HTML and CSS Reference
Working With a Team
Especially in large organizations, working as Web developer requires the ability to
work skillfully as part of a team. To be a better team member, it helps to understand
some of the roles common in teamwork, as well as how to identify problems that may
crop up on teams.
Roles You Might Play
If a team is to be successful for any length of time, members must see the value in both
their contribution and what the team gets out of it. This means two important require-
ments must be met: task performance and social satisfaction. The job of task performance
is usually handled by one or more members who are task specialists. Task specialists
spend a lot of time and effort ensuring that the team achieves its goals. Often, they are
the ones to initiate ideas, give opinions, gather information, sort and cull details, and
provide the spark that keeps the team on track.
The socioemotional role is handled by individuals who strengthen the team's social
bonds. This is often done through encouragement, empathy, conflict resolution, com-
promise, and tension reduction. Have you ever been in a group that had conflict and
someone stepped in to tell a joke or soften the blow of criticism? That person held the
Both of these roles are important for healthy teamwork. It's like the saying, “All work and
no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Jack as the task specialist needs the complementary skills
of the more social Jill to handle the socioemotional side of things for a healthy balance.
The task specialist and socioemotional roles are important to teams. However, most
teams will have other roles as well, including team leaders, work coordinators, idea
people, and critics. These roles are not mutually exclusive. For example, the team leader
might also be a task specialist, while the idea person also fills the socioemotional role.
As your teamwork commences, these positions will be filled—maybe even by you. On
a team, no single role is more or less important than the others. The progress and results
the team achieves depend on how well the roles mesh in getting the work done.
Not every team works smoothly. Sometimes, individuals have their own agendas that
run counter to the goals of the team. Others disengage and don't participate at all. This
particular problem is called social loafing, , and is usually the most common human
issue teams struggle to overcome. People who are assigned to teams against their will, or
when they don't have the skill or ability to contribute, may end up “free-riding” on the
work of the rest of the team. They get the credit but they didn't do anything to deserve it.
Does this sound familiar?
Teams may also suffer from other performance problems, such as:
• Personality conflicts or power struggles
• Different or incompatible work styles
• Lack of clear goals or direction
• Communication breakdowns