Once upon a time, searching for the word teamwork would have displayed more information about the ballpark than the boardroom, but no more.
Of course, the concept of teamwork began with games and sports, and that’s why the web is replete with blogs and articles comparing sports teams with businesses. The similarities are hard to miss – in both cases, teams are composed of a group of people brought together to work toward a common goal. To achieve it, all members must play their individual roles to the best of their abilities, and they must respect and support the others in their roles. All for the power of WE.
The Emergence of Teamwork
While the concept of teamwork in the workplace is rampant, it’s comparatively new. Directly following World War II, and for decades thereafter, the business paradigm was one of command and control.
An employee’s workplace experience was shaped by where he or she was situated on the work pyramid, with the president of the company at the top, senior executives below him, and so on, down to the support staff who formed the base of the pyramid. According to the American Management Association, “Orders traveled in one direction: downward. Information filtered up slowly. Employees were expected to do their job, collect their paycheck, and be satisfied.”
However, with the dawning of the digital age, things have changed. Technology has altered the way and speed in which people complete work, and communication is now paramount to staying competitive in a rapidly shrinking global marketplace. With these changes, companies should realize that the best way to operate is to establish organizational alignment between management and staff. Everybody, from the CEO to the administrative assistant, has an oar in the water, and they all need to row together to leverage the true power of WE.
The teamwork model works well if six key elements are in place to strengthen the team:
For a team to succeed, every member needs a clear understanding of the team’s mission. If one department thinks the mission is to boost production, another department thinks it’s to increase sales, but the owner’s goal is to improve quality, then the resulting push and pull will lead to an organizational standstill.
To achieve effective organizational alignment, everyone must be on the same proverbial page, and that page needs to be clearly bookmarked. The employee experience is much more positive when people aren’t confused about what their purpose is.
Encouraging input from your people regarding the organizational mission is another way to make sure that your organizational alignment is top notch.
No discussion about understanding is complete without also examining the importance of frequent and effective communication.
An integral part of the workplace experience for any person is the sense that he or she is heard and in the know. People need to feel like management listens to them and takes their ideas and concerns seriously. They also need to feel important to warrant being kept apprised of matters that affect their responsibilities and work environment.
Meeting both communication needs pushes your business one giant step closer to faultless organizational alignment.
Once management clearly communicates a mission or goal and people understand and align with it, everyone must commit to it. If one or two people decide they aren’t on board, their negativity or apathy can affect the entire effort.
Usually, if people react negatively to a goal or project, it’s because something about their employee experience is keeping them from feeling engaged. Getting to the bottom of what’s causing this attitude is the first step toward remedying it and securing complete commitment from every team player.
Clear Definition of Roles
Clearly defining every person’s role may seem counterintuitive to teamwork but being a team doesn’t mean that everyone does everything. Despite common goals and shared outcomes, each person’s workplace experience will be unique.
A receiver doesn’t wait for the quarterback to catch up and run next to him after catching a pass. The coach doesn’t hold the quarterback’s arm and guide the throw.
On the contrary, for a team to function seamlessly, every person must contribute in his or her own uniquely appointed way. Someone must snap the ball, someone else must throw it, and another person must catch it. That’s teamwork.
The best workplace experience is one where each person knows what they’re supposed to do to achieve desired outcomes, doing so with an eye to supporting the entire team’s success.
With clearly defined roles comes accountability. The lack of it in one person can affect the performance of the entire team.
Accountability is about people being where they said they’d be. It’s about people doing what they say they’re going to do, and when they say they’re going to do it. Accountability is people holding themselves responsible to maintain their end of the workplace bargain, performing their best work for fair treatment and pay.
Inherent in this bargain is the assumption that everyone’s workplace experience will meet his or her needs. Just as people should have the integrity to hold themselves accountable for their own duties, leadership is accountable for providing the circumstances under which people can succeed in their efforts.
Evaluation is the string that ties everything together. There are several questions you must address to work toward creating a better workplace experience:
- How do you measure employee experience?
- Does everyone understand the organization’s mission?
- How do you gauge communication and commitment?
- Are you certain that roles are clearly defined?
- Are people are holding themselves accountable for fulfilling their roles?
- Are you being held accountable?
Evaluating with Employee Surveys
Simple, short, frequent surveys give you actionable data that will help you transform your people into a team. Results will pinpoint problems and highlight what your company is doing right and what it’s doing wrong.
Pulse surveys – an apt name for more than one reason – help you keep your finger on the pulse of your employees’ workplace experience. Olumo’s simple text message surveys allow you to gather real-time feedback data and quickly view actionable results. We pinpoint exactly where your weak points lie so you can make better choices to improve engagement and organizational alignment. The best part is, we do this all while carefully protecting the identities of your people via 100% anonymous feedback.
In the contemporary workplace, you simply can’t harness the power of WE if you don’t
actively engage with your people. Find out how it works!
Achieve a Great Workplace Experience Today
Your people should have an easy way to offer anonymous feedback on your organization. Request honest feedback specific to your concerns.
Want to know if your people feel that communication is clear? Ask them via Olumo! Are you unsure how well people feel about the employee experience? We can measure your company’s satisfaction.
With the truthful feedback you gain from our anonymous surveys, you can learn where you need to take action to achieve a great workplace experience and simultaneously see what can happen with the power of WE. Once you know, you can grow. Try it out for free today or text us at any hour at 385.474.4763.