“The greatest wealth is Health.” The public nowadays are more concern about their health because health can be consider as an asset for a person. A good health is foundation of better future for a person or a family. In present modern era of technology, public are more educated and knowledgeable. With the easily accessibility of information from the internet, it also helps the public to gain the extra knowledge easily. Thus, there are more aware on their personal health status compare to those days. 14th of November is the World Diabetic day that celebrates worldwide. In author’s working hospital there is a plan to organize health screening for community. The purpose of organizing this Diabetic awareness campaign is to highlight the importance of education to protect future health of community and prevent the serious health consequences due to diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that emerging global epidemic. The rapid increase in people with diabetes is due to increasing overeating, obesity, and physically inactivity. Diabetes can be due to the pancreas does not producing enough insulin, or the inability to use the insulin that is produced by pancreas effectively and this leads to high concentration of glucose in the blood. There are three type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is due to lack of insulin production and type 2 diabetes is due to body unable to produce insulin that needed effectively. Third, gestational diabetes is due to hyperglycemia that is first recognized during pregnancy in a pregnant mother who never had diabetic before. Type 2 diabetes is most common on and usually affects adults. There is a report from WHO (2006), said that type 2 diabetes in children is very rare previously, but it have increased worldwide recently for the newly diagnose cases in children and adolescents. People may live with diabetes for years but diabetes is a metabolic disease that affects the multiple organs such as cardiovascular, kidney, retina and nerve damage. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2012 statistic reported one in six adults is obese, one in ten for diabetic and one in three has high blood pressure. It was stated in New Straits Times (30 April 2012), Malaysia has one of the world’s highest number of diabetes cases among its population with 2.6 million registered patients. Lack of awareness about diabetes can lead to complication such as blindness, amputation, and kidney failure.
The author as a team leader of this Diabetes Awareness campaign is responsible to identify team members to participate in the activities. As when we share a common direction or sense of community, we can get there more quickly and easily as everyone had take part and share the burden and not one-man show to complete everything. As a very familial quote that we always heard “The whole is greater than sum of parts”. So, effective building is very important to make this Diabetic Awareness campaign work successfully.
2. The Key Component of Effective Team Building
Team building is a philosophy of job design in which employees are viewed as a team member instead of as individual worker. It is also means that the selection of a group of peoples with the mix skills that had similar interest to work together for a common objectives. Working together without bringing the personal feeling or interest into the teams, it helps to build synergy between its members. As a result, the work, at hand, gets efficiently done. A team cannot perform well when there are team members who do not focus or are serious about their responsibility of their duty, so the key component of effective team building is very important to achieve the goals and objectives that had been set. According to Rahim, Lim, & Madya (2011), with the active participation of each of its member, the objectives of the group are accomplishes by the name of “the great team”. Besides that, the trust and support one another and respect one another’s individual from a team member also is important. There are six key components of effective teams.
a. Clearly state team purpose
Team purpose, goals and target is very important information for the team members. Because the team members need to know what is their accomplishment in a team. The purpose, goal and target of a team can defined as the essence of the team also. The team purpose needs to include measurable goals, and the operating guideline. When the team members know the purpose, goal and target of the team clearly, it helps team member have a mindset to accomplish their task. Besides that, it also helps the team member to create a dynamic plan to fill the gaps to achieve the purpose, goal and targets of the team. According to Rhodes (2006), when the team members has a clear understanding on the team purpose and the role they play will achieve a better results. And the team highly focus team is a team which have a clear purpose, vision and clear ways of working.
b. Team composition
Team composition is a group of people that who will ultimate and be responsible for implementing a project. And it also involved in designing and monitoring it. Having the right team members is an essential component of all team building. Another key principle is having team members that have different skills, knowledge and experiences. Because it will generally leads to more creative and flexible in the project. Besides that, the team members can combined and share their individual knowledge on the specific issues that are needed in the project to complete the task. The purpose is to make use of the existing skills and experience to ensure the project moves forward with the best available knowledge. Every team member needs to be selected because of what it is that they are able to bring to the team. Thus, team members should be chosen based on what it is the need from them and their skills. Favoritism is not encouraged.
c. Effective communication
Communication is the exchange of ideas and information from one person to another that involve a speaker and a listener. It involved a sender transmitting an idea, information, or feeling to a receiver. Communication can be verbal and non-verbal and written. Verbal communication is like words, speech, chatting and so on. Nonverbal communication is like body posture, eye contact, facial expression, appearances and so on. All the team members are from different families and brought up differently. The team members have different cultures. Misunderstanding may occur. So, an effective communication is needed to reduce the misunderstanding among the team members. Another communication is written communication, is like newsletters, status reports, meetings, emails, letter, memo, forum and any other collaboration tools. This can be using to communicate among the team members and update the latest information especially if the interval between the next meeting and the present meeting too long. An effective and consistent communication is the most important trait of a successful team. Communication need to be clear while communicating to make sure a clear directive to team members.
None of the other traits can occur without communication as information cannot be cascaded to and from the team leader and the team members. Thus, communication is very important to form an effective team.
d. Active participation
In an ineffective group, we will see some members do not perform fully up to expectations; some are too self-centered; some are too sensitive and temperamental; some are burned out; and some are just cannot get along with others. So, the team leader hold an important role to ensure all the team members participate and contribute to the team in achieving the goal and objective of the team. Brainstorming is usually used for solving the problem. Brainstorming is best when people feel free to present their ideas without the fear of the brunt of organizational politics or being judged, and also when there are no inhibitions. Brainstorming can be one of the most creative methods of solving any problem as it will make people think out of the box. According to a study Psychological Effects of Brainstorming by Pronin, Jacobs & Wegner (2008),Velagapudi (2012) , the effects of thought speed on mood are partially rooted in the subjective experience of thought speed. This will results in joy-enhancing effects of fast thinking. This will create a positive or conducive of environment for team members also.
e. Active plan
Active plan is one of the effective key components in effective team. The active plan is made and agreed upon by the team members. Hence, the team members have the same goal and same direction to accomplish the task. Besides that, it also includes feedback from the team members especially when making the team decisions.
f. Ongoing assessment and evaluation
This is a process that will be consistently running to assess the progress of the team. And this is to make sure the progress still within the direction of the goal. Besides that, the excellent staff will be awarded such as put in the credit in the appraisal. Certificate or souvenir can be given as a token of appreciation at the end of the project. While there is the failure during the ongoing progress, special coaching will be given to guide and to overcome the weakness.
3. The Author utilized the key components of effective team building for the Diabetic Awareness Campaign as below:
a. Clear state team purpose
A clear team purpose and goal need to be developed as this can work wonders for organization development. Goals and plans provide a sense of direction that focus on the specific target and direct the team members towards important outcomes. Besides that, the goal that set need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. For example, the specific goal is organize a Diabetic awareness campaign to create the awareness for the community on the diabetic health care to the hospital area. The goal is measurable as it will be held on 17th of November this year in author working hospital main lobby and the estimated participants will be 200 persons from 9a.m until 12 midday. The goal is achievable as the author and other team members will print notices and send to the residents who stay nearby to inform them about this activity. The goal is realistic as the team members have various skills and knowledge to accomplish the objective. The author and other team members will book and check all instruments a day before the exact day.
b. Team composition
It is important to determine the team member in the team. The selection is according to the team projects and not nepotism. Because it involves how the team members work to achieve the team goal with using their knowledge and their skills. For example, in this Diabetic Awareness campaign, author require the health educator, diabetic nurse for giving the health education, dietitian for diet advice, physiotherapist teaching the exercise, 8 staff nurses for checking the blood glucose and blood pressure. And 4 assistance nurses are needed for the taking participants’ abdominal girth, weight and height of the participants, 4 ward aides to usher and to register the participants. And author has 4 team members to standby and to take over the staffs when they need to have a short rest while the campaign is on.
c. Effective communication
Communication can be considered as a most important factor in successful teamwork. Without communication, nothing can be done. Besides that, thrust is develops through frequent and meaningful interaction and communication. According to Henmen (2011), healthy teamwork depends on the ability of the participants to give accurate feedback to each other, even when the feedback is negative. The negative feedback is like when a team member suggests buying the extra glucometer for the poor family, although the idea is good but due to the budget constraint, this will be a negative feedback. There are five tips to make the effective communication. First, during the communication, the languages that uses need to be clear and concise. Second, the information to be delivered need to be complete. To avoid missing important information all the information can be written down on the paper. Third, the communication needs to be in conversational tone because it invites interaction and if in confrontation tone, it invites argument. Forth, to make sure the voice and the words is clear so that messages can pass correctly. Fifth, always considerate of other team members’ feeling and pinpoint the issues and not the person.
d. Active participation
Encouraging the team members to be active in participation in discussion or brain storming is one of the team leader’s tasks. As a team leader, author gives encouragement and motivation in participation of the team members. Recognition will be given to those who had outstanding performance on the task assigned. For example, give a word of “well done” and give recognition in front all the team members. And also will give recognition for those who have consistency on their task and have the responsibilities and commitment on the task given. Author also will give recognition for the team member who works hard to increase their performance and demonstrate progress. Because as a human being, people feel pride in their works and also care about what the superiors and peers think of their accomplishments. Author also will respects and empower the team member on their task. When the team member is empowered, they feel the ownership of the assigned task and will try their best to perform well. Besides that, it creates a greater sense of responsibility among team members. And the team members will feel enthusiastic in performing the task too. Next, is to trust the team members’ ability on handling the task that had assigned to them. “Thrust is the strong force that binds the atoms of the team.” (Preston,2005).
e. Active plan
During the meeting, open discussion in English or Bahasa Malaysia will be used to prevent misunderstanding. The team goal identified in the earlier part will be the priority. For example, the discussion on the goal or problems can include brainstorming for solution. The team members will understand each individual task. During discussion, the team member can have better coordination of individual skills and able to share their responsibilities also. Follow up session will be made for those who fail or have problem
Sometimes, there will have some disagreement in the team because not all peoples have the same ideas and thinking. At this time, looking at the priority of the tasks and the consensus among the team member is important in making the decision of a task. Open debate will be using to rule out the pros and cons of the related issue. Besides that, democratic leadership will be used. Decision must be agreeable by the majority.
As a team leader, the author will schedule meetings when everyone will attend. Besides that, author also will plan the dates of meetings and team member will be informed. The meetings will be held once a week. This is to reduce the risk of the team member not able to attend meetings. The attendance of team members is important especially while making the team decision. A mechanism also will develop to inform the meeting minutes and decisions especially for those team member that are unable to attend such as email, hard copy and so on. This is to make sure every team members has the chance in the consensus of making the decision for the team.
f. Ongoing assessment and evaluation
The works of the team member need to be assessed. This is to ensure team members are in the right track, not slow in progress and not meeting difficulties. The team members are also advised to give feedback on the task or difficulties they have met. Besides that, gathering the feedback is also important because the feedback may help to improve the job. If there is a failure, an audit team needs to come in to do the assessment to rule the failure. At the end of the campaign, the entire team member will need to do an evaluation for program. Author will take this opportunity to acknowledge the team member that had done well on their work. And also will discuss on the skills that could be improved. Besides that, to assess on the job satisfaction on the team members to make a plan that author could be improve in effective team building.
As a conclusion, in high-performance team, the team members are co-operatives rather than competitive. The team member are supporting one another and work towards with hand in hand to reach the common goal rather than being divisive. Thus, the six key components are very essential to form effective teams and get the outcome as plan.