The Socially Sociable Project Management Essay

The Socially Sociable Project Management Essay
The Socially Sociables


Northeastern University

The Socially Sociable project was to develop a Guide to Event Planning for small businesses, corporations, and organizations in an effort to boost morale and provide an avenue for team building. The objective is clear: to provide a guide to event planning that will reveal the outcomes of a stronger, more cohesive team. The topic was chosen after the teammates went through a brainstorming session and discovered that all had some exposure to planning or being a part of company events that promoted a strong and unified team. Although the backgrounds, careers and thoughts of each member were quite different, the team found that their diverse backgrounds allowed for an opportunity of different topics and ideas, yielding a guide that was truly universal and focused on the same positive outcomes.
Get Assignment help for this assignment at hndassignmenthelp@gmail.com

Team Progress
We virtually met (weekly) using the NEU Google Instant Messaging application – primarily with the group call feature. Before we started our very first meeting, we introduced ourselves, went over ground rules and started developing our Team Charter. During this meeting, we also determined our roles and responsibilities. Samantha Evans was nominated (and agreed) to become our team leader with the understanding that everyone would demonstrate active leadership skills throughout the development of the project. The team continuously reviewed the parameters of the team project to ensure we all understood the requirements. Each week involved additional a virtual meeting with brainstorming, follow ups, review, and intended outcomes and deliverables of the next week. This helped formalize everyone’s expectations, leaving no "surprises".

This essay is an example of a student's work
Disclaimer

This essay has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Essay Writing Service
Dissertation Writing Service
Who wrote this essay
Place an Order
We believe completing the Parker Team Player Assessment really helped us understand some of the nuances of our team. Our team represented each of the team players: Contributor, Collaborator, Communicator, and Challenger. The team took time upfront to discuss how we would approach the project and what we felt we could contribute to make it a success. Our regular weekly meetings and deadlines held us all accountable. We also decided to use the team journal as a resource to help keep our team on track with progress and status updates.

As we engaged in the first meeting, we focused on lessons learned from our reading about Tuckman and Jensen’s model on group dynamics (Levi, 2011). As we started "forming", we each took time to introduce ourselves and talk a little about our previous experience working in teams and on projects. As mentioned earlier, we decided on both our team project and a team name. After the team was formed, we greeted a new member to the team - Carol. This is where the team provided Carol with our project charter and purpose and discussed the needed deliverables. During this time, the "storming" phase, we had to work through some issues involving collaborative ideas and symmetric views on deliverables and outcomes. Moving us closer to the "norming" stage of group dynamics, we decided on communication methods and relationship roles. We agreed on a tentative schedule, initial research and input, and set our next meeting date. Our team very quickly established an agreed upon foundation for us to work. As moved forward into "performing", we shared information both in the Google Document Share application and the File Exchange provided in our team area. Team research, materials and input were uploaded by January 31 in order to give the team time to review, make suggestions, and allow our editor (Samantha) enough time to finalize. Grant and Eris were the leaders in the production of the final presentation. As we approach the final steps, we head into the "adjourning’ phase of group dynamics. While our team is not at a complete end point, we can all certainly agree that this team performed well together.

Leadership and Issues
The progress of our teamwork redefined the essence of leadership for us. Each member aired their own views and discussed matters effectively to reach consensus. As we all know, a successful team combines personal work with collective work and individual and mutual accountability. In our team, everyone was a leader. Samantha was considered to be our "team leader" but we all shared leadership roles, cooperating to achieve a joint work effort and a common commitment and purpose. Samantha ensured that we stayed consistent, on task, and on schedule. The team as a whole helped alleviate any possible issues.

At one point, two team members floundered and needed some direction. Samantha and Mike quickly provided direction in an open and non-confrontational way. This leadership behavior made it easy to approach team members when guidance was needed, a shared team behavior. Overall our team worked well together and was able to produce the end product we needed. I believe each of us took something away from the experience.

Lessons Learned
Areas our team significantly learned from were virtual communications and meeting management. We collectively encountered the need to produce additional prep and follow up material when engaging in virtual communications.

The experience of being a team member versus a team leader was refreshing and educational for Eris, for she is often placed in the team leader role in her professional life. Consciously knowing that she was not in the leadership role reminded her of how difficult it can sometimes be for team members to step aside and allow others to take the lead. In retrospect, she was able to observe the team environment from a different perspective and understand the importance of positive energy and togetherness. This was also the first time Carol had taken an online class and interacted with a virtual team through online communication tools. Thanks to the help of other team members, Carol learned new strategies and approaches as a member of a virtual team and kept pace with the team. What’s more, either the sophisticated writing skill or the professional business thinking models of each other teammate inspires her to get to know more about how leadership functions further. Grant, Michael and Samantha all had experience with virtual teams, but learned valuable lessons in the importance of timely and effective communication. Samantha also pointed out the importance of relationship building in the very beginning of the forming stage. The more team members get to know one another, the higher the comfort level, and the higher the success rate. As a team, we feel fortunate that our personalities and team player types came together so well. The team did not experience any real conflicts mainly because we remained focused on the goal and we didn’t have time. It would be interesting to find out if we would perform together on a long term project

This essay is an example of a student's work
Disclaimer

This essay has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Essay Writing Service
Dissertation Writing Service
Who wrote this essay
Place an Order
What Leadership Means to the Socially Sociables
Leadership is and will continue to be a necessity in today’s society. In the world of small businesses, corporations, and organizations, team leadership holds the key to many successful outcomes. The demands of society have created a significant need for meaningful and purposeful team leadership. Team leadership is no longer a term that is used loosely for any group of people in the same office. As the corporate world begins to recognize the power of team leadership, it is important we understand how to build strong teams and the overall impact and benefit it will have to the company as a whole. This is the goal of the Socially Sociables: to guide companies through a process of effective team building through the avenue of event planning.

The leadership of any team requires hard work, honesty and the ability to recognize what the team needs most. The success of the team is strongly tied to the effectiveness of the leader. As organizations embrace their many positive qualities, it is incumbent upon leadership to acknowledge the variance in their performance traits to construct environments conducive to their success. This is especially significant when the goal is to influence their behavior and predict performance outcomes (Bradford, 2011, p.35). Oftentimes this is easier said than done. Many of those in senior management positions within a company, corporation, or small business simply do not have the time to focus on the overall building of the team as they are focusing on the high level outcomes and productivity. However these leaders also realize the immensely important role that team leadership can have on the ultimate attainment of goals. The Socially Sociables have directed this guide specifically to team leaders in order to construct events that again boost the overall morale of team members, yielding happy and satisfied employees who work together and exceed the necessary goals to be successful.

Importance of Company Event Planning
Some may question the importance of event planning as it relates to team building and morale boosting. Oftentimes senior management may not be willing to take time away from normal business hours for events that may or may not show instant gratification or outcomes. Unfortunately, this mind set is to the detriment of company success. Social events are a necessary and often overlooked part of a healthy workplace community. "Work teams often ignore the importance of social behaviors, leading to reduction in interpersonal support and increase in stress" (Levi, P.71, 2011). By taking the time to organize and hold social activities, organizations can experience improved levels of communication, productivity, creative solutions, and overall happiness of its employees. It is because of these positive repercussions that the Socially Sociables highly recommend that organizations allocate time and resources towards holding events.

A great example of this is managers and coaches of professional sports organizations. Many seem to know and understand that a team solely focused on winning often times will not win. Players must establish relationships both with each other and managers. It is through this chemistry that great teams can accomplish amazing things. This same idea of the importance of building social relations among members of a team can also be translated into the workplace. One of the most common problems workplace teams face is a lack of ownership and motivation. According to Levi, "Groups sometimes suffer from a lack of activities aimed at building relationships among members" (Levi, P. 57, 2011). Yet while some managerial experts may argue that teams should focus exclusively on completing the task at hand, The Socially Sociables see that teams can use social events to further a group’s social bonds and motivate members to be more effective. In Bass and Stogdill’s book, Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research, and Managerial Applications, they claim: "Considerable theoretical and empirical support has been amassed for the idea that regardless of circumstances, the effectiveness of leadership is greatest when the leaders are both task oriented and relations oriented in attitudes and behavior" (P. 481)

In light of this notion, we consider organizing and implementing social events for the workplace to be a great way to build social relationships between team members and management.

Planning an event (such as the community service event outlined in our guide) can have an array of positive effects on members of the team. If a company has hired new employees or made managerial moves or inter-departmental shifting, a social event is a great way to welcome these changes. By watching and participating with team members, managers can get a good sense of individual’s personalities and leadership styles. Managers are likely to find that not all personalities work well together, but by trying different combinations of team members during social events, managers can effectively determine which combinations of people will make the most productive and satisfactory teams.

This essay is an example of a student's work
Disclaimer

This essay has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Essay Writing Service
Dissertation Writing Service
Who wrote this essay
Place an Order
Social events in the workplace can also help new team members adapt quicker to normal team behavior. "Developing social relations among team members also aids in socializing new team members" (Levi, P.51, 2011). Teams in the workplace most often go through the processes of forming, storming, norming, and performing as outlined by Tuckman and Jensen (1977) whereby they develop the behavioral expectations of team members. As managers build time in for social events, teams have additional avenues and time to demonstrate what they value and expect from other members without the high pressures of an assigned work deadline. In this way, social events can act as a safe zone where members can establish expectations, socialize with team members, and spend time figuring out "what works" without any of the serious repercussions of being on the clock.

Human beings are social creatures. It is through the social connections that we have with others that we deal with stress and figure out how to balance our daily life and work. By increasing the amount of social connections through company-sponsored social events, workers can increase their productivity by decreasing stress. When team members have a chance to socialize outside of the typical work environment, "what you’re learning implicitly and tacitly from chatting is how to manage your life in job situations. Part of that is about actual job issues, but a lot of it is about your attitude towards the job and your attitude towards other people" (Pentland, 2008). Instead of seeing social events in the workplace as a waste of time, picture them instead as a time when individuals make connections and outlets that will act as a release valve for the pressures of the workplace.

Yet another important result of having social events in the workplace is the connections that are made from the intermingling across different strata of organizations. It is common in most companies that the engineers work with other engineers and the sales people with other sales people. During a social event, however, those different groups will bridge across departmental boundaries and interact with each other, allowing them to think about their job from a different perspective. Team building activities, like our Habitat for Humanity example, take people out of their comfort zone and put them in a new environment. "This environment often gives permission for employees to be more creative and to use their imagination to accomplish the tasks set before them" (Redman, 2010). It is the change in situation and environment that frees people to think differently about solutions, something every company values when facing threatening problems. Social events are catalysts that drive creativity in the workplace and breathe life into stale projects.

The Cost of Not Investing in Company Events
In researching the true return on investment (ROI) team building provides organizations, it can be strongly argued that the price is high for companies that do not engage in team building activities. The correlation can be found in what team-building provides in improving the interpersonal relationships within the team which carry over into the organization. According to the American Institute of Stress, U.S. companies lose $300 billion annually due to absenteeism, turnover, poor morale, and lost productivity—plus medical, legal, and insurance fees—related to job stress. (Professional Teambuilding, 2013) So what does this equate to?

A recent article "7 Ways Teambuilding Pays for Itself: Preventing Losses & Increasing Productivity address 7 major areas of financial loss when companies fail to create an environment that fosters communication, teamwork, and motivation" (Professional Teambuilding, 2013). Core to team or group success are the ability of the team to form cohesive relationships. In the book Group Dynamics for Teams, Levi shares that "The social interactions necessary for teamwork require group cohesion and good communications. Cohesion comes from the emotional ties that team members have with one another" (Levi, 2011). Here we can see the positive correlation of when people build relationships. Unfortunately, not all organizations place a priority on team building which has been proven to effect the bottomline. "Studies have shown that up to 42 percent of a managers' time is spent dealing with interpersonal conflicts. If just 3 employees wasted a 1/2 hour each day in a year due to conflicts, and each had a salary of $75,000, their squabbling would cost their company more than $15,000.00 a year." The article goes on to share that "Disgruntled workers can affect the productivity of fellow employees by causing stress and tension in the work environment, which can lead to decreased job motivation. This decline in productivity can and will show up through lost sales, turnover, and/or increased absenteeism. Increased absenteeism can be especially troubling because some employees would rather miss work than deal with a difficult coworker" (Professional Teambuilding, 2013). If you look at the potential number of people in which this can occur, you immediately see lost revenue grow expontentially in the time spent dealing with conflict.

This essay is an example of a student's work
Disclaimer

This essay has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Essay Writing Service
Dissertation Writing Service
Who wrote this essay
Place an Order
Companies can also be faced with turnover. The average cost to replace an employee in the U.S. is $17,000 and those making over $60,000 per year can cost more than $38,000 to replace (Bobinski, 2006). Unhappy employees can and do cost their companies an exponential amount of money. Would planned company events promoting team building help? Based on the informtion provided, the cost of improving the interpersonal relationships within organization have a tremendous benefit. There is a direct correlation between relationship building that occurs with team/group building activity and when team building is embraced as an organizational norm. When you compare the cost of an organizations social or team event with the cost of what organizations pay for unhappy and disgruntled employees, well planned organization events are a far more cost effective means for improving a companys bottomline.

Potential Risks
Now that we have mentioned the high importance of team leadership and planning company events with the intent of team building, we must also mention the struggles and issues that companies face during these planning efforts.

First and foremost, diversity is a double-edged sword in teamwork. It is inevitable that diversity exists in each professional market, whether a small business, corporation or organization. This diversity results in both demographic and psychological obstacles.

In relation to the demographics, an increasing number of women and ethnic minorities are entering the current workplace. The Event Planning Guide should guarantee fairness and justice. Moreover, it is better to devise some events that are specifically suitable for women and different nationalities of the workers. For instance, the company can establish different catering services to fit different dietary habits of the employees from each country. Age diversity is also a common phenomenon in any workplace. Each of the multiple "generations brings attributes and attitudes that have value to the workplace and each has a role to play in the overall, enduring success of a business" (Secor, n.d). Basically, there are two conflicts stemming from age diversity. One is about the seniors being regarded as less flexible and energetic or they are too traditional to work with technology. Another is about the younger workers having less experience so that they are not allowed to make decisions or be the representatives in the commercial occasions. In such cases, refuting stereotypes is to be involved into the guide regarding the social events. Moreover, the events should be connected with how to integrate all the working hierarchy as a big family within a harmonious surrounding. Different religious affiliations are also a factor. As this guide is intended for the core themes of team building and morale boosting, the company events thereby require taking the diversity of religion into account. Be sure to not offend each religion’s taboos and always respect each religion’s customs and values. For example, don’t invite the Muslims to eat pork or prohibit the Judaist fasting on their Tesha B’Av. In other words, never undervalue the significance of respecting the employees’ customs and habits out of work because ethical leadership would greatly conduce to the cohesion and morale of team building. Finally, we have diverse physical conditions. It is common for some of your teammates to be faced with sickness or disabilities. It is critical to always express no judgment and lend a helpful and caring hand when possible. Flexible and conducive schedules should also be arranged. Employers should always have a variety of recreational activities and entertainment equipment available during company events. And last but not least, though it may not be intentional, please be conscious to not to not offend or discriminate. Respect is a key factor.

As for the psychological variables, each team member has a different background and varies in values, beliefs, attitudes, personality, cognitive and behavioral styles, as well as knowledge, skills and abilities. These diversities affect how they interact within the team. Therefore, all event planning should be devised as a "superman"--- collecting all available materials and resources to fit the demands and generate a common way of performing the act of team building through company events. Throughout the planning stages, members should organize meetings and activities in an effort to develop a sense of identity and emotional bonds within the team. These gatherings should also create a common language for communicating and sharing ideas. This should promote positive interaction and conflict avoidance. Our initial goal is to create a guide where event planning fits in various types of internal and external environments that match various types of organizations and teams that can be put into practice by any office, company, or corporation. Tailoring this guide requires a great deal of research on how each professional market is characterized and how to synthesize a typical way in which companies can truly apply the guide to any circumstance. As we establish a common guide for basic use, companies should specialize one for their specific needs.

This essay is an example of a student's work
Disclaimer

This essay has been submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Essay Writing Service
Dissertation Writing Service
Who wrote this essay
Place an Order
Avoiding Conflict
In a work setting where team members do not openly air their opinions, inferior decisions are the result. To overcome this dysfunction the team needs to minimally learn how to better listen to one another--i.e., active or reflective listening--and agree on norms for team behavior to support productive debate. Being aware of and working toward preventing these dysfunctions makes it much more likely that your team leadership and event planning will be effective (Tiffan, 2011, p.78). Weekly meetings should be held as a routinely as possible. All feedback and surveys should be summarized and analyzed in an effort to produce events that are needed and wanted by all employees.

The outcome of absent leadership can be detrimental to the goals of the team . "The problem with teamwork is not that it is difficult to understand, but rather that it is extremely difficult to achieve when the people involved are strong-willed, independently successful leaders" (Lencioni, 2003, p.39). The events promoted by The Socially Sociables will serve as an opportunity to lay a strong foundation for team cohesion. Events developing strong team morale reveal a group that is performing at its highest potential and a team leader who is aiding his or her team in this performance.

http://images.fitnessjournal.org/externalTour/event_icon.jpg 10 Easy Steps to Planning a Company Event

Step #1: Decide that a company event is needed/wanted and that the funds are available.

Step #2: Internal or External (Will the event be in or out of the office?)

Step #3: ALL vs. Management Team vs. Employees Only (Excluding Management)

Step #4: Indoor or Outdoor (Will the event be held inside or outside?)

Step #5: Choose the "type" of event - Friendly Competition vs. Service vs. Camaraderie.

Step #6: Will the event be company sponsored or involve employee contributions?

Step #7: Review examples of different company events OR use your imagination!

Step #8: Pick a date and time for the event.

Step #9: Research vendors/materials (if applicable) for the type of event chosen.

Step #10: Formalize any contracts with outside vendors.

BONUS: Advertise the company event. Don’t let it go unknown!

http://www.nsun.org.uk/modules/images/assets/events-icon-large.png Types of Company Events

Friendly Competition
Service
Camaraderie
Internal
Talent Show (submit videos)

Trivia Game Show

Holiday Decorating Contests

Horse Race (by teams)*

Putt-Putt Competition*

Dessert/Baking Contest

Canned food drive

Jeans Day(s) for Charity

Soldier Care Packages

Clothing Drive

Sponsored Luncheons

Popcorn Cart

Monthly Birthday Celebration (cake)

Ice Cream Sundae Day

External
Team Basketball Game

Flag Football

Horseshoes

Mud Volleyball

Runs (5K) – corporate sponsored

Community Service Day

Blood Drive

Hosting a Benefit

Fundraising

Company Picnic

Sporting Event (Basketball, Soccer, Football, etc.)

Happy Hour

Holiday Party

http://png-4.findicons.com/files/icons/85/kids/128/editcopy.png Example

Step #1: Decide that a company event is needed/wanted and that the funds are available.

Our company (Pioneer Technology Group) is in need of some team building exercises and morale boosting. We have encountered a lot of recent managerial moves and transfers and are looking for a way promote stronger relationships and the building of trust. Management and Human Resources met and determined that a company event was workable in the budget.

Step #2: Internal or External (Will the event be in or out of the office?)

External: In an effort to change up the scenery and atmosphere, we have decided that our company event should be outside of the office.

Step #3: ALL vs. Management Team vs. Employees Only (Excluding Management)

ALL: We want this event to include every member of the company.

Step #4: Indoor or Outdoor (Will the event be held inside or outside?)

Outdoor: Employees decided that an outdoor event would promote the highest level of satisfaction.

Step #5: Choose the "type" of event - Friendly Competition vs. Service vs. Camaraderie.

Service: Our Company values the service and support of all of those within our community. Combining our team building event with community service will allow us to help and support those in need.

Step #6: Will the event be company sponsored or involve employee contributions?

Company Sponsored: Our team building/community service event will be entirely company sponsored. Employees work hard for the betterment of the company each and every day and deserve rewarding behavior for it.

Step #7: Review examples of different company events OR use your imagination!

Community Service Day: After reviewing the different types of "Service" events that would take place outside and external from the office (as decided above), we chose to participate in a Community Service Day.

Step #8: Pick a date and time for the event.

We decided that the event was going to be on a Friday afternoon (during work hours) and that we were going to give a one month notice. That landed us mid-February (2/15/13).

Step #9: Research vendors/materials (if applicable) for the type of event chosen.

Finding the right vendor (community service organization). Started with internet searches, then telephone calls and eventually some face-to-face meetings. Some examples of our "finds" are Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, Feeding Children Everywhere, and C.H.A.N.G.E.S Youth Services, Inc.

Step #10: Formalize any contracts with outside vendors.

Based on the determined criteria for the company event (time, cost, schedule, etc.), we decided to book a half day of community service with Habitat for Humanity. A formal contract was drafted, approved and signed. The event was booked!

*BONUS: Advertise the company event. Don’t let it go unknown!

Instead of simply sending the standard company email for an announcement, we also created and posted flyers around the entire office, added the event to our company bulletin, set an outlook calendar invite, met with the supervisors of each team to ensure that they spoke with their team members about any necessary details, and a sign-up sheet was posted in the company break room. The more creative, the better. Getting everyone committed and excited about the event is imperative.

Company events are a great way to get people involved and re-energized. The strategies behind planning these company events can and will change as circumstances vary, but it is important to remember the key elements (available budget, available resources, and available time). The purpose of this guide is to aid in the planning of a company event in order to promote team building, morale boosting and stronger relationships among employees. When teams learn to grow and succeed together, excellence becomes reality.

The Socially Sociables understand what it means to be a part of a team, what it takes for that team to be successful, and how something as simple as planned company events can instill such strong team characteristics. The proposed Event Planning Guide from the Socially Sociables has these characteristics and a cooperative atmosphere built into the very core of our mission. As we all know, working cooperatively yields results: "In a cooperative team, all team members are motivated by the team’s goals. This motivation is mutually reinforced or encouraged. Team members help and learn from one another. Not only does the team perform better, but so do most of the individual members" (Levi, 2011, p. 83).

Environments where true cooperation is encouraged and fostered will affect how the team works together but also how each team member works independently. It will also affect how and when goals are attained. Events that promote this sense of camaraderie and purpose will allow every team member to bring this tool back to the office to use in their everyday work and interaction with their peers.
Get Assignment help for this assignment at hndassignmenthelp@gmail.com

Comments