Friday, September 23, 2016

Successful Team Working Experience

The successful team which I work with is actually the team that I am working with right now. I have a part time job at the APlus VIP Lounge at downtown Urbana. My position is shift leader and I think the team structure at APlus VIP Lounge confirm to the Simple Hierarchy team configurations.

APlus VIP Lounge is a café/bar/KTV, people usually come and reserve their own private room (which can host around 10-15 people) and sing karaoke. The rate is calculated by hours. Aplus also provides alcohol services and café drink. On a busy night like Friday night and Saturday night, we will usually have 8 people on site. 1 manager, 1 shift leader (me), 1 bar tender, 4 waiters/waitress, 1 bus boy. In the textbook, simple hierarchy team configuration is described as the model that with a middle manager who reports to the boss and in turn supervises and communicates with others. In this case, the Aplus manager is the boss, and I am the “manager” in the middle. Before opening, I will ask the waiters and waitress to check each room with a complete checklist. After that, I will have to make a short brief to the manager about the overall situation (whether there are broken speakers/microphones/chairs etc.). The manager will then decide if the business needs new equipment or new supply. After the simple briefing, I will communicate with all the waiters and waitress to do the work assigned by the manager. During the business time, the manager and I are more like free men, we will help whichever positions are in short. For example, if there are too many people ordering cocktails, the bartender can’t handle it, the manager and I will help him mix cocktails. However, most of the time, the manager will sit at the front desk in charge of money and be the cashier. The 4 waiters/waitress are responsible for any services requests from customers, including making cafe drinks and delivering beers and liquors. The bus boy will be responsible for room cleaning right after customers are gone.

I think the team configuration frees the manager to focus on mission and external relations while leaving operational details to the shift leaders to staff. Moreover, it shows multiple characteristics of high quality-teams highlighted by Katzenbach and Smith’s research. First, our team is in manageable size. Second, we are good at translating common purpose into specific, measurable performance goals. For example, we want our customers to have better atmosphere, we will do very detailing room cleaning and microphone sanitizing every day. Third, all of our team members are accountable. One for all and all for one is our principle. Last but not least, our team develops the right mix of expertise as everyone in the team has their specific roles and works, which are decided by their own specialties.

Overall, I think I enjoy working with the team and l look forward to the future.     

1 comment:

  1. I will ask a couple of clarifying questions first before commenting on the rest of the post. I have not been to a Karaoke Lounge before. Does it get very loud? Are the rooms at all sound proofed?

    So I gather there is a room rate. Is the time limit enforced? Do you sometimes have to kick out one group because another group is there to use the room? How does that work.

    I can also imagine that this sort of business is busier on certain nights of the week. When do you work? Are there others who work on different nights? Or is it the same group each night?

    Some other general questions are: (1) what are the hours of operation? (2) what happens when there is an equipment problem? (3) Is there an owner of the place who comes on site now and then or is the manager the owner?

    Otherwise you gave a good description of the team and how it functions. What might help to describe things more is to contrast what it is like when it is very busy from what it is like when things are going slower. Given the reservation system that is in place, it would seem this can be forecast in advance. Does the work you do adjust as a consequence? if so, how.

    Finally, I'd be curious about your customers. Are many of them repeat business? If so, what is it that you provide that makes them come back?