1. We have chosen the show “The Apprentice UK” and watched the second episode of the fourth season. The show is about two teams competing against each other for a six-figure job. For this assignment we chose to analyze the boys team, because we thought this would be the team which was the most suitable to analyze. The team exists out of eight guys competing against eight girls. In this episode they got the task to find as many clients for their laundry business and make as much profit as they can. The team with the most revenue would win the contest.
2. After analyzing all our individual answers, we could see that there are not a lot of differences. This is because it was pretty obvious why the team did as good as they did.
3. Our initial impression of the team was that their ability to work together in a team is quiet outstanding. Everybody can have his say and there is one leader who keeps order and after hearing everybody’s opinion he tells them what the plan is. But the leader also gives the full 100% for the team and works hard. This motivates the other guys. So everybody is working very hard, putting personal interests aside and giving all for the team.
1. There was just one moment when some kind of prejudice could be seen. This was at the very beginning when the team leader had to be chosen. You got to see some personal interviews and some guys then said that they had their doubts about the leadership qualities of Raef. This was the only moment when some kind of evidence for prejudice in the guys team could be detected. But if we take a quick look at the girl’s team, we can see that there is far more prejudices, discrimination and the use of stereotypes. In their team there was one leader that told everybody what to do and if it was not done correctly she would get really mad at them, but this was not correct because she actually did not help them with the work or anything else. She was just yelling at everybody and that was not a good motivator for the other team members. Also she had prejudices about every team member. In the episode she told a girl who used to have a creative job that she has to be creative and therefore got a task, but she never knew for sure if she really was creative or not. This was just a small example.
1. The real strength of the boys team was the fact that they had very good teamwork. At the beginning, when a team leader had to be chosen, the team leader (Raef) said: “ okay guys I would like to be team leader this time, but I only want to be team leader if all of you agree with that and that you all give a 110 % for every task you get” (“The Apprentice”, 4th season, second series). Also, every decision was thought well of and also communicated with the other members. Also they really kept each other motivated by pumping each other up.
Besides that, they also divided their tasks very well, this meant that everybody had a task and they were evenly distributed. Another good thing about the tasks was that they were specific, but still left some space for creative ideas. This kept the members motivated, because the tasks were not very specific and every team member could give his own twist to it. That made it feel that each individual is of great importance to the group as a whole. Also the leader made sure that he also gave a 100 %. This kept the whole team motivated and giving their best. Everybody put his personal interest behind and tried to work as a team. This is why nobody complained about the working load, because they knew that they all were doing their best and giving everything they had. Another strength was that they did background research about the price they were asking. This made sure that they asked reasonable prices, unlike the girls. The team actually only had very few weaknesses. It was the moment when four guys were already working and doing the laundry, but the other guys were just drinking coffee and they lied to the other members about what they were doing. Another small weakness was when they cheated a bit in the beginning, because they stole all the ironing equipment before the girl’s team could get them. This was pretty smart, because when the girls came home at night and thought they could finish up at home they saw that everything was gone so there wasn’t anything left they could use. That action taken by the boys was kind of unfair towards the girls.
1. A) Within the boys group there hasn’t been an obvious problem or weakness. But if we have to choose the a weakness of the boys team then there was a little evidence of prejudices towards the team leader at the beginning of the episode. The team was not really sure about the leadership qualities of Raef. The evidence of prejudices was during a personal interview at the beginning of the program when some team members said that they were not really sure about the qualities of Raef, without having worked with him as a team leader.
B) To improve the performance of the team we would have acted differently in some situations:
1. The team leader could have rewarded the team members instead of drinking coffee behind their backs himself. He could easily have brought a few cups for the whole team to the laundry.
2. At the end he could have divided up the teams a bit smarter, because there were 4 guys in the car and already 4 others doing the laundry and barely managing the workload they had. He could have divided it better by sending 6 guys to do the laundry and keeping 2 in the car to find clients.
3. The boys team visited one hotel and got a revenue of 200 pounds out of it. If they had gone to more hotels, restaurants or anything like that, they would have been able to get more clients with a lot of laundry and make a lot more revenue.
4. It was not necessary that more than one group member showed up at a potential clients place in order to get new jobs. They could have split up during that process and could have visited at least twice the amount of clients. So that would have given more empowerment to the team members during the acquisition of clients.
C) The first strategy mentioned above would have had the greatest impact on their team performance from our point of view. Since the laundry work was time consuming and exhausting, especially since there was a time limit, the boys felt pressured. We would have rewarded them for doing all the hard work with a small, but nice gesture, such as bringing in some coffee for the boys at the laundry for example. Since the team leader’s group drank the coffee behind the back of the other members, they did reward themselves on the cost of the others doing the hard work. If the others would have found out, the team motivation could have decreased dramatically, also having an potential impact on further group performances.
Rewarding the team members would enhance the feeling of organizational commitment, increase motivation and thus, efficiency.