Identify the challenges experienced by established teams
The healthcare setting environment is experiencing a new form of working approaches. As globalisation, communication and information sharing is getting so advanced, every work environment needs the new way of working place. The ability to create a sharing caring team to achieve team goals is imperative. However, there are numerous challenges that can be experienced by established teams. Every team cannot achieve without challenges. If challenges are identified and solved amicably the team becomes strong and successful. Some of the numerous challenges are:
The resistance of team members to changes of new ways of working is one challenge exhibited by an established team. Members are used to status quo and therefore are hesitant to adapt to new changes that may be introduced to the teams. Technological advancement and new ideologies are met with resistance and they do not feel comfortable with them. Established teams have modus operandi which they are familiar and are more conversant with and are more unlikely to accept new changes to their way of working. In St Mary’s Convent, documentation was being done in writing in report books. However, a new computer and mobile computer monitoring systems introduced by management which required all reports and handing over documents to be typed unto the systems was met with resistance by some staff as they found it difficult to adapt to the new system. Some opposed the idea and resorted to complaints and refused to use the computer and mobile computer monitoring system for documentation and preferred to use the old system. Though the old system has been replaced, yet some members of staff who do not use the new technology create problems for the whole team as some important information cannot be retrieved when needed.
Power struggle and competing agendas is another challenge in dealing with the established team. Individual members of the team struggle for control and power within the team. They would like to be recognised as substantive and important members of the team as they are most familiar with the dealing the team. Their achievements for the team during the past times should be rewarded with positions within the team. This then leads to conflicts in the team and competition as to who is best for a position. In St Mary’s Convent, a new staff who was recruited into St Margaret’s unit without any prior qualification achieved her Care certificate, NVQ levels 2 and 3 Qualification within 18 months of recruitment. The achievement was perceived by some of the old staff and management as a threat and therefore they were adamant to work in cohesion with her. They resented the way she was able to achieve such laurel within a short time period and therefore felt they deserved to be appointed as unit managers due to long service. Although this new staff never requested for any promotion, some old staff members showed the attitude of rivalry towards her.
Poor communication could arise in established teams when members become acquainted with one another. Members may feel reluctant to pass on information to others due to complacency and wrongful assumptions. This could hinder the progress of the team in achieving the ultimate goals. In St Margaret’s Unit of St Mary’s Convent and Nursing Care Home, an instance is some members of staff intentionally leave their jobs partly done because they know others will come and finish it, the morning team especially are complacent to complete their task and pass on the work for the afternoon team knowing the work will definitely be carried out by the afternoon staff.
Personal conflicts and clashes as a result of differences in personalities, diversity and cultural backgrounds can affect the progress of established teams. Members once in a while clash with one another and may not want to be paired with other team members they find to be irritating. This results in poor performance and makes it difficult during task allocation and the preparation of duty-rota.
Another example in St Margaret’s Unit of St Mary’s Convent and Nursing Care Home, we had a situation where the diverse backgrounds of members of the team sometimes bring about conflicts. A few weeks ago we had a meeting at which a unit manager spoke quite rudely to some members of staff. It turns out that in her background and culture speaking plainly and straightforward is not offensive whereas the other members of staff who were from cultural backgrounds where speech and tone of voice, as well as the hand gesture, used when talking to people has more significant meaning found her approach as offensive and disrespectful. I being a trainee manager had to calm matters down and ask the unit manager to explain herself more politely and advice the team that no malice was intended.
Failure to identify challenges in teams as early as possible can impede its success. Building trust, having cohesion, great team identity as well as overcoming isolations within team working groups will enhance the performance of the team.

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