TEAMWORK – Aligning Your Team


Forget tough, today’s competition is fierce!  Now, more than ever, your commitment to establishing a true “team” culture is not just important, rather it is a vital component to your company’s future success because when your Team is strategically aligned, your organization is positioned with a stronger competitive advantage.

However, it is not easy by any means to establish highly effective and proficient work teams and it is also not easy to get everyone in the organization to work toward common goals.  Many companies and organizations that aspire and are committed to reaching such levels, focus, train and coach their people on a continuous basis.  In the sports world, this is what is known as training and practicing which ultimately leads teams to championships and dynasties.

However, there are two major challenges when it comes to creating a true team culture.  The first is assuming that teamwork is voluntary, one cannot “force” anyone to be a team player, you need to make them “want” to be a team player.  The second is that it just doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Teamwork requires consistent training, here’s why; most individuals have been conditioned 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 a highly effective and proficient team of professionals who can perform together in an environment of open communication and idea sharing—both 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 securing business growth and stability in the long term.

Without Teamwork…Disharmony, dissension, and dysfunction will creep into and sabotage an organizations environment.  This is 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.

When your people lack the capacity to understand each other’s’ pressures and the concerns of your customers the following will most likely occur:

…Barriers can develop among people.

…Walls are built and people will work in silos.

…Territorialism will manifest within your team.

…Quality can be compromised.

…Personnel issues and employee disengagement will rise.

…People will create separate agendas

…Customers will not receive exceptional service.

…Generally, things will deteriorate and be unproductive

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 strengthened—inside and outside your organization.  Issues are uncovered, conflict is resolved, and people all pull in the same direction. Individuals are effectively becoming solid team players, and strong leaders emerge.

Sound too idealistic?  It’s not.  All effective, successful organizations operate at this level and there is no reason why yours shouldn’t.  To begin, follow the steps below 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. Let them know that you want to involve them in this important team-building process and that you will help them get where they need to 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 you 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 a solid process to realize rigorous, but achievable goals.
  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.  Just as successful sports team practice prepare for competition, start teamwork training to help your team become a truly effective entity.

Remember, businesses don’t do business, people do.  Start building your team today, this will help you create your strongest competitive advantage and if you need help, seek out an experienced and reliable source, you will find that it will be well worth the investment.

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