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Team Leader Guidance

Team Leader Guidance

Team Leaders are responsible to their supervisors or managers for performing a range of coordinating, liaison and supportive duties and responsibilities for their team. Team Leaders can utilize a variety of coordinating, coaching, facilitating, consensus building and planning techniques. These kinds of work methods and knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) are alternatives to traditional supervision which enable the team as a whole to deliver improved quality, quantity and timely services and/or work products to their customers.

The definition used for this structure is as follows: “Team Leader - A team leader or team lead is someone (or in certain cases there may be multiple team leaders) who provides guidance, instruction, direction, leadership to a group of other individuals (the team) for the purpose of achieving a key result or group of aligned results. The team lead reports to a project manager (overseeing several teams). The team leader monitors the quantitative and qualitative result that is to be achieved. The leader works with the team membership.”

Team leaders and members of the team maintain current supervisory responsibility to employees within their jurisdiction. Team Leaders role for team leadership is not to assume a supervisory role for the team. For a quick reference, the chart below lists examples of some of the more significant differences between team leaders and supervisors. These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive:

Team Leaders Supervisors
Explain team goals and objectives to assigned team members and assist team in organizing to accomplish work. Set team goals, assign team members, and administratively and technically direct the work of subordinates.
Facilitate, solve work problems, and participate in the work of the team. Plan, assign, review and accept, amend or reject work done by teams and subordinates.
Provide information to the supervisor on performance of the team and individuals. Assign performance ratings, approve awards and take performance-based corrective actions.
Communicate assignments, milestones and deadlines to the team and individuals based on supervisor’s instructions. Make work assignments, set or negotiate deadlines and completion dates.
Observe training needs and relay training needs and requests to supervisor. Schedule and approve funding for team and individual training.
Inform supervisor of attendance and behavioral problems. Counsel employees on behavior and initiate disciplinary actions if required.
Relay requests for resources and supplies. Allocate resources to teams.

Functions of Team Leaders

  • Ensure that the organization's strategic plan, mission, vision and values are communicated to the team and integrated into the team's strategies, goals, objectives, work plans and work products and services.
  • Articulate and communicate to the team the assignment, project, problem to be solved, actionable events, milestones, and/or program issues under review, and deadlines and time frames for completion.
  • Lead the team in: identifying, distributing and balancing workload and tasks among employees in accordance with established work flow, skill level and/or occupational specialization; making adjustments to accomplish the workload in accordance with established priorities to ensure timely accomplishment of assigned team tasks; and ensuring that each employee has an integral role in developing the final team product.
  • Monitor and report on the status and progress of work, checking on work in progress and reviewing completed work to see that the supervisor's instructions on work priorities, methods, deadlines and quality have been met.
  • Serve as facilitator and/or negotiator in coordinating team initiatives and in consensus building activities among team members.
  • Represent the team in dealings with the supervisor or manager (ALT member) for the purpose of obtaining resources (e.g., computer hardware and software, use of overtime or compensatory time), and securing needed information or decisions from the supervisor (ALT member) on major work problems and issues that arise as needed. (Primarily this function will belong to each employee working with their supervisor, however, team leaders may perform this function at the request of the team.)
  • Report to the supervisor (ALT member) periodically on team and individual work accomplishments, problems, progress in mastering tasks and work processes, and individual and team training needs.
  • Represent the team consensus and convey the team's findings and recommendations in meetings and dealings with other team leaders, program officials, the public and other customers on issues related to or that has an impact on the team's objectives, work products and/or tasks.
  • Estimate and report to the team on progress in meeting established milestones and deadlines for completion of assignments, projects and tasks, and ensure that all team members are aware of and participate in planning for achievement of team goals and objectives.
  • Lead the team in assessing its strengths and weaknesses and provide leadership to the team in exploring alternatives and determining what improvements can be made (e.g., in work methods, processes and procedures).
  • Communicate team consensus and recommendations to the supervisor (ALT member) on actions affecting team and individual awards, rewards and recognition; (This will allow team leaders to nominate individuals/and or team members for awards, rewards, and recognition.)

Functions of Team Coaches

  • Members of the Arkansas Leadership Team will serve as coaches for teams. Each established team within the team-based organizational structure will have a leadership team member assigned as the coach. Each team will be allowed to select its own team leader. Leadership team members cannot serve as team leaders. Arkansas Leadership team members will serve as coaches only to teams.
  • Coach the team in the selection and application of appropriate problem solving methods and techniques, provide advice on work methods, practices and procedures, and assist the team and/or individual members identifying the parameters of a viable solution.
  • Arrange for the training of team members in methods and techniques of team building and working in teams to accomplish tasks or projects, and arrange for specific administrative or technical training necessary for accomplishment of individual and team task.
  • Provide collective team information of work accomplishments and administrative information as needed, and communicate work-related information to other leadership team members as needed.
  • Report to other leadership team members periodically on the work accomplishments, problems, progress mastering tasks and work processes, and training needs of the team.

Last Modified: 12/01/2010