Aligning Your Team for Results
Forget tough! Today's competition is fierce! Now, more than ever, your commitment to establishing a true "team" culture is vital to your company's future success, because it is the key to obtaining a strong competitive advantage.
Is it easy to establish highly effective and proficient work teams? Absolutely not. Does it simply mean that everyone in the company is working toward a common goal? That would be too easy.
There are two major challenges when it comes to creating a true team culture. The first consideration is that teamwork is voluntary. You cannot force anyone to be a team player. The second is that it does not necessarily come naturally; teamwork requires training. Here's why. Most individuals have been programmed from childhood to excel as individuals and not as team players. Unless a person has had experience on a sports team under the direction of that rare dynamic coach, he or she does not know how to perform effectively as a member of a team.
In spite of these obstacles, it is absolutely critical to develop teamwork within your organization. Establishing highly effective and proficient team of professionals who can perform together in an environment of open communication and idea sharingboth internally and externally is critical. It is the only way to ensure that your company can perform at the highest level of quality service. And it is certainly the only way you can win the competitive battle and secure business growth and stability in the long term.
...You can bring disharmony into your corporate environment. That's not healthy in today's highly competitive and stressful work climate. Harmony within your team is critical to job satisfaction, customer retention, and business growth.
...Your people can lack the capacity to understand each others' pressures and the concerns of your customers.
...Barriers can develop among people.
...Walls are built. Territorialism and competitiveness can exist within your team.
...Quality can be compromised.
...Problems and misunderstandings can occur.
...Customers will not receive exceptional service.
No business can afford any of these situations. On the other hand, when there is a true team culture, positive outcomes are achievable.
Effective teams develop fragments of ideas and mold them into positive change. Ideas build one on top of another. Individuals, working as a team, take these scattered bits of information and structure a wide variety of options and solutions to the problems an organization continually encounters.
Consequently, teamwork promotes creativity and innovation. Relationships are strengthenedinside and outside your organization. Issues are uncovered, conflict is resolved, and people all pull in the same direction. Voila! Individuals are effectively becoming solid team players, and strong leaders emerge.
Sound too ideal? It's not. All effective, successful organizations operate at this level. Why shouldn't yours? To begin, follow these steps to move your company forward to take its place among the best:
1. Sit down with your team and describe what you would like to see within your organization. Tell them that you want to involve them in this important team-building process and that you will help them get where they need go. people tend to promote what they help to create. Asking for their ideas and input in this initiative is the first step in effective team-building. Keep in mind that people tend to promote what they help to create. Employee involvement is critical to the success of your team.
2. Work together to establish team competencies specific to each job role.
3. Set high standards for performance. Do not settle for mediocre performance.
4. Ask for ideas on how can can modify or eliminate any procedure that does not allow for flawless execution.
5. Create guiding principles for the way the team will communicate and operate, and how all customers will be treated.
6. Set rigorous, but achievable goals for sales, error-free performance and safety.
7. Have the courage to remove anyone who might prevent the team from performing at the highest possible level. You can't afford to have a weak player.
Take a good hard look at your team and begin these steps as soon as possible. Better yet, consider teamwork training to help your team become a truly effective entity.
Remember, businesses don't do business. People do. Start building your team today and you will create your strongest competitive advantage.
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