrative purposes only. Individuals work independently, sometimes at cross-purposes with others.

Members recognise their interdependence and understand both personal and team goals are best accomplished with mutual support. Time is not wasted struggling over territory or seeking personal gain at the expense of others.

Members tend to focus on themselves because they are not sufficiently involved in planning the unit’s objectives. They approach their job as simply hired hands.

Members feel a sense of ownership for their jobs and unit because they are committed to goals they have helped to establish.

Members are told what to do rather than being asked what the best approach would be. Suggestions are not encouraged.

Members contribute to the organisation’s success by applying their unique talent and knowledge to team objectives.

Members distrust the motives of colleagues because they do not understand the role of other members. Differences in opinion or disagreement are considered as divisive.

Members working in a climate of trust and are encouraged to express openly ideas, opinions, disagreement and feelings. Questions are welcomed.

Members are so cautious about what they say, as they believe real understanding is not possible. Game playing may occur and communication traps be set to catch the unwary.

Members practise open and honest communication. They make an effort to understand each other’s point of view.

Members may receive good training but are limited in applying it to the job by the supervisor or other group members.

Members are encouraged to develop skills and apply what they learn on the job. They receive the support of the team.

Members find themselves in conflict situations which they do not know how to resolve. Their supervisor may put off intervention until serious damage is done.

Members recognise conflict is a normal aspect of human interaction but they view such situations as an opportunity for new ideas and creativity. They work to resolve conflict quickly and constructively.

Members may or may not participate in decisions affecting the team. Conformity often appears more important than positive results.

Members participate in decisions affecting the team but understand their leader must make a final ruling whenever the team cannot decide, or when an emergency exists. Positive results, not conformity, are the goal.


The Six C’s

The 6 C model shows how groups work as compared to a team. The first three 3Cs will show the attitude of workers who are not in a team, and the last 3Cs will show the benefits of having a team.


Effective teams

Ineffective teams

1. Information

Flows freely up and down

Flows mainly down

Full sharing, open and honest

Hoarded, withheld


Used to build power

2. People relationships

Trusting, Respectful

Suspicious and partisan






Regarded as natural And helpful

Frowned on and avoided



4. Decisions

By consensus

Forcing and emphasis on power

Full commitment

confusion and dissonance

5.Power Base

Shared by team


On competence

on politicking, alliances

6. Motivation

Commitment to the team goals

Coercion and pressure


For people to work together as a team they need to trust each other, and in order for us to grow as a team we need to trust each other, trust is a very important component in a team.








For this trust to grow each person has to go through a thorough scrutiny by other members of the team before complete acceptance. Just like any other relationship, it takes time for people to completely trust you.

Trust Continuum

Not SupportedConditional

“If you do this, then I will see what happens”


“Only as long as I can see what you are doing I will be OK”


“I tried and you came through, I am willing to trust you”


“I trust you completely… if you say it I believe it is true.”

In each stage there are conditions, as trust grows, the conditions decrease.

Stages Of Team Development

There are four stages in developing a team, Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Sometimes a team starts well but then something goes wrong, someone resigns, or another person joins the team and the team has to start from the beginning.

You might find that the team may go all the way to Norming and something happens and they have to go back to forming. In an ideal situation the four stages will work very well.





WE – Ness

Coercion – Confrontation – Coexistence

Co-operation – Collaboration – Co-ownership

Characteristics in “US versus THEM” Mentality – blaming people for their situations

When individuals decide to focus on WIN – WIN relationship.


People use coercive tactics of control and power to accomplish their goals. Force and threats are common.


One person will help another person to accomplish their goal


The disagreements are more open, the goal is to win and to make sure the “enemy” loses


People share ideas, resources and responsibility.


Agree to disagree, draw up boundaries, and minimise contact.


Success leads to feelings of co – ownership. Commitment as the end results is evident.



Where to start

Establish measurements: what gets measured gets done.

Commit to vision: A man’s reach should exceed his grasp

There are no short cuts: It begins with participation and requires an attitude shift

Behaviour change precedes attitude change

Identify what you are doing now

Plan changes deliberately

Do it

Get reinforcement

Reflect on your successes

Take credit. Celebrate your achievements


As a team member you have to be committed to the team’s efforts, if the team is to be effective.

Commitment is:

Staking your reputation on the planned action

No lingering doubts

No looking back

No contrary thoughts

You should expect to win

Nothing should be left undone

If it’s to be done it must start with me

You should be passionate about the outcomes

You should have intensive loyalty

When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality.

Identify own strengths and areas for development

Analyse yourself

You are responsible for managing your life and one of the most important tools you can use is to set objectives. As we can see, there are many things which make us what we are. As an adult, we have to make choices. We have to be responsible for ourselves and the people we care about.








Personal Development Plan

The first thing you have to do is set goals.

Are you where you want to be?

Do you know what your hopes, dreams and wishes are? Are you satisfied that you have goals and are working towards achieving them?

What do you want?

Effective goal setting is necessary for success and achieving excellence. It involves deciding exactly

what you want

when you want it and

focusing on steps to achieve your goal.


My hopes, dreams and wishes….






Dependency on the leader

Orientate the group to the what, when, how, why, where, etc.

Develop ground rules


Personal and

inter-personal conflict

The group is still trying to get organised, quarrel over leadership, power struggles, authority and responsibly problems.

It is critical to refer back to the group norms and ground rules.


Cohesion, friendships, commitment

More data flow, information giving and receiving, greater exchange of ideas



Creativity, problem solving


Consider your work and private life by including as many of these areas as you wish:

Wealth / prosperity

Relationships – friends, family & colleagues



Spiritual / personal development

Leisure / Interests & hobbies / Travel




Skills & knowledge (technical e.g. work related and Personal for development in interpersonal skills)

Strengths And Areas Of Development Of Team



Motivation ‑ Hygiene Theory

What rewards do people seek in life? The answer is that they work to fulfil their needs. Therefore, the supervisor who wishes to motivate his people, must be aware of each person’s individual needs.

Now that we know how important human needs are in respect of motivation, let us have a closer look at these needs.

In 1959 Frederick Hertzberg set out to discover which factors in the work place affected a worker’s feelings about his job and his motivation to work. In an interview with two hundred workers from eleven different companies in Pittsburgh, USA, he asked only two questions:

What happened to make you feel good about your job?

What happened to make you feel bad about your job?


He discovered five factors, or needs, that people mentioned most often when they discussed feeling good about their jobs. He called these needs the motivators. They were:



The work itself



Hygiene Factors

He then identified the five factors that were most often mentioned when people discussed their bad feelings about their jobs. These are called the hygiene factors, or factors in the work environment:

Company policy or administration

Technical supervision


Interpersonal/Social relations

Working conditions.

As you can see, no factors appear on both lists. This shows that their good feelings about their work are completely different from their bad feelings. That is, they had absolutely no doubt between their likes and dislikes. This fact alone lent substance to the survey and helped to dispel any subjectivity.

The hygiene factors are rather fixed, as there is probably little a supervisor can do to change company policy and wages, etc. On the other hand, most of the motivation factors involve outcomes and needs that a supervisor can influence, and harness to motivate his people.

We have said that factors in the first group may be used for motivation by the supervisor. For example, provide people with a challenging job to satisfy their need for achievement, then provide the necessary reward for the work when successfully accomplished, to satisfy their need for recognition. Put them in charge of a small section, thus providing more responsibility and advancement prospects.

Herzberg calls the process by which motivators are included in the work situation, job enrichment and he sets certain guidelines for a successful programme of enrichment. His aim is to make the work so challenging and attractive to the worker that the task in itself is worth carrying out.

According to this theory, job enrichment is the key to self-motivation. The work itself, rather than remuneration, supervision or other environmental factors, is the key to satisfaction and motivation.









Expectancy Theory

There is another motivation theory that provides a universal key to what motivate people to be productive on the job. This is the Expectancy Theory.

It is simple and practical; and it works. The Expectancy Theory explains that people, given choices, choose the option that promises to give them the greatest reward.

In the simplest terms, when you have, say three choices, you will make the choice that you value the most. The theory applies to the career you select, the car you buy, the task you start the day with, what you order for lunch, where you go on vacation, and so on.

Rewards are very important to people at work. It’s a myth that most people work primary for money. Most people would say that they value interesting work, challenge, and advancement opportunities over money.

Actually – and this is an important consideration for managers – there are two areas in which people find value in their work:

the achievement of goals that they have set for themselves internally,

and the attainment of objectives that their managers provide them.

As motivators the internal rewards are probably more powerful. For most people, it’s very appealing to increase skills, competence, and knowledge so that they know they are better at what they do this year than they were last year.

As a team leader, you can take advantage of your team members’ internal reward drives if you can help them find a way to achieve their personal goals (such as a sense of achievement) through helping you achieve your organisational goals.

Some of your employees respond to being part of a group because they have high social needs. Psychologists term these Affiliation Needs. These people like to be part of a congenial, successful group, so they find increased motivation in being part of your team.

Prescription for Greater Motivation

You can build value into people’s work, and you can increase their expectation that they can be successful in attaining the rewards they want, by following these five steps based on expectancy.

Tell people what you expect them to do. On a regular, periodical basis, tell tam members what your goals are as well as your standards of performance.

Make the work valuable. When you can, assign people to the kinds of work they like and can do well – work they regard as valuable to them. Work that enables them to achieve their personal goals.

Make the work doable. Increase employees’ confidence that they can do what you expect by training, coaching, mentoring, listening, scheduling, providing resources.

Give feedback. When team members try to do what you expect, give them feedback on how well they are doing.

Reward successful performance. When team members have done what you asked them to do, reward them. This can be done through praise, recognition of work well done, monetary rewards, if possible, etc.

Group dynamics

Managers need to understand why individuals decide to get together and form a group before they can determine how to use the group in an efficient way. The main reasons for forming a group is proximity, attraction, goals and economics. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

The needs of members of the group

This is often the primary reason for the formation of groups. People join groups to satisfy their higher order needs. In order to satisfy their security needs people have to join a group. Groups give people a sense that they are not alone.

People feel less threatened as a group when dealing with management. New members in a group also rely on other members to help them to adjust. People also join groups as a form of self-realisation. They regard certain groups in the organisation as a status symbol.

Proximity and attraction

The way people interact with each other also leads to group formation. There are two important factors in personal interaction they are: proximity and attraction.

Proximity has to do with the physical distance between employees. People who share an office will more likely form groups with each other than people who do not share an office.

Attraction refers to how many people like each other. First impressions last. The physical appearance is very important. People consider height, mass, clothing; hair and skin colour as well as other hidden features. Very often people judge the person by their outward appearance and are “then placed in a box”.

Group goals

The goals of a group may also appeal to a person. A person could join a group to find out about a certain computer program. A new person may not have been informed about the goals of the group and will have to observe the rest of the group to find out what the goals are.


The members might think that they will derive a greater economic advantage by working in a group. If individuals are paid according to how productive they are as a group then they will join the group and try to be as productive as possible.

Trade unions are responsible for the well being of the workers that have a membership with them. The trade union will look after the employees’ benefits and well being. In an organisation where there is no trade union representation groups play a vital role in making sure of the well being of the employees. The larger the group the more “say” they have.

The various types of groups.

When managers design the organisational structure they do it in such a way that the groups within that structure achieve the goals that are set for the organisation. These groups are what you call the formal groups of the organisation. People become part of that group because they have a certain position in the organisation.

The command group: This group is made up of the manager and the people who report directly to him. One task group would be the senior matron and the three people who report directly to her.

The task group: This group is formed to carry out a specific task in the organisation. Once the job is done then the group disbands.

Command groups in an organisation

Source: Management principles, Smit and Cronje


A friendship group

Is a fairly permanent group and forms because of the friendships that develop between people in the organisation. These people enjoy each others company and usually share the same hobbies and interests.

Interest groups

These groups are less permanent than friendship groups and comes from the fact that some people have common interest. Female leaders might need to find support in a male dominated business world. An interest group will end when the interests of the members in the group change.

Stages of group development.

Groups go through four stages in their development. Managers must understand these phases because each phase needs a different management style.

Mutual acceptance

During this stage, members of the group exchange information about each other. Members try to find out more personal information. They test each other’s views on various topics. Issues that are directly related to the group can also be discussed.

Members do not know how to evaluate these opinions so it is unlikely to amount to much. If members of a group know each other already then this stage will be rather short. Before members of the group know each other there will be no trust.

During this stage people find out whom they can trust and whom they should be cautious of. The best leadership style during this phase is the autocratic style. The manager must spend time with the group and make sure that they understand the goals and objectives of the group, discuss the plans to achieve these objectives and so on.

Communication and decision making: once the group accepts and trusts one another they interact more openly. They are more open to other opinions and willing to come up with a mutual solution. The Structure of the group needs to be sorted out in this stage as well.

The best style of leadership in this stage is consultative leadership where the subordinates do the work but come to the manager for help. The leader needs to encourage his people to attain the stated objectives but he must also input from the group members to set the appropriate group structure.

Motivation and productivity

There is a definite shift from personal to group interests. There is co-operation rather than conflict. Members are motivated to perform their tasks creatively. Once the group members know how to do a job then they can be included in the decision making process.

Control and organisation

The group now works together productively to attain the objectives of the group. After consulting members of the group specific tasks are assigned to different people in the group based on the their particular strong points.

Group affiliation is important and group conformity is important at this stage. Group goals become more important than those of the individual. Control is maintained by punishing wrongdoers in various ways. Not all groups complete all stages although care must be taken to complete a stage fully otherwise the group will never develop its full potential.

Characteristics of the group

As the group develops certain characteristics begin to show themselves.

A specific structure begins to develop based on factors like knowledge, power and status. Those with more power and status will be higher up in the structure. The relationship between the positions held by members of the group forms the structure.

Status is based on position in the formal organisation but in the informal group it is based on anything appropriate (captain of the team etc.). Status and position are often used to mean the same thing. There are certain characteristics that distinguish one person from another. Status is given because people recognise these distinctions.

An example would be a baker who has been baking for twenty years. He may not be the supervisor but because of his experience he has a certain amount of status. People see him as the real leader.

Each member of the group has a specific role to play (The behaviour that is expected of the employee). It is the manager’s role to plan, organise, lead and control. He has to direct the activities of the organisation. That is his role. The role that the person plays shows what the person is responsible for in the organisation. A problem occurs with role conflict when these roles go against what the person’s beliefs, his attitudes and his needs at that time.

Intra-role conflict occurs when two people have different views/ expectations on the role. It becomes impossible to meet the other person’s expectations.

Inter-role conflict takes place when the person has many roles to fulfill and sometimes these roles clash.

Norms are the standards that are shared by the group. This develops over time as the group gets to know each other. These norms can be written, communicated verbally and even subconsciously shared by the group.

Leadership in the group is important in the group. The leader is the person, who motivates and directs the group, be it a formal group or an informal group.

Cohesiveness refers to the way in which the group stands together and acts as a unit. If the group has a special attraction to the individual then the individual will be more willing to fit in and act as a unit.

Conflict is not always a negative thing. By managing conflict the manager can expose the company’s weak points and develop its strengths.

Group Behaviours

It is suggested that the development of under-performing or moderately performing groups into high performing groups or teams is contingent on a number of complex and inter-related factors. The roles and behaviours of members in groups are two central factors which impact on groups becoming teams.

The behaviour of members in groups are different to the roles members play in groups. Group behaviours entail the unconscious or conscious behaviour of members in groups that can either enable or constrain a group process. An example of a group behaviour is being critical (where the member is critical of the content or process of discussion) or quiet (where the member does not participate much in the discussions), etc.

The role of the leader or facilitator is central to ensuring that these group behaviours are managed effectively.

Creating high performance teams

Managers must restrict the number of members in the team to less than 12.

A team needs different skills (technical, interpersonal and conceptual skills.) The right mix of these skills is essential.

Role allocation is also very important. The role must be allocated to benefit the team. Personal preferences cannot take precedence over that of the group.

Individual needs do need to be satisfied. When the teams needs and the needs of the employee are being met then the individual is the most motivated.

The team should have a clear vision that everybody shares. This vision should provide guidance under any and all conditions.

The purpose must be translated into specific, measurable and attainable goals.

Team members must be informed that they will be individually and jointly accountable for realising the team’s objectives.

The reward system should be based on performance. Increased performance should be reflected in the reward that is given.

Transforming individuals into team members

This could become difficult in South Africa. Many managers are white and are very individualistic and do not work well in a team. To introduce teams into this environment requires that the right people are selected for the job.

People with the interpersonal skills to be team players should be employed. Secondly those employees should be trained to be team players. The reward system must encourage co-operation rather than individualistic behaviour.

Teams and management functions

Teams and groups need clear goals; well-developed plans, effective decision making and relevant information but the management functions are handled in different ways.

A big difference between management and teams is who makes the decisions. In a team the manager must allow members to become involved in the planning function. Managers become more focused on involving all members.

When organising both groups and team members must have a clear understanding of authority. With groups the manager holds the authority. In teams the members have higher levels of authority.

With groups there is one clear leader whereas with teams there will be a specific leader but he shares the responsibility with other team members.

Controlling will be the responsibility of team members who are assigned the responsibility.

Management of team behaviours

Facilitation Skills

One of the greatest skills that you can acquire as a leader and manager is the ability to facilitate a group process. The word process is referred to as the interaction between people who are involved in an activity that requires an outcome, for example, a meeting, workshop, , learning group discussion, etc.

The individual who acquires the skill of facilitation will be able to assist groups or people out of deadlock situations and/or create an environment whereby people can generate solutions to problems. In other words, because the facilitator is aware of all the intangible and tangible processes in the group (that may obstruct or facilitate progress) she or he is in a position to enable the group to achieve their expected outcome.

Timel and Hope (1988) identified some of the skills that a facilitator can learn:

Observing what goes on in a group

Clearly identifying the main needs of a group

Learning ways of dealing with these needs

Applying and practising these skills in many different situations

Taking people’s feelings seriously

Listening to feedback about your behaviour as a facilitator and being open to changing it

The role of a facilitator

To provide a process which will help the group to discuss their content in the most satisfactory and productive way possible

In most cases the facilitator is neutral about the content of the meeting and has no stake in the decisions that are taken.

She/he is totally concerned about the process, not with the content.

She/he ensures that there is good communication in the group and that all the members are satisfied with and fully committed to the decisions taken.

Three levels to observe in groups and teams

Content – in order to get a grip of the content, ask some of the following questions: What is the group talking about? What is each person saying? Is the discussion related to the brief given? Are people raising conflicting points? What are the issues that people agree on? What is the line of argument?

Intangible behaviour or Non-verbal Expressions – note the feelings and reactions to the content i.e. the tone of voice, body language, facial expressions, order of speaking etc. Non-verbal communication helps us to get an insight into how people may be feeling. However we may be misguided in our interpretation. It is therefore important to test or check out the assumptions we make about the person e.g. “It appears as if you disagree with the point made Mandla, would you like to offer an alternative opinion?”

Tangible behaviour – it is in most cases easy to identify the behaviour and roles of group members e.g. people who dominate, remain quiet, or clown around. Moreover, these behaviours generally match the individual’s non-verbal expressions. So, even though the discussion may be of a “high quality,” one person could be dominating the entire process, leaving little or no opportunity for others to add or disagree. The end result will therefore be the product of one person, instead of the group’s contribution.


It is the role of the facilitator to understand the inter-relationship of these three levels i.e. understand clearly how the process affects the level of discussion of the content, and the commitment of the group to carry out the decisions made.

The role of the facilitator is to therefore provide the process which will help the group to discuss the content in the most satisfactory and productive way possible.

Management of Team Behaviours

Anticipate that members will perform one or more of the above mentioned group behaviours in any group situation. The facilitator or the group leader should ideally be the person who manages these group behaviours by ensuring that all team members perform a constructive role as opposed to a destructive role.

If you are a facilitator or find yourself in a group where the facilitator is struggling to manage the group behaviours effectively, support the facilitator by doing the following:


In order for teams to be high performing, all members should understand the purpose and goals of the team. A clear purpose assists members to know why they are part of the team, how everyone fits in to the bigger picture and ensures that the needs and objectives of the individual, team, organisation and tasks are aligned with each other.

The level of commitment and ownership will be higher the more involved team members are in co-developing the purpose and goals of the team.

A purpose therefore ensures that every member will be able to recognise the important contributions their actions have to the greater whole, regardless of whether they perceive their roles as ‘important’ or ‘insignificant’.

If the team has already developed its purpose, but members are not working in synergy, remind all the members of why they are there. If there is confusion regarding the purpose, clarify the reason for being together and the need to perform the task. Discuss and clarify the significant contribution that each member has in the successful completion of the task.

If the discussion is not progressing, remind all the members of the purpose of the task. Link the key points made by members to the purpose of the task.

Ground Rules

Establish ground rules to ensure that a conducive environment is created for constructive discussion and effective actions.

Ground rules should cover the following broad categories:

Values – the values that will govern the team, e.g. trust, honesty, respect, etc.

Processes – how issues will be discussed, how feedback will be given; how the meeting will be chaired; how decisions will be made, etc.

Responsibilities – the roles that people will perform, e.g. chair, scribe, etc. and what is expected of each role; who will take responsibility for the actions arising from the discussions, etc.

Communication – the way in which issues will be discussed, processes to resolve conflict, etc.

Logistics – time of meetings, venue, length of meeting, etc.

Management of Ground Rules – what will be the consequences of a member not respecting the ground rules, etc.

Effective Communication

Listen attentively to everyone’s opinions – regardless of whether you agree or disagree.

Allow people to express themselves freely, especially if they appear to be angry or upset. Remember if you suppress people from expressing themselves, they might remain quiet temporarily, but they might explode later on. For example, when you place a lid on a boiling pot the water will boil over.

Miscommunication can be prevented if you summarise, paraphrase, repeat or rephrase certain points.

Ask questions to elicit effective results, for example, ask closed ended questions if you want to reduce the amount of discussion, and ask open-ended questions when you want someone to contribute to the discussions.

The facilitator should instead attempt to direct the individual’s comments so that they add value to the discussions. You could say the following statements to address common communication problems brought about by group behaviours.


Implement An Action Plan

The previous steps in the planning process concerned the thought process. These ideas and goals, as well as the manner in which they are to be achieved must now be brought into operation and must be evaluated continuously.

Plans do not mysteriously activate themselves. You must put the plans into effect. One of the problems about planning is that too often the planners are not the doers. As a result, detailed plans running to hundreds of pages may do no more than gather dust.

Planning, no matter how carefully and painstakingly done, is useless and a waste of time without commitment and action.

Not SupportedThis means that you have to start doing the things that must be done according to the action plan, or see that the people who must do it, are doing it. This is the activating process. You have to communicate your goals and objectives to the people involved, you have to delegate roles and responsibilities and you have to coordinate the efforts of your staff and other sections or departments.

You also have to organise your resources:

Man: Human Resource

Material: the raw materials you need for production

Machinery: the equipment you will need in production or transport

Methods: the procedures and policies of the organisation

Money: the money available to do the job

Markets: the clients

Information: needed to make decision

Managing Resources

Resource management is a very important task of the team leader. In simple terms the successful management of an organisation implies the successful management of its resources.

Human resources

Human resources are probably the single most important resource in business today. People make things happen and can surely be viewed as the heart and nerve centre of any business.


Without money no business can operate and it is therefore essential to secure the necessary funds to start and operate a business.

Material and Machinery

When we talk about machines as a resource, we do not only mean the big drills, presses, cutting machines, we also mean all the tools that are used, like spanners, hammers, saws, screwdrivers, etc. Materials are also referred to as consumables, or things that are used up. This would include things like our raw materials such as wood (furniture), rolls of yarn (clothing), sheets or coils of steel (engineering) or sand (building), etc.

The supervisor usually entrusts his materials to the store for safekeeping and requisitions them out only when needed. The store’s job is to look after and keep track of all the materials.

Material and machinery are also called physical resources. Physical resources play a key role in the rendering of a service or the production of a particular product. In a transport operation, physical resources refer to premises, vehicles, operating equipment etc.

Machines must be maintained and serviced, materials should be safeguarded and stored correctly.

Methodologies, policies and procedures

Knowing how to do a job is a very important resource for everyone in the organisation. This operator’s manual is a significant resource for the small operator.


When information is not provided on time and accurately, informed decisions about a problem cannot be made. In the transport environment, information is also of strategic and management importance.


Once you have developed your action plan, you have to communicate the details of the plan to your fellow team members.

What has to be done,

By who it should be done,

By when it should be done

How it should be done

Which resources do they have available to do the job

It is important to note that you should not only communicate the details of the job to the employees, you must also advise them

How their jobs fit into the organisation,

How their jobs help the organisation to achieve it’s goals and objectives

And how their jobs relate to the organisation’s mission and vision statement, as well as that of the department.

When you communicate the action plan to your team members, you have to ensure that they understand exactly what they have to do.

Monitor Progress

Control is the process whereby management ensures that the work activities fit in with the goals and objectives.

If you have to control the work activities, it stands to reason that you have to know what you have to control – the specific work process, how you will know if the work is being done correctly and how you will know if there are errors in the work process.

During the planning process you did an action plan where you specified who does what, when it should be done, how it should be done, etc. During the control phase you have to make sure that everyone, including yourself, is doing what they are supposed to be doing, to the correct standard, in time, so that your team will meet the goals and objectives.

Everything you do at work is aimed at achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation. Top management makes strategic plans and middle and junior management have to implement tactical and operational plans in order to achieve the goals and objectives as set by top management in the strategic plans.

For example, the top management of a car manufacturer such as BMW or Nissan may have as part of the strategy of the company to produce 5000 Light Delivery Vehicles (bakkies) but it is up to the employees in the production line to actually ensure that 5000 LDV’s are produced for the year. Similarly, your organisation obtained a tender to provide, for example, public transport in the Gauteng area. Now it is up to middle and junior management to ensure that the public transport is delivered in terms of the tender, so that the goals and objectives of the organisation is met.

In effect, this means that when you develop an action plan for your section, you are operationalising that part of the strategic plan of the organisation that applies to your section or department.

Establish Standards Of Performance

The actual performance should be the same as the planned performance. So, the standards of performance are determined during the planning phase. The standards have to be realistic, attainable and measurable to ensure that the actual performance and the planned performance are the same.

I can compare this to baking a cake or planting mealies. If you have to bake a chocolate cake for a function, and you bake an orange flavoured cake instead, you have not performed according to the planned standards. The cake might be perfect, but a chocolate cake was required, not an orange flavoured cake. If you planned on planting mealies and you plant sunflower or peanuts instead, you have not performed according to the standards. The standards required you to plant mealies.

The purpose of control is to ensure that mistakes do not happen and, if they do happen, that you can recognise the error in time to do something about it.

You need to realise that you are baking the wrong cake before the cake has been baked and is ready for icing. You have to realise during the mixing of ingredients or the pouring of the mixture into the pans that you are doing the wrong thing.

The same principle applies with the planting of mealies – when you only realise at harvesting time that you have planted sunflowers and not mealies, it is a bit late. The sooner you realise you are doing something wrong, the better. This is the purpose of control.

Measure actual performance

The performance variables must be measurable against the standards of performance and they must be reliable. The methods of measuring performance must be specified and must take place at specific times during the work process.

In other words, when planting mealies you have to make sure that you have the right seeds before planting, you have to check what the plants look like at a certain height – do they look like mealies, etc. when baking a cake, who checks that the right ingredients are being used, who checks the colour of the batter, who tastes whether it taste like chocolate cake, and so on.

Evaluate Deviations

When there is a difference between the actual performance and the planned performance, the difference is analysed. What are the deviations, what caused them and what should I do to put it right?

You have now determined that you are baking an orange flavoured cake and not a chocolate cake. How did this happen, what systems can you put in place to ensure that it does not happen again and what can you do right now to remedy the situation?

You have to explore everything that could be responsible for the deviation during the evaluation process, to ensure that an error does not slip in again without you noticing. You also need to know all the causes of the error in order to work out a plan to take corrective action.

Take Corrective Action

This is the action you take to correct the difference between the standards of performance and the actual performance – how you are going to fix the problem so that it does not happen again.

What are you going to do with the batter of the orange flavoured cake: are you going to bake the cake and try to sell it to someone else, are you going to make fairy cakes (little cakes each in their own paper cup) out of the batter, are you going to add cocoa and sugar to the orange flavoured batter and sell it as an orange flavoured chocolate cake? What are you going to do in future to ensure that this does not happen again?

Once you have worked out the corrective action to be taken, you must implement the action and then start the control process all over again.



One of the most powerful tools used in an effective team relationship is the giving and receiving of feedback.

Its use is influenced by factors such as the personality profiles of both the mentor and learner, the quality of the relationship, the particular situation and the desired outcome.

Feedback is often used to give positive reinforcement to a learner when he has done something well. Positive feedback, usually in the form of praise and recognition, is a powerful motivator in the workplace.

The way in which you give positive feedback is quite different to how you would convey negative feedback. The following guidelines for giving positive and negative to a learner may be useful.

Emphasise the Positive

Determine strengths in the learner and develop those, hence building confidence, self-esteem, and motivation.

Everyone (even handicapped, disabled or disadvantaged) have strengths. Make sure they are “real” strengths though, and not fabricated ones.

Remove the effect of Weaknesses

Negativity should not be avoided. It should be faced head on, but with tact.

Identify problems, and with the student develop plans to fix the problems.

Remove pressure from the student. Give them all of the time they want. Show them that small steps forward can

reach the same final goal as big steps forward.

Use a Participative Style

In order to gain the learner’s commitment to accepting and reacting to feedback, it is better to use a participative style by asking the learner to summarise his strengths and weaknesses on the topic under review as suggested below.


Change specifically aimed at enrichment

Change aimed at increasing (motivators)

Remove some measures of control but maintain accountability

Responsibility and personal achievement

Increase the responsibility of the individual for his work

Responsibility and acknowledgement

Give one person a complete work unit

Responsibility, achievement and recognition

Delegate additional authority to individuals in their work (freedom)

Responsibility, achievement and recognition

Give important information to worker directly instead of via a supervisor

Recognition within the enterprise

Set new, more difficult tasks not done before

Grow and learn

Provide the opportunity for expertise by setting specialised tasks

Responsibility, growth and achievement


How To Give Effective Feedback

Make your feedback specific – related to behaviour

Consider your timing, either before the event in the form of advice, or immediately after as constructive (positive) feedback or reinforcement.

Consider the needs of the person receiving the feedback as well as why you are doing it. Are you “dumping” or genuinely attempting to improve performance or the relationship.

Focus on behaviour that can be improved.

Focus on the problem not the person.

Define the impact the performance/behaviour has on the team, the business, the individual.

Use I” rather than “you statements to reduce defensiveness.

Ensure clear communication has occurred.

Give feedback in a calm way, not allowing emotions to influence your language, tone or body language.




Invite the person to summarise his or her strengths.

Invite the person to summarise skills not currently performed well. Objective is to gain acknowledgement of areas where coaching is needed.

Clearly support the self-assessment of those you consider real strengths.

Clearly support the self-assessment of those you consider real.

Get further clarification on those behaviours you do not consider real strengths.

Get further clarification on those behaviours you do not consider real opportunities.

Identify other strengths that the person has overlooked. Cite specific examples.

Identify additional needs the person may have overlooked or avoided. Cite specific examples.


Receive feedback

A team leadedr’s ability to receive feedback is just as important to his or her success as giving it.

Listen carefully and clarify, where necessary.

Welcome the information as an opportunity to learn something.

Ask for honesty and openness.

Ask for specific examples.

Do not argue.

Do not get defensive.

Thank the other person for giving you feedback.

Give a commitment that you will reflect on it and take necessary corrective action.

Think about it seriously and act thereupon

Evaluate your reactions to feedback.


Performance Assessment

In order for an employee to succeed he must have feedback on his performance. In some companies this takes the form of an annual performance review. In other companies, unfortunately, it does not happen at all.

Regular feedback should be given on performance and when feedback is given regularly it becomes a major motivational tool.

Recap on the objectives set at your previous meeting

One needs to have something to talk about. Standards of Performance and Objectives are good building blocks in an ASSESSMENT interview.

Ask the employee to tell you how far he has progressed with his projects and give recognition for achievements

Ask the employee to give feedback rather than telling him how you think he has done. This will enable you to see where he puts his emphasis. Recognition is an extremely important motivational tool – avoid saying You have done well … But!!! .

Ask for and listen uncritically to his explanation of why the targets were not met

Listen openly. You may discover that there were some very real problems facing the employee. If you consider his answers superficial and indicative of laziness you may decide to employ the unsatisfactory performance frame at this point.

Ask for his suggestions for completing the projects.

He will be more committed if he suggests solutions to his own problems. It must be important for him to realize that the projects must be completed.

Tell him where you consider he can improve and express your confidence in his ability to succeed, building on strengths

Take care to build the individual rather than break him down. It is in your interests as a manager to see that he succeeds.

Together set new objectives and ask if there is anything else he would like to achieve

The key word here is together. You are discussing your employee’s job and his future, so he must be involved. By asking him if there is anything else he would like to achieve and you may discover areas of concern of which you were unaware.

Ensure employee’s acceptance of his objectives and standards of performance and agree on follow up dates

Before closing the interview ensure that you are both in accord with what has been discussed. If the employee has only paid lip service to what has been discussed the chances of him attempting to meet the objectives are very slight.

Evaluation sheet:

Manager’s name:

Employee’s name

Instruction:       Indicate whether the you followed the steps. If you think that any point was well handled or cold be improved upon, please make a few notes in theappropriate column.


Positive Feedback

Negative Feedback

Praise the learner immediately after the incident has occurred.

Do not evaluate the incident, be specific and descriptive about the problem.

Be sincere.

Encourage the learner to self – evaluate the problem.

Be specific about what he / she did right / well

Reprimand immediately after the incident has occurred or unacceptable behaviour shown.

Be clear about the effect it has had on you, the team or generally at the workplace.

Do not attack the learner’s personality.

Tell the learner how you feel about it.

Do not use threats or intimidatory tactics.

Pause so that the learner may respond.

Do not reprimand in front of others.

Encourage the learner to do more of the same if appropriate

Describe the effect the problem has had either on you, the team, or the workplace in general.

End discussion on a warm note.

Solicit commitment from the learner of the need to change the behaviour or resolve the problem.

Golden Rule:

Ensure that positive reinforcement is given to learners timeously (immediately after the praise- worthy action).

Seek a workable solution from the learner and jointly agree on the way forward.


Dealing with unacceptable performance

Unfortunately there will be times when an employee’s performance cannot be corrected at the coaching stage.

You will then find that you have to take corrective action.

This action must be appropriate to the occasion and within the constraints of labour legislation.

Not Supported
















This frame will help you to improve your subordinate’s inadequate performance and to correct their unacceptable personal work habits.

Many managers avoid such interviews with their staff because they hope that the situation will rectify itself. This rarely happens and the situation often deteriorates to the point of no return, namely resignation or dismissal. If you follow this frame it will help you handle the situation competently and without embarrassment.

Let us look at the major points.

Explain to the employee what you have observed and why it is unacceptable

Before calling in your subordinate, it is important that you have collected your facts and that you have compared his actual performance to what is required of him by yourself and the company. Ensure that you are dealing with specific problems and not reacting to the employee subjectively. When you call him in, explain what you have observed in a non-threatening manner.

Do not beat about the bush.

Explain how the observed behaviour falls short of the requirements of the job and why such a shortfall is unacceptable.

Ask for and listen openly to the reasons which the employee offers for his behaviour.

It is important that the employee feels that he is given every opportunity to explain himself.

This is vital as you may discover that the problem is not a disciplinary one at all.

It is essential that you ask open questions. These are questions that encourage him to speak, rather than limit his answer to yes or no.

Having asked your open questions, it is important to listen to his answers.

Do not pre-judge him but concentrate on his answers with an open mind and evaluate what he is saying.

If, after listening to his answer, you realize that the offence is so serious as to require action in terms of your company’s disciplinary code, inform him that an enquiry will have to be held.

Give him the time and place and inform him that he may bring a representative and any witnesses he may wish to call.

State your requirements and guide the employee to formulate his programme to meet these requirements

The point of this interview is to identify and rectify performance problems, it is therefore important to highlight the requirements of the job and to refocus the employees attention on them. It is not necessary to spend a lot of time dwelling on the past once the employee realizes his mistake. It is necessary, however, to concentrate on the future and help him design an action programme which will help meet the standards expected of him

Offer your help to the employee to meet the requirements

The employee may need help in liaising with more senior staff or in obtaining interdepartmental co-operation, such help if required should be given. It is important that he knows of your interest in his successful resolution of the problem and feels that he can come to you if he runs into trouble.

If applicable, indicate what disciplinary action will be taken, and why

The offence may be so serious as to warrant disciplinary action, should it occur again. Ensure that such action would be appropriate to the offence and in accordance with the company’s agreed disciplinary code. It is important to inform the employee if you intend to carry out disciplinary action should he not improve. The employee is thus fully aware of the possible consequences of his non-compliance.

Agree on the steps to be taken by each of you

It is essential that both of you are in agreement with the requirements, action plan and commitments discussed in the interview. This ensures that there are no misunderstandings which could give rise to a loophole for further non-performance.

One of the best ways to handle this point is to recap at the end of the session and to write down points agreed on, with both parties keeping a copy.


EXAMPLE of aPerformance Evaluation Sheet:

Evaluation sheet:

Manager’s name:

Employee’s name:

Instruction:     Indicate whether steps were followed by selecting Yes/No. If you think that any point was well handled or could be improved upon, make the necessary notes in the appropriate column.

The frame steps –did you:



Well- Handled

Could be improved

1. Recap on the objectives set at your previous meeting.





2. Ask the employee to tell you how far he has progressed with his projects and give recog-nition for achievements.





3. Ask for and listen uncritically to his explanation of why the targets were not met.





4. Ask for his suggestions for completing the projects.





5. Tell him where you consider he can improve and express your confidence in his ability to succeed, building on strengths.





7. Ensure employee’s acceptance of his objectives and standards of performance and agree on follow up dates.






The frame steps – did you:



Well- Handled

Could be improved

1. Explain to the employee what you have observed and why it is unacceptable.





2. Ask for and listen openly to the reasons which the employee offers for his behaviour.





3. State his requirements. Guide the employee to formulate his programme to meet these requirements.





4. Offer your help to the employee to meet these requirements.





5. Indicate what disciplinary action would be taken, and why.





6. Agree on the steps to be taken by each party.





September 28, 2015

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