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Please read through the article attached Team Empowerment: A Simple and Easy Solution and answer the following answers:1. summarise this article in 100 words. 2. discuss what you had learned from this article. (100-150 words)
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Team Empowerment:
A Simple and Easy Solution
QUEST survey
analyzes
strengths and
weaknesses;
leads
to remedies
and long-term
success.
by
Mary Ann
Smialek
T
EAM A IS IN A DILEMMA. IT CAN’T PINpoint why it is faltering. Its vision has
been set and its mission is defined. Key
processes have been mapped. Statistical
process controls have been employed.
Methods for measuring team performance have
been developed. Team members thought they had
all the bases covered, yet the team’s level of productivity and performance is still in question. The
group doesn’t know why, how, or where to begin
to get back on track. Team members don’t believe
that optimal performance is achievable for their
team, and they have not been able to pinpoint the
team’s strengths and weaknesses. What should the
team do next?
When looking for a solution to team problems,
it’s important to remember that every team is different. No one method will jump-start and adequately serve every team in every way. Teams are
different in physical, technical, educational, and
training makeup. Each team must find its own
recipe for success.
To maximize team performance each team must
know and capitalize on its strengths and overcome
its weaknesses. Simply wanting better team performance is not enough to create a successful
team. How can teams focus on their efforts and
desired results so that all members can recognize
their contributions?
Constant improvement, innovation, and integration of quality are needed at all organizational levels for all teams. This is the key to the team’s longterm plan for success.
The question is:
How does a team arrive at a successful conclusion
in a reasonable length of time? A resource is needed to help identify critical issues and weave solutions into the team’s structure. The sooner the
team’s needs are addressed, the sooner the team
will succeed.
The QUEST solution
The Quality Empowerment Survey for Teams
(QUEST) shown in Table 1 is a resource designed
to help teams pinpoint challenges to success and
capitalize on both individual member and team
strengths. The QUEST will clarify and remediate
any areas impeding team success. The key to this
diagnostic tool is that it is easy to use and interpret
(see Table 2). In a matter of minutes individual
member and team strengths and weaknesses are
evident. With this information each area of concern
can be broken into root causes that need corrective
action.
All organizations—whether health care, education, or business—can benefit from the diagnostic
and prescriptive properties of the QUEST to help
identify individual and team strengths as well as the
blind spots to team empowerment. It can help a team
expand its knowledge and understanding of team
interaction and effectiveness by fostering the skills,
strategies, and techniques needed to achieve team
empowerment. Without the skills, abilities, and
knowledge that such a resource can generate, teams
can remain stifled and unable to successfully tackle
problems and reach higher levels of performance.
With growing frequency, the team’s success will prove that principles such as
focusing on customers,
using data effectively,
improving processes,
and working cooperatively are no longer
just buzzwords;
they are fundamental to creating more effective
organizations.
/
Quality Progress September 1998
65
Table 1. Quality Empowerment Survey for Teams (QUEST)
Introduction
How empowered is your team? How empowered are you as an individual team member? Measure and analyze
your team’s strengths and your own individual strengths as a team member. Gather information for planning and
monitoring purposes to enhance shared decision making.
Survey Information
Name:______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Role on team:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Team goal: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Personal goal for being on this team: ____________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
4. Information
Directions
After each statement, please indicate your response by circling the
appropriate number, add numbers for each section, and record
total in appropriate box.
Strongly agree (SA)
Agree (A)
Disagree (D)
Strongly disagree (SD)
Undecided (U)
D SD U
1 2
3
4
5
Team members trust each other.
1 2
3
4
5
Our team is trusted by its peers.
1 2
3
4
5
Our team is respected by management.
1 2
3
4
5
I am encouraged to take risks.
1
2
3
4
5
Total Score
2. Recognition
3
4
5
Our team has all needed information to do its job.
1
2
3
4
5
Individuals are kept informed of what is going on
in our team.
1
2
3
4
5
Individuals are kept informed of what is going on
in the organization.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team knows how to get needed information.
1
2
3
4
5
SA A D SD U
SA A D SD U
Members are encouraged to speak out.
1
2
3
4
5
Adequate time is spent searching for
innovative solutions.
1
2
3
4
5
Members use win-win techniques.
1
2
3
4
5
Decisions are not evaluated without being
fully discussed.
1
2
3
4
5
Solutions are not evaluated without being
fully discussed.
1
2
3
4
5
Total Score
6. Resources
SA A D SD U
Our team receives needed resources on time.
1 2
3
4
5
The members of our team have all the necessary
technical skills.
1
2
3
4
5
I am recognized for my contributions to our team.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team expects the best from each member.
1 2
3
4
5
The members of our team have all the necessary
team skills.
1 2
3
4
5
Management recognizes individual efforts.
1
2
3
4
5
Priorities are consistently clear.
1 2
3
4
5
Management recognizes our team efforts.
1 2
3
4
5
Our organization recognizes people for their
ability, not for who they know.
Management support is clearly available
when needed.
1
3
4
5
1
3
4
5
2
Total Score
3. Team communications
2
Total Score
7. Initiative and creativity
SA A D SD U
SA A D SD U
Our team has full support for taking initiative.
1
2
3
4
5
Team members talk openly about ideas.
1
2
3
4
5
Individual initiative is encouraged by our team.
1
2
3
4
5
Team members talk openly about problems.
1
2
3
4
5
Team initiative is encouraged by the organization.
1
2
3
4
5
Team members actively listen to each other.
1 2
3
4
5
Our team regularly communicates with
management.
It is easy for our team to suggest new ideas for
improving processes and products.
1
2
3
4
5
1 2
3
4
5
Conflicts are confronted quickly and solved.
1
3
4
5
It is easy for our team to try new ideas for
improving processes and products.
1
2
3
4
5
Total Score
66
2
5. Decision making and problem solving
SA A
I feel respected by team members.
1
Total Score
Copyright 1996 Quest Associates
1. Respect and trust
SA A D SD U
I have all information needed to do my job.
/
Quality Progress September 1998
2
Total Score
Table 2. Interpreting Your Scores
8. Goal clarity
SA A D SD U
Our team knows/understands the team’s goals.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team is committed to the team’s goals.
1 2
3
4
5
My individual goals match the team’s goals.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team allows me the opportunity for
personal growth.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team allows me the opportunity for
career growth.
1 2
3
4
5
Total Score
9. Teamwork
SA A D SD U
Enter below your individual total and average each of the 10
empowerment factors. Circle the three that have the highest
average. Next, when the team gets back together, add your individual totals for each factor to the totals of the others on your
team. Then determine the team’s average for each of the factors.
Place an asterisk next to the three empowerment factors that
had the highest totals for the team.
Your Your
Team
Team
Total Average Average Range
1. Respect and trust
2. Recognition
3. Team communications
4. Information
Individuals on our team work well together to
solve difficult problems.
1
2
3
4
5
Individuals on our team focus on the team,
not themselves.
5. Decision making and
problem solving
1 2
3
4
5
6. Resources
Our team does not focus around one or two
superstars.
1 2
3
4
5
We are well organized to produce a quality output.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team processes are efficient (and timely).
1 2
3
4
5
7. Initiative and creativity
Total Score
10. Organizational systems and structure
SA A D SD U
Organizational policies are consistent with
team goals.
1
2
3
4
5
Our team easily interacts with other teams in our
organization.
1
2
3
4
5
Team empowerment in our organization can
happen without changing major systems
and structures.
1 2
3
4
5
Our team can be empowered without changing
current systems and structures.
1 2
3
4
5
Our team can be empowered without changing
current organizational policies.
1
3
4
5
2
8. Vision/goal clarity
9. Teamwork
10. Organization systems
and structure
The team should be concerned with any team average that is more
than 2.0. Your team discussion should begin with the three highest
team average scores. The team should also look at factors where
the range between the lowest and the highest score is greater than
1.0. This indicates a divergence of how team members perceive
the situation and environment. Finally, if any of your individual
averages are higher than 2.0 and are not covered in the discussion
of team factors, you should raise those issues with the team.
When discussing a factor, it is helpful to talk about each of the
subpoints individually. The discussion should lead the team to the
factors that need improvement in order for the team to become
more empowered. Break each factor into the root causes that need
corrective action. Create a plan for improvement.
Total Score
THANK YOU FOR COMPLETING THE
Table 3. Team A’s Strengths and Weaknesses
QUALITY EMPOWERMENT SURVEY FOR
TEAMS (QUEST)
Please comment on the need and usefulness of this
survey for measuring and analyzing your team’s
• In one column, list the team’s strengths. In the other column,
list the team’s weaknesses.
• See if the differences between the sides are important for the
team’s work and successful outcomes. If yes, develop a plan
for getting information that will help resolve the issues.
strengths and weaknesses as well as your personal
strengths and challenges to those strengths as an
individual team member.
Strengths
Weaknesses
1. New ideas are supported
and encouraged.
2. Conflicts are confronted
quickly and solved.
3. Team processes are timely
and encouraged.
1. Team members do not
actively listen to one another.
2. Decisions and solutions are
not fully discussed.
3. Team-member goals do not
match team goals.
/
Quality Progress September 1998
67
Table 4. Descriptive Data on Researched School District Teams K-12
School District
Geographic location
Geographic makeup
Enrollment
Professional staff
Number of schools
Teams studied
TEAM A
Grade level
Representative team
members interviewed
team leader (T.L.)
Members on team
TEAM B
Grade Level
Representative team
members interviewed
team leader (T.L.)
Members on team
TEAM C
Grade level
Representative team
members interviewed
team leader (T.L.)
Members on team
Years implementing
total quality in district
1
Western PA
Suburban
2,716
158
5
Elementary (3)
Middle (1)
Senior high (1)
3
High school code
of conduct team
9-12
Guidance counselor
Teacher (T.L.)
High school librarian
Attendance secretary
15
Student
placement team
K-5
Principal
Guidance counselor
Teacher (T.L.)
Teacher
10
District strategic
planning team
K-12
Superintendent (T.L.)
Teacher
Parent
Student
Community member
15
2
Western PA
Suburban
7,500
455
12
Elementary (7)
Middle (3)
Intermediate high (1)
Senior high (1)
3
Flunk busters student
retention team
K-5
Psychologist
Curriculum supervisor
Reading specialist (T.L.)
Instructional
support teacher
10
District form
cutters team
K-12
Facilities secretary
Business secretary
Personnel secretary
Assistant
superintendent’s
secretary
6
MC/SR
communication team
K-10
On-campus school
coordinator
Psychologist
Assistant supervisor of
special education
Teacher (T.L.)
15
6
When trying to turn a team around, the challenge to leaders and
facilitators is not always obvious. Identifying the team’s
strengths and weaknesses and taking the time to analyze them
will maximize the team’s success.
Using the information
Once the team’s strengths and weaknesses are known, the
results can be analyzed and interpreted (see Table 3). How can
the team use this information to improve its efficiency and
effectiveness? An educational rule of thumb is to overcome the
team’s weaknesses by employing its strengths to achieve that
goal. In Table 3, Team A’s strengths, which include supporting
and encouraging new ideas (strength No. 1) and confronting
and solving conflicts quickly (strength No. 2) and efficiently
(strength No. 3), can and should be used to remediate the team’s
68
/
Quality Progress September 1998
3
2
4
Eastern PA
Suburban
1,810
117
4
Elementary (2)
Middle (1)
Senior high (1)
Eastern PA
Suburban/Rural
3,266
224
5
Elementary (3)
Middle (1)
Senior high (1)
3
Quality kid core team
3
District facilities
planning team
K-8
Superintendent (T.L.)
Board member/
senior citizen/
community member
Teacher
Parent
6
Spelling
improvement team
4-5
Principal (T.L.)
2 learning support
teachers
2 homeroom teachers
K-3
Principal
Teacher
Business partner/
community member
Parent
6
Building
governance team
3-5
Principal (T.L.)
Teacher
Parent
Community member
Business partner
10
Organizational
structure team
K-5
Principal (T.L.)
Community member
Parent
Teacher
10
Two building
collaborative team
K-3
2 principals (T.L.)
1 teacher from each
building
10
4
10
4
weaknesses.
When analyzing Team A’s weaknesses, it is learned that team
members do not actively listen to one another (weakness No. 1).
This is a major failing of this team because effective listening is
not only one of the most important methods for acquiring
knowledge and problem solving, it can also be the hardest and
most active work any team member is called upon to do.
If team members don’t actively listen, decisions and solutions cannot be fully discussed (weakness No. 2). This breakdown leads to an underlying problem of Team A, which is that
team-member goals do not match team goals (weakness No. 3).
This indicates that the member makeup of Team A is not suitable to effectively make decisions and solve problems that are
consistent with achieving the team’s goals.
During this stage of the team’s analysis, it may be necessary
Table 5. Teams Included in Study
Team’s achieved
process and product
Team A
District 1
District 2
High school student
code of conduct 9-12
Code of conduct procedures and code of
conduct manual
Flunk busters student
retention K-5
Retention guidelines;
extended school year;
5-week summer program; developmental
K (1⁄2 day) and set up
program K (whole day)
Team B
Student placement
team K-5
Efficient student
placement processes;
student placement
form
Team C
District strategic
planning team K-12
Graduation requirements; school-towork program
District 3
Quality kid core
team K-3
Incorporation of
quality principles
into existing school
program; quality principles and processes
scheduled into existing
school programs
District form
Building governance
cutters team
team 3-5
Efficient absence from Established improved
duty procedures;
relationships among
abbreviated Absence
parents, teachers, stufrom duty form
dents, and administrators; real dialogue
among the group
MC/SR
Organizational
communication
structure team K-5
team K-10
Formulated homework
School/residential
policy; developed
program; student/staff after-school homework
clarification of
program (H.E.L.P.) 3-5
school/residential
rules; student/staff
manual
to secure a more appropriate member representation on the
team to carry out the team’s goals, or perhaps monitor or adjust
the team’s goals while maintaining original members. Again,
the team’s strengths listed in Table 3 support the latter solution
because the strengths of the team members are able to support
these new changes for the better. Revised or changed goals
would probably be accepted by Team A since, according to
Table 3, new ideas are supported and encouraged (strength No.
1), conflicts are confronted quickly and solved (strength No. 2),
and projected team outcomes are timely and efficient (strength
No. 3).
A thorough analysis encompassing all strengths and weaknesses of Team A is presented here, but other team analyses
need not be as detailed. By reflecting on the team’s strengths
and weaknesses, team leaders, facilitators, and even team members can come to the avenues of change for the better of the
team. If the team doesn’t feel comfortable employing a detailed
analysis like the one presented, then it should start by focusing
on just one of the team’s weaknesses.
First, the team should ask the question “Why?” When this
question is successfully answered, it should ask the same question again. Inadvertently the team will come closer and closer to
identifying the roadblock to its effectiveness. As the team
becomes more comfortable with using the QUEST, team
strengths and weaknesses will become easier to analyze.
The QUEST will provide results that will enable the team to
diagnose setbacks to its progress. What team members do with
the results is up to them. The degree of analysis and interpretation of the team’s survey results will depend on how, when, and
where the team chooses to use them.
District 4
District facilities
planning team K-8
Hired architect for
feasibility study;
studying options that
provide best educational environment at
best possible cost
Spelling improvement
team 4-5
Consistent spelling
instruction procedures; individualized
spelling program for
all students
Two building
collaborative
team K-3
Collaboration procedures for parent/staff
development program
for parents
Employing the QUEST yields profit from a team’s intellectual capital. It confirms the value of the team’s power and focuses
on areas that present a challenge. Using a resource such as the
QUEST helps team leaders, members, and facilitators maximize a team’s task and relationship energy when working on
situations that demand change for the better. It is possible to tailor team efforts to fit each team’s needs. A little time and effort
will yield a great output in team results.
The tangible force of the QUEST is using a common tool to
educate team leaders, facilitators, and team members so that all
members can communicate in a common language. While pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of the team, there will be
no guessing as to the root causes of problems. The QUEST
offers the methodology that allows the team to focus on problem-solving resources to achieve the desired results.
Applying the team interview questionnaire
In a recent study on quality teams in education, guidelines
were established for developing empowered teams in K-12 education based on the QUEST analysis.1 The results of the
QUEST were augmented by the team interview questionnaire
(TIQ) results (see Table 6).
The TIQ focuses on elements that lead to the identification
and description of team e …
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