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How to Build a Strong Teamwork Culture
By: Caroline Nelson
Posted: March 30, 2010, from the April 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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In the busy life of an owner or manager, something often has to slip because there are only so many hours in a workday and most can’t stretch the time any farther. This could easily be compared to many modern-day family situations. Due to necessity, most women hold down full-time jobs, run the home, care for the family and generally try to be a superwoman. If this goes on too long, often the kids, who may be left to their own devises, can become difficult to control, stop doing their homework and household chores, and begin picking fights with each other. Without constant guidance, this can be what happens to employees, as well. Unfortunately, a good teamwork culture won’t exist unless a leader invests the time into making it work.
What comes next in the process? Well, team failure most often happens to teams that don’t really know where they are going or even why they are heading that way. Don’t keep your employees in the dark; be up front about where you want the business to go and what part you see them playing in the overall plan. If they clearly understand the vision you have for the business, you will be amazed at how uplifting this can be for them. They will have a stronger purpose because they now know the big picture, and that their role is very important. You will have a team with a shared purpose, complementary skills and a commitment to reach its goals.
It is common knowledge that all work and no play makes for very dull girls and boys, so be sure to realize that the best teams need to have a little fun every now and then. They need to let off steam, kick back and enjoy themselves. They should love coming to work and should enjoy telling a joke with each other because a good laugh makes the work day much more pleasant. People who like each other always work well together.
Once people enjoy working together, they will be happy to listen to the opinions of and respect the feelings of each other. So, it is important to ensure that the work environment offers a safe and secure place for team members to share and cooperate with each other. Everyone must be prepared to pitch in, fill in for each other and share the workload for the sake of the team and because they understand that the work must be done.
A clear plan
If you have a good team on board, your business will be propelled quickly toward its goals, but very clear plans must be set. For instance, if the goal is to increase retail sales by 25% during the next three months, an action plan would need to be put in place in order to achieve it. Develop a flowchart laying out the steps, the resources required and any necessary training involved. This will show the team how they will be able to achieve the 25% retail increase without being left to muddle through. The most effective teams require contributions from all members, measured by specific performance expectations. By explaining their roles, each team member will be empowered, inspired, committed and motivated by the action plan.