Teamwork efficiency and conflicts: An agency’s point of view
Have you ever got frustrated working with a bunch of different people on a simple group assignment or a student club’s project? Have you ever though that working with other people is such a torture? All of the troubles with your peers’ late submission, work’s malfunction or even conflicts when you are studying in university would still be remained the same but with a higher degree as you step into the world of advertising industry, I would say. As a trainee in professional communication, I found the same problems; however, it seems to be critically essential to get to know about teamwork’s within an advertising agency.
In order to help you- advertising practitioners having in-depth understanding about how teamwork implemented in the workplace, conflicts solving and practical experience from the point of view of a person in the industry, I had an interview with Ms Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa who is working as an account executive at VietmaiAds Company.
VietnamAds is a Vietnamese based advertising agency and is one of the pioneering agencies in Vietnam. The agency offers different kinds of service in the communication industry such as: advertising, PR, Event management, etc. Moreover, VietmaiAds has been working with many well-known clients including: Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Prudential, Land Rover, etc. With the network presence in Singapore, HongKong, Malaysia and China, VietmaiAds is confident to meet the diversity in clients’ requirements (VietmaiAds n.d).
Despite the short working experience in VietmaiAds agency with just only more than 1 year, Ms. Hoa has shown her capability in working as an account executive and gained trust in the agency to manage a number of strategic clients of the agency including: Canon, Acer and now, she is working with Vinamilk in their recent advertising campaign.
(Photo of Ms Hoa and me, taken by her friend)
To begin with, it is essential to have certain level of understanding about teamwork. According to Belbin (2012), teamwork is the process of working in collaboration with a group of different people to achieve a common goal. Ms Hoa asserts that within an advertising agency, an executive has to work with other analogues and with other people in the creative team.
(Reproduced from timviecnhanh.com)
“Teamwork is definitely a fundamental element to determine the success of an agency’s working process”
According to West (2012), the teamwork’s performance also play vital role to determine the work’s effectiveness. If the team functions well, the final work would turn out to be marvelous. On the contrary, the work would not be complete or, completed with the outcome that is below the expectation if the team operates separately and lack of efficiency. In order to foster the effectiveness of teamwork, the certain thing that could never be missed is building up trust and respect towards each others within the team, Ms Hoa mentioned. “Without trust, there would be a limited success on the project as everyone doubts others’ working capability and as a result, they just cannot work together”.
Another element that would decide if the project is well planned and executed is the maintaining of teamwork’s effectivess.
Maintain effective teamwork
Been working in many projects, Ms Hoa shared that one of the most difficult task to cope with when working in a team is “time management”. “Everyone need to have their own responsibility to complete designated tasks before the deadline, but in some cases, procrastination still exists”, Ms Hoa said. In order to maintain the work’s efficiency, the employees also have to be proactive and have flexibility in helping their coworkers or assigning available labors to ensure the work’s effectiveness.
Another tip for keeping the teamwork functions effectively is that you have to wear others’ shoes in order to understand coworkers’ situation and status (Scholl 1996). “When working in a group, there would be objective elements that would let the teamwork’s process slow down or malfunction”. As Ms Hoa shared one of her experience when she was taking charge of the advertising project of Canon last year, when a member of the team has a personal problem that made him/her not able to complete the task by the deadline, instead of criticizing on the person, It would be better to get to know about the person’s issue and be sympathy to her. At the end, better understanding amongst employees would be achieved and lead to the teamwork’s effectiveness in later projects and in the same time, enhance the interpersonal relationship with the employee.
Conflicts are opportunities
(Reproduced from markspychiatry.com)
Ms Hoa stated that conflicts are unavoidable in the working process of any organizations and companies. “However, in some cases, conflicts turn out to be good when it comes to the team’s brainstorming sessions or meetings”, Ms Hoa said. It is totally true, arguments and debates lay problems on the table which could collect diverse opinion in the team to solve the issue and also stimulate creativity in the employees (Riveros 2010). As a consequence, after the conflicts are solved, it would lead to a higher level of understanding amongst people in the team, Ms Hoa added. However, when the conflicts pop up, the first thing to deal with is clarifying the obstacles by friendly discussion. At the end, every single member in the team needs to encourage each other and solving the conflicts together to achieve the common goal for the agency.
Overall, when stepping into the industry of advertising and communication, working in a team is a definite thing. Somebody would find it hard to cope with the problems come up in the working process, however, in order to reach the common goal of the agency and gain the work’s efficiency, getting along with other colleges and teamwork is strongly advised.
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Belbin, R 2012, Team roles at work, 2nd edn, Butterworth-Heinemann,USA
Riveros, J 2010, ‘Teamwork, conflict & negotiation’, University of Puerto Rico, viewed 6th September 2013, <http://ece.uprm.edu/~icom5047/spring10/documents/Teamwork,%20conflict%20&%20Negotiation.pdf>
Scholl, W 1996, ‘Effective teamwork- a theoretical model and a test in the field’, Humboldt University, viewed 6th September 2013, < http://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/30918078/Scholl_1996_Effective_Teamwork_updated.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIR6FSIMDFXPEERSA&Expires=1378454975&Signature=kU1NDD9j96pSvs2l9vW3xbDzNiQ%3D&response-content-disposition=inline>
West, M 2012, ‘Effective teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational research’, 3nd edn, BPS Blackwell, UK