Some businesses have an atmosphere of quiet competency, confidence and professionalism. You can walk in the door and almost feel an overwhelming sense of purpose and belonging. Everyone, from file clerk to CEO, looks as if he or she has an important, clearly defined and respected place in the organization.
It’s called a team. Consistently successful businesses aren’t necessarily those with the best-educated or experienced employees, those boasting the most modern facilities, or even those selling the best products.
They’re very often the ones with an esprit de corps in which each individual is a valued member of a dedicated team that reflects the organization’s own distinct culture.
Team building comes from the top down. Leaders must define the organization’s and each individual’s goals and purpose. But team building goes beyond mission statements and job descriptions.
The key ingredient is to get to know your people, their strengths and weaknesses. Then assign responsibilities according to their strengths. Look at their interests, their training and their background.
In other words, you can’t simply assign the next job at the top of the pile to the next person in line. That would be like designating your shy and retiring bookkeeper to do face-to-face sales, while asking your receptionist who struggles with the alphabet to write knock-em-dead ad copy. Assign the right person for each job.
Just as important, take a sincere interest in your people. If you see your employees as just the faceless means of production who are expected to do what they are told to do in order to receive their paycheck, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
We’ve all seen it (perhaps we’ve done it ourselves): The boss who walks around the corner and asks, “Where’s what’s her name?” referring to a loyal employee who has been there for ten years… though no one knows why! Good bosses know and care about their people.
The bottom line: If you build a better team, you create a better work environment, your employees will be happier, and your organization will be more successful.
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