Working together 3

Upon completion of this module the reader will know and understand the following:

  1. What is teamwork?
  2. How do you organise your co-operative?
  3. How does teambuilding affect productivity?
  4. How do you resolve conflict in a co-operative?



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How to do it

What is teamwork?

  • Teamwork is the equivalent of one of the basic principles of a co-operative viz. Cooperation amongst co-operative members
  • A co-operative is a joint effort to deal with a common ill that members of a community are experiencing or an opportunity for poverty alleviation that the community identified
  • Teamwork means solidarity amongst members. There is unity. Members are not there on their own with their own hidden agenda; a co-operative is a common cause and promotes social cohesion within communities.

How to organise your co-operative


  • It is important that everyone that forms part of the co-operative knows what his/her role is.
  • Haphazard working will cause employees and co-operative members to become irritated with each other
  • Everyone must perform his/her task in order for continuity and efficiency to prevail.
  • A lazy member or employee must be dealt with as stipulated in the policies and procedures of the co-operative
  • A good place to start is a work schedule, by using this everything that staff and members must do is stipulated on paper, signed by the directors, a copy handed to the members and a copy placed on the bulletin board

The importance of continued training in a co-operative

  • The co-operative must ensure that everyone that is tasked with a duty is competent to fulfil it.
  • Should the latter not be possible staff and member training would be essential
  • Co-operatives grow; hence new employees will always be recruited. It is important that the manager ensures that all new employees knows exactly how the business works and that they can execute their job function, that is why induction training and the policy and procedures for induction should be communicated to the new employee.
  • Training may follow in this order:
    1. Induction training
    2. Basic training- this is ”on the job” training; the employee or new member will learn various aspects of the business
    3. Specialised training – training an employee to specialise in one or more fields
    4. Junior Management –the manager will train the employee the basic roles and responsibilities of the manager
    5. Management training can be done through a college or a SETA.

How does teambuilding affect productivity?

  • The communication channels MUST be open and the manager must recognise that the co-operative cannot function when there is disunity.
  • There are various methods of ensuring the wellness of the members and staff.
  • Team Building activities and getaways are great to assist the co-operative to regroup.
  • When they return, they are more optimistic and goal orientated and productivity will be strengthened.
  • The manager must ensure that he/she acknowledges the achievements of the staff, this will motivate them and make them feel that their contribution is worthwhile
  • Bonuses, higher margin of profit sharing and the introduction of benefits are great ways to motivate staff.

How to resolve conflict in a co-operative

  • It is important that the manager resolves the conflict as quickly as possible. Should that not be possible the Manager must report the situation to the Board of Directors.
  • For more serious cases, such as theft, fraud, sexual harassment it is important that the co-operative has a set of policies and procedures that will provide them with a guideline to deal with the above cases.
  • The manager should determine the seriousness of the situation
  • He/she should speak to both parties individually. After that he/she will have a mediation session. The manger can ask both parties to write their grievances on paper for presentation at the mediation
  • Facilitate the two parties to resolve the conflict by getting a solution for the problem.
  • The manager can assist the two parties by giving positive input about both parties and to enhance their strengths as a team and as individuals.
  • Should the manager not be able to resolve the matter, it will then be referred to the Board of Directors.

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