Teamwork in Tough Economic Times
Teamwork in tough economic times: get maximum results from every employee with minimal investment.
The effect of extraordinary individual effort on an organization can never be underestimated. Focused and driven employees are essential to success. In a challenging business climate, however, it's vital to engage every member of your staff and bring out their very best work every day.
That's where the power of the team comes into play. Led by your top performers, teams allow your brightest stars to shine and to raise the level of expectation and performance in every member of the group.
Build your business by building consensus
The first step in creating an effective team is assuring that every member understands and feels invested in the broader goals of the team, their role in the group and, most importantly, their responsibility for the team's success.
- Emphasize your commitment to teamwork by revisiting your organization's mission statement. Incorporate and highlight the important role every individual plays in the long-term success of their team(s) and in the organization as a whole. Underscore your commitment to company-wide teamwork by distributing framed desktop prints featuring inspiring teamwork-themed images and messages. If your budget allows, customize your prints with your new mission statement for maximum impact.
- Formalize your focus on teamwork with an interactive all-company meeting where everyone gets re-introduced to, involved with and energized by their individual teams. Search the web or contact a motivational meeting planner for new and exciting activities to engage and strengthen your teams. Pass out themed mugs, pens and notepads to each attendee to keep the significance of the day's lessons in mind throughout the year.
- The printed word gives weight and meaning to your message. Stock break rooms, conference rooms and common areas with quick-read business handbooks that reinforce the responsibility of the individual and the importance of shared goals. Many inspiring paperback titles are available for under $10.
Team support ensures no one has an "off day" and every success is acknowledged.
Even your star contributors can have a tough day – a day when things aren't quite falling into place. By taking responsibility for each other's success, providing support during challenging times and recognizing special contributions on a regular basis, the team ensures a consistent level of excellence is maintained day in and day out.
- Develop a buddy system within each department. Assign each person a partner they can turn to when they need a "second opinion," technical assistance, or backup on a particularly busy day. This team-within-a-team approach helps everyone achieve their individual goals while creating a we're-all-in-this-together environment.
- Spread the responsibility for recognition throughout the group. Twice a year, give every member of your organization an affordable instant recognition "award" and ask them to present it to a fellow team member in recognition of above-and-beyond efforts. Recognition pins and gem awards make a big impression at minimal cost.
"There is little success where there is little laughter."
When everyone is watching the bottom line and results are all-important, don't forget the value of fun and its positive effect on morale and team building.
- Encourage groups or departments (or your entire organization) to take a short afternoon break as a team once a week. Let them know it's okay to put aside the "shop talk," relax and re-focus. Off-the-clock interactions like these create strong bonds and allow the group to connect as a unit.
- Following a big success or a tough deadline crunch, deliver a novelty desktop game or puzzle with a motivational spin in every mailbox. You'll get the whole team talking, energized and ready to take on the next challenge. For serious team bonding, pass out a scrambled motivational Rubik's Cube® to the leader of each team and give each group one week to solve the puzzle. Offer a special prize for each member of the team(s) that completes the task. A gift card for the nearest coffee shop is an inexpensive and always appreciated choice.
During tight economic times, every organization needs to get the most out of every individual and every dollar spent. Investing your time and a small portion of your budget into strengthening teamwork pays big dividends in the form of increased productivity, efficiency and morale. Tap into the power of the team today!
Have a team-building event or success story you'd like to share?
We'd love to hear about it!