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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Eric P. Bloom: Form a culture of teamwork and camaraderie

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  • Continuing on the LEAPFROG Teambuilding Process, this week’s column is “F - Form a culture of teamwork and camaraderie.” Here is a quick recap, if you haven’t seen weeks one through four, they were:
    L - Layout the organizational structure and staff roles and responsibilities.
    E - Establish relationships and trust among teammates.
    A - Assemble goals, objectives and values.
    P - Provide individual and team critical success factors.
    This step is the culmination of the four prior steps. This is the time your group becomes a team by taking advantage of the foundation that was laid in the previous activities.
    As anyone who has ever participated on a sports team, been involved in an entrepreneurial endeavor, and/or participated as a member of a project team, can attest to that when a group of individual participants bond as a team, the total is always greater than the sum of its parts in regard to job satisfaction, individual performance and team efficiency. This is why, from the leader’s perspective, that it’s so important for your team to jell as a single cohesive unit.
    The steps that follow will provide insights as to how you, the team’s leader/manager can complete this crucial process of converting a group of individuals into a well-oiled machine.
    1. Emphasize goals and objectives to build a common purpose
    Step “A - Assemble goals, objectives and values” discussed the importance of defining team goals, objectives and values. Emphasizing these statements to your team gives them a common purpose to rally around. This common purpose, in turn, will help facilitate their camaraderie because of the realization that they must work together to attain this mutual goal.
    2. Use values as a way to drive importance of team commitment
    Emphasizing team values helps solidify the rules of engagement between members. This is the case because, by their nature, they describe the team’s internal code of conduct and moral standards.
    3. Establish concept of team, not just personal, success and failure
    With common goals in place, establishing the concept of “team,” not just personal success and failure, places an implied reliance on fellow teammates. This in turn puts implied peer pressure on each member of the group to perform, as to not let their teammates down. Additionally, the team members themselves will push each other to perform, thus assisting you in motivating less-driven staff members.
    4. Use goals, objectives and CSFs as the context for team focus
    With your group beginning to jell as a single unit, the previously defined critical success factors (CSFs) can be used to help channel their efforts toward specific outcomes and secondary objectives.
    5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
    Communicate and accentuate to your staff the importance of working as a team for the good of all. Communicate your group’s goals, values and CSFs to your internal (or external) company clients so they will begin to:
    Page 2 of 2 - - Understand your group’s purpose (goals and objectives).
    - Conceptualize your team as a cohesive unit (team concept).
    - Gain insights on how to best work with your group (values).
    - Know how your group should be measured and judged (CSFs).
    Lastly, you must communicate these same concepts (goals, values and CSFs) to your management to help assure that you personally, as the group’s leader, will be judged using agreed upon criteria (the CSFs).
    6. Praise or punish those following or violating stated team values
    In addition to properly and consistently communicating the importance of teamwork and camaraderie to your group, you must also reinforce it through your actions. People on your team that exemplify your stated values should be publicly praised in front of the group as an example of proper behavior. Those who do not understand and/or don’t properly follow group norms should be spoken to privately so as to not embarrass them among their peers.
    The primary advice and takeaways from today’s column is to know that:
    - With the team’s goals, values and CSFs in place, now is the time to use these tools as a way to convert your group of recently acquainted individuals into a solidified and working team.
    - Communication of these goals, values and CSFs to those working with your group will help them understand your group’s purpose, cohesiveness, values, and success criteria.
    Until next time, work hard, work smart, manage well and continue to build your professional brand.
    Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a management training company specializing in information technology leadership and is the governing organization of the ITMLP and ITMLE certifications. He is also a keynote speaker, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of the books “The CIO’s Guide to Staff Needs, Growth, and Productivity,” “Your IT Career: Get Noticed, Get Promoted, and Build Your Professional Brand” and “52 Great Management Tips.” Contact him at eric@ManagerMechanics.com, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom and @MgrMechanics or visit www.ManagerMechanics.com.
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