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Why It Matters

We all have an idea of what teamwork is, but with a diverse group of people and personalities, how do you achieve it? Getting everyone to get along and be unselfish for the good of the team is not easy. With most everything, it begins at the top. Leaders need to exhibit behavior that others can follow and that will hold others accountable. Consider the following key situations faced by many leaders face:

Are you willing to get your hands dirty? 
Teamwork is difficult to achieve if the leader is too important to help out. When I talk to employees, they appreciate when everyone chips in. Does a leader have other responsibilities? Of course. And a majority of their time needs to be spent there. But every once in awhile, a leader should show that they have not forgotten what makes the organization go. How do you respond to the comment, “I can’t work with this person?”

What do you do when you have two employees who won’t work with one another?
As the leader, don’t allow it to happen. Employees don’t have to be best friends. They don’t have to do lunch. But they do have to be civil to each other at work and communicate in an effective manner. If coworkers cannot do that, well, I question key categories such as maturity and professionalism. Have an honest conversation with the employees about how our job is to handle many different personalities.

Do people who see the world differently than you frustrate you at work?
Work would sure be fun if everyone was just like you. Maybe you are creative, like work to be upbeat and exciting and are not very tech savvy. First of all, that would make a lousy team of you’s. In fact, one of the bes teams is an orchestra, where everyone does something different, but together it’s awesome! When you work with others who are different than you, growth happens. It is where you expand your horizons. The leader shouldn’t get frustrated. Gain understanding and help others to see the value of all team members.

What do you reward?
If teamwork is important, reward employees who help others, freely answer questions, assist new employees and warn others when they see a pothole in the road ahead. Coach employees who refuse to do these things, explain what your expectations are, and hold them to it!Being proactive when establishing a culture of teamwork can pay huge dividends. Everybody wins. Your company will certainly see the benefits and so will your customers. The days of someone doing their own job and feeling like they do not have to cooperate with others are over. There is far too much lost potential to allow that to happen.

About the Author

Mike Henke
Business Link Manager, Roy's Grand Dodge, Grand Island
Mike Henke

Mike has worked with companies throughout the Midwest in the areas of training and development. 


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