Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success - Henry Ford
Most employees have to work together. That’s simply the way of work. But the real goal is ensuring that all employers work well together. As Big Sam (Sam Allardyce) takes on football’s impossible (England) job, you can’t help but compare business with football. Building a successful team of employees is like building a successful football team; ultimately, ‘the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts’.
In the case of employees, each one brings their own unique strengths to the team. Whether this is qualifications, experience, individual talents or even a supportive shoulder for fellow staff, everyone has something different to offer. Recognising this rich mix of talents is a starting point. Embracing this diversity is the glue that holds successful teams together.
Employees are at their most productive when playing to their talents. Employers need to ascertain how their employees’ individual strengths can factor into the overall team effort, delivering positive results. Employees benefit from having defined roles with outlined responsibilities. That way, everyone knows what their own responsibilities are and there is less risk of overlapping among employees.
An obvious, but still relevant point is that employers need to ensure the team gets along. An employer shouldn’t walk into an office to find clashing personalities. People will always disagree on various topics from political stances to X-Factor winners. The employer needs to ensure all employees are capable of acting amiably – maybe even socialising - or, at the very least, able to put personal feelings aside for the sake of professional collaboration.
Communication is key. The workplace runs more smoothly when all employees are well-informed and constantly updating each other. There are various methods through which teams maintain contact, ranging from regular group meetings to phone and emails, and now employee apps.
But it’s not just about ensuring there’s a suitable communication method; it’s about ensuring that all employees are able to use said method on a regular basis. If there’s a sudden issue that pops up unexpectedly, such as stock shortage, last minute schedule-changes or changing rotas, employers and employees need to be able to communicate it.
Employees work based on information they’ve received. For example, if an employee is entrusted with delivering their company’s message, and only receive partial information on how to proceed, then both the employee and the company struggle as a result. Like football, lack of communication between staff can create a ripple that affects the entire team.
Employers need to keep their employees in the know. Sending out relevant information and ensuring that employees have received it, read it and understood it is key. The message must be clear, concise and most importantly consistent.
Employees can achieve a great deal together. With the right guidance, resources and people working alongside each other, there’s no telling what they could achieve as a team.