Teamwork and Its Link to the Productivity Equation, Part 2
April 2005Last month’s article discussed ways to strengthen the organization with teamwork. We covered the Supervisor’s responsibilities, now we will discuss the employee.
Team Member's Responsibilities
On the other side of the equation, employees have their own criteria to meet. For individual members, the most important aspect is developing trust. Through trust you can accomplish the "3-C’s"—communication, cooperation and commitment. If any or all of these is missing in an employee's relationship with the supervisor, there will be inefficiency. Encourage employees to:
The Total Team’s Responsibilities
Now that we’ve defined the parameters of teamwork, let’s delve further into the details of a total team organization. After laying the foundation, teamwork becomes the company’s approach to getting things done. Under your guidance as business owner, the company as a whole should envision, unite, empower, explore and reflect. Teams believe that they share a common vision with other sectors and individuals. They have cooperative goals, complement each other, discuss problems, recommend solutions and strengthen their work relationships.
By creating a Team Organization, you will:
Building teamwork requires establishing some new traditions and making sure that all team players understand them while making a commitment to follow them. These "new traditions” are summed up as follows:
Teamwork becomes the Management System that revolves around a process for improving productivity at all levels of the organization. The process is based on the concept of continuous improvement, which essentially means—"No matter where you’re at, you’re never there.” This gives the company a sense of motivation to strive for something better. It’s not a quick fix, but a process where both management and employees are involved in facilitating change through effective leadership. In turn, the middle management team becomes the "glue” that ties together the three keys to collective success: direction from the top, support from the middle and action by the employees at the bottom.
Leaders who are making the transition to this collaborative approach must buy into the Four Key Principles of Change.
Above all, if managers and supervisors want to build teamwork, they must understand that the process of change requires patience. It becomes necessary for managers to move away from a culture where managers alone have all the answers, make all the decisions, and tell people what to do. They must begin to understand that building a team organization requires developing genuine relationships in a give-and-take atmosphere.
We must also keep in mind that leaders are at the center of creating a team organization. Leaders must be empowered to challenge the status-quo while overhauling obsolete practices. Then he/she can empower others to make a difference. The result—issues are explored thoroughly through the encouragement of diverse opinions, and opposing views can then be assembled into workable solutions. Workable solutions will inevitably move the organization toward increased productivity and efficiency.