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) highlight that working in well-structured teams is correlated with lower staff absenteeism, reduced staff turnover and increased levels of engagement. Good engagement of staff with their organisation has been shown to be increase productivity, reduce errors and improve the wellbeing of employees (Ellins and Ham, 2009). 32 WORKING IN TEAMS Box 2.1: International experiences of working within interdisciplinary teams ‘There’s the knowledge that the patient has received the best care possible, and that during the surgery the team worked cohesively together – it

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you participate in decision-making? • Do you share information? • Do you take time to listen? • Do you share your knowledge, skills and learning? • Do you help to create a culture of trust, support and safety? • How do you talk about the work of the team with other teams and stakeholders? 82 WORKING IN TEAMS Individual team roles: Belbin team role descriptions The work of Meredith Belbin and colleagues at Henley Management College in the 1970s set out to explore why some teams work and others don’t. Over time, their research with international management

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A practical and accessible guide for students focussing on how inter-agency teams may be made to function more effectively, illustrated through real-life examples.

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Teams are an important component of everyday life. If you are employed it is likely that you sit in some form of team; if you are studying you will at some point engage in teamwork for a particular project or activity; and in your leisure time you may play in a sports team or support at least one team. Teamworking is an activity that most of us engage in on a regular basis without even consciously thinking about it. Teams can be incredibly important to us on a human level and contribute to our identity, wellbeing, sense of belonging and community. Similarly, in the context of public services, teams are thought to be important in terms of driving organisational and system performance.

At present, local health and social care communities are under significant pressure as challenges arising from the impacts of austerity measures combine with greater citizen expectations, the vestiges of repeated reorganisations of different government agencies and functions and changes to balances of professional power. Government and non-government organisations alike are tasked with achieving the holy trinity of doing more with fewer resources and in a more joined-up and user-centric way. Dealing with complex and cross-cutting issues while there is such turbulence in the system is no easy thing to achieve, and many individuals and organisations have sought to identify the means through which to improve the performance of their organisations and also the broader systems in which they are embedded.

At least part of the answer to this challenge is effective teamwork. As Glasby and Dickinson argue in the introductory book in this series (see Partnership working in health and social care, 2014a), it is not easy to make partnerships work.

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As suggested earlier, teamworking is a diverse field, and the potential literature that may be drawn on is significant and increasing in both breadth and depth. Space means that we cannot talk in detail about all areas that may be important in the future, such as geographically dispersed teams, self-managed teams and team coaching. Changes in the ways we commission and provide services is creating teams that are geographically dispersed away from the main organisational hub, not just across local borders, but in other parts of the country. This provides a range of challenges regarding the support for these teams and their alignment with the host organisation. Self-managed teams come in and out of fashion, but cuts to management layers, a greater understanding of how people engage with services, the need for people to take responsibility for their actions, and decisions being made as close to service users as possible, are again driving an interest in self-managed teams. There is much written about coaching as an intervention for individuals. The art of real team coaching is about enabling teams to improve performance, functioning, wellbeing and engagement (Hawkins, 2014), and it is being recognised as an intervention that can have a tangible impact and accelerate the learning and development of a team.

In this chapter we have chosen to concentrate on three key areas that are most salient to health and social care teams, and will likely remain central regardless of the rapidly shifting context in which we find ourselves:

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Ultimately, the evidence, questions, summaries, learning and frameworks set out in this book lead us to make a series of practical recommendations and potential warnings, both for policy and for practice.

For policy-makers

  • There is a need to consider the implications for existing teams and services when they exhort new teams or style of working. Creating new teams in any area will affect existing teams, their working practices and relationships, and may hinder the development of practice as people struggle to differentiate roles and boundaries.

  • Measures of teams in organisations are sometimes only built around their existence, not around their effectiveness; this perhaps adds to cynicism around rhetoric, as opposed to commitment, to teamworking.

  • Although teamworking may be helpful in a number of ways, it is not a default position that will solve all difficulties. Teams need real tasks and a real need to work together in order to be effective. Simply ordering more of certain types of teams will not overcome the difficulties that health and social care communities face.

  • National policy needs to send out stronger messages about how organisations need to make investments in enhancing and sustaining teamworking, rather than just one-off training.

  • There is a real need to have some stability in the system. Improvement in services is about doing something differently. To do this, people need to take risks and they will not feel safe to do so until there is a climate of mutual trust and respect, which takes time to develop.

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Penny had a job to do – not only with the police but also the local residents – to persuade them that it was better that they work together to make the park a safer place for young people to socialise there, rather than seeking to move them on. With support from the Youth Offending Service, Penny’s team worked with the PCSOs to get them behind her plan to bring detached youth workers into the park. They also made friends with the local councillors, getting an invite to a ward meeting. When Penny and her team arrived, the mood was negative and fearful. Someone

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assumptions about what we think about sex, sexuality, and gender. This manifests itself in many different aspects including, but not limited to, the language we use for what we consider ‘normal’. The Natural History Museum, London (NHM) developed and ran its first LGBTQ+ Natural History Tour in June 2019 for Pride Month. The intention was to test out ideas for a more regular LGBTIQA+ themed tour for the museum. As the aim of the tour was to reach diverse audiences not usually served by the museum, members from the Digital Media, Interpretation and Science teams worked

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got a very clear picture of what we were doing.' and Dr Michaels said: 'I found it interesting reading, it also was like looking into a mirror, I thought you'd grasped a lot of the salient features in a relatively short time.' In sum, then, we feel that our description of the Team's work stands as having been consensually agreed using respondent validation techniques. We believe that the Team's existence and operation raises a set of more general issues with implications for the development and deploy- ment of reticulist activity aimed at facilitating

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point to the office manual and click onto your latest spreadsheet of outputs, or start talking in more subjective terms about good team work, being well-resourced, or effective networking? In a North West benchmarking group, we have been sharing experiences and data in these fields for over three years, and are developing a set of useful tools in this area. Management theory: a whistle stop tour When we are looking for quality performance indicators with which we might reasonably compare like with like in the advice world, it is useful to note developments in

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