by Ken Ingram President The Achievement Centre Montreal & Ottawa
The secret to team work lies in the fact that it is not work. It is a foundation of change that is created by a group of people who are committed to making the goals of the organization a success and when structured right it will not be difficult or even considered work. Employees who have the opportunity to work in a team are challenged to find a new style of working that is more focused and cooperative. A style that that does not come naturally and requires practice.
Working as part of a team is different because each member of the team must be open to listen, participate and share their ideas with others. In your business, you need to develop the habit of encouraging teamwork by creating teams on a regular basis so that when the heat is really on people are able to perform their best in the shortest possible time. However, recognize the fact that a teams can be formed disbanded and recreated.
I propose that you make this part of your business culture because you can significantly decrease, the learning curve of your employees. It is an excellent form of development that brings ideas, actions and results. Working in a team has a Buzz that working individually cannot achieve because each team member learns from the experiences of others and this can contribute to a significant increase in employee engagement and commitment. When you consider that one of the major issues affecting most businesses is employee engagement then perhaps this idea could be a solution for you. Perhaps the reason that it is not happening more often is but it is that very few managers know how to structure teams. Working in a team gives each person the opportunity to learn and apply new strategies that many people are afraid to do on their own.
To quote Henry Ford “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me”
Here are some tips to consider when forming a team.
Each team member should understand what needs to be done and why.
What is the intended goal and time-line?
If a disagreement should arise suggest that they work together to find a solution.
Resist your temptation to automatically jump in and resolve the issue as this will take away from their learning experience.
Communicate that you are open and will listen to their feedback
Be prepared to take action and follow thru because if you do not there will be consequences
Recognize and celebrate the learning, contributions and success. This is perhaps one of the most important things to do with your team.
It is important to note that putting together a group of talented people will not necessarily produce a talented team. They will be functional but not always as productive and effective together. Also most teams go through a four stage process called Forming Storming, Norming and Performing. When the team is formed the team starts with a common purpose. As they begin working together Storming sets in as they start to question the process and each other. Norming is when the team starts to settle down and they begin to work cooperatively with each other. Now we have arrived and have reach Performing. The final stage where synergy is achieved and results generated.
Lastly recognize that sometimes the team will not achieve success as defined by the original purpose. Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is great progress and in the end working together is where the secret is found.
Make sure all the work all work accomplished by the team is documented to enable everyone to learn and capitalize on the experience.
You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation Author Roger Maris