Oct 3, 2016 | Posted by Erik Hager
Leadership is one of the most important resources in an organization, which helps to increase efficiency and improve productivity when distributed evenly in an organization. This is why several organizations make use of team leaders, who are tasked with directing a group of employees assigned to them (team members) into completing the set objectives. A team leader is also able to use motivation and his knowledge of the team members strengths and weaknesses to increase productivity, which makes him/her an important part of the production process. But aside from these tasks, what is the role of the team leader in an organization?
The role of the team leader in an organization
A team leader performs various roles in an organization, all of which lead to one main goal: ensure all the assigned tasks are carried out using the available resources. While there are several roles that a team leader carries out, there are two main ones: understanding how the production process works and supporting the training and development of the team members.
Understanding the working of the production process
Team leaders are an integral part of the production process, they are supposed to have a complete understanding of how the process works, which allows them to be effective in giving directions and instructions to the team members, in order to complete the set objectives. It also helps them to perform the following important tasks in an organization:
1. Setting an example for the team members to follow
Understanding how a process works helps team leaders in modeling the way by setting standards of excellence, the example that should be followed by team members in completing their tasks. Therefore, with a perfect understanding of the process, team leaders are able to set high standards, which helps to improve efficiency in the organization by pushing the team members to perform better.
2. Filling for team members
Having a good knowledge of the process also helps team leaders to fill in for team members when they are unavailable, without causing any disruption to the process. Take, for example, a hockey team that is training for an important competition, but they are mission one player during training, which can affect the effectiveness of the training session. However, since the coach (the team leader in this case) is well versed in the how the game works, he/she can easily fill in for the missing player, thus allowing the training session to go on smoothly.
3. Filling in for other team leaders
In addition to understanding how the process in their area of expertise works, team leaders should also be familiar with the processes of other areas in the organization. This will provide them with sufficient knowledge and skills to fill in for other team leaders when they are unavailable, thus making sure that the process goes on without interruption.
The knowledge of how other processes work can be acquired by allowing team leaders from different areas of the organization to switch with each other from time to time so that they can study the process, equipment, as well as team members of all the areas in the organization. This will ensure that when one team leader fills in for another, the process will run smoothly just as it would when the original team leader is in charge.
4. Improve the process
With a full understanding of the process, team leaders are able to investigate any defects that might occur and come up with solutions on how to fix them, as well as make sure that they do not occur again in the future. In addition, they are able to use their knowledge to come up with ideas on how the process can be made more effective, thus increasing efficiency and productivity.
Training and developing the team members
Training is another important role that is carried out by team leaders, which helps to develop the potential of the team members, thus improving productivity in an organization. This is done by creating an open and trusting environment and inspiring the team members to perform better, which allows them to learn more about the process. He/she also provides the team members with all the necessary training materials to enhance the development of their skills, gives them valuable feedback on their performance and training progress, and provides them with his/her support when needed. This helps to develop the skills of each team member to the fullest potential, thus creating a very effective team that produces optimal results.
While training the team members, the team leader can also teach them how to carry out the various responsibilities of a team leader, which will help to develop a self-sustaining team whose members can fill in for the team leader when he/she is unavailable to ensure that productivity is not affected. It also gives the team members a valuable experience of what being a team leader entails, which can help them when they are working towards a promotion in a team leader position.
For example, still in a hockey team, the role of the coach is to develop the skill of team members so that they can improve their skills, play better, and win more games. However, he/she can also teach the players how to coach other people, so that any one of them can be able to fill in for him/her when not available or to help those who would like to start a career in coaching gain valuable experience.
The team leader plays a very important role in an organization, where he/she uses the knowledge of the production process to motivate and empower team members to perform better while helping to make sure that the process runs smoothly without any interruption. Team leaders also use their leadership skills to develop the skills of the team member, which helps to improve the productivity of the team and progress the career of the team members.