How teamwork can make victory sweeter

How teamwork can make victory sweeter

By Alastair Youngson, Business Analyst

 

After watching the fantastic six nations French result on Sunday, I joined the group of stunned and confused England fans wondering where exactly we went wrong. I mean granted it was raining, and the atmosphere in the Stade de France was hostile, but this is the England rugby team! So why didn’t it happen for us on the pitch?

The simple truth is teamwork.  It didn’t matter what England did, there were always two or three of the French national side to come straight back at them, and through working as a team they were completely impenetrable for the entire first half. It was undeniable proof that people working effectively together, with the same common goal, can achieve much more than individual showcases of talent.

Naturally, as I’m reviewing the internal processes within my company, I’m trying to incorporate that ‘shared goal’ affect. See for me, it has always been obvious in previous workplaces that if the end-goal is not in sight, my colleagues and I have felt like cogs in an endlessly rotating wheel. Or even worse, particularly in some of the larger companies I’ve worked for, individual goals take precedence over what is the best for the company, and the customer. Causing a detrimental affect on the workforce. But how do you incorporate common goals into everyday working, whilst still giving your employees that opportunity to ‘shine’? The answers are actually quite simple, but often overlooked. And when they are overlooked, they turn simple requirements into confusion, panic and blame. Below are 5 simple considerations to ensure combined effort from all areas of your organisation.

 

Clear Business Objectives

In each process or task, its vitally important to understand what needs to be achieved, what is required to achieve it and how it is going to be done. This can only be done by defining all the business requirements at the very beginning to ensure the output meets standardised, agreed upon definitions.

 

Roles and Responsibilities

By ensuring each member of your team has a clear understanding of what elements of the process they are responsible for, this allows them to focus on what is required to do their job well, and feed back to colleagues when they require more input. By defining roles and responsibilities at the beginning you effectively avoid the blame game and promote a can-do culture.

 

OLAs

Aligned with the above, by having clear OLAs and a usable escalation process you can help to understand where focus may be needed for additional resource, or likewise team members could be utilised elsewhere. Additionally, defining OLAs for the end requirement ensures that consistent approach to customer satisfaction, a consistent flow through your organisation and the right size team for each process element.

 

Adopting a Shared Service approach

By having as few system handoffs as possible by adopting a shared services approach you can not only make vast savings through incorporating intuitive workflows, or clever automation processes, you can also create a true set of inputs and outputs throughout an entire process. This ensures that there is little opportunity for mis-information to be passed from team to team, often seen in situations where incorrect input is received, and teams continue to work with it. Shared Services helps to ensure that quality and satisfaction remain at a high plateau.

 

Communication, Communication, Communication

Every successful team in history is built on communication. Being able to know what’s happening on your immediate left and right, whilst having confidence that it its going to maintain an excellent standard, is vital in ensuring that your team members can focus on doing their job, and doing it well. Additionally, promoting positive feedback allows for a joint pride in the company and an understanding that they are part of a job well done.

These guidelines of course apply to all members of the team. Yes project or team managers must lead by example, but if every member of the team lives by the 1-5 approach above and embraces the fact they are each as responsible as the other for the successful outcome of the task, then the shared goal becomes eminently more achievable.

By following these guidelines you have a sure fire way of ensuring your colleagues have the tools and understanding to do their job well. And once in place you can turn a successful group of individuals into a world class team.

 

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