When employees have a connection to one another and share a common goal, the payoffs can be huge, not only for the individual but also for the department as a whole: better communication, enhanced productivity and greater on-the-job satisfaction.
|More Katherine Spencer Lee on CIO Update|
Employees Have Edge in Todays Job Market The Great Baby Boomer Migration Preventing Staff Burnout Base Salaries on the Rise
Whether youre trying to bring together the entire IT staff, a group within the department or specific work teams, the strategies for building unity are the same:
If the teams goals are to optimize productivity levels or implement technology more efficiently, chances are participants will not be as motivated as they could be, if at all.
Vague objectives filled with business-speak fail to excite most people. Instead, give your staff a concrete objective thats easy to understand: Earn the companys award for the department with the highest customer service levels. The mission should be one that directly affects their daily work so you can generate buy-in to the idea and hold everyones interest over time.
When youre initiating a project, make sure everyone within the group understands his or her role. Again, be specific. Rather than saying, Joe and Maria will help select the new desktop systems for the accounting department, narrow it down: Joe will be in charge of reviewing the departments needs and will then make recommendations to Maria. Maria will make the ultimate decision about the best products to purchase.
The better people understand the parameters of their work, the less risk there will be for misunderstandings and conflict.
Also, make sure youre giving team members the authority to fulfill their responsibilities. Avoid micromanaging and allow people the freedom to test ideas.
When a group encounters a problem, encourage participants to work together to develop a solution. Its OK to serve as an advisor during challenging situations but be careful not to rush in and solve every issue for them.
When employees work in partnership and are responsible for the ultimate outcome, theyll gain more out of the process, both in terms of bonding as a group and building problem-solving skills.
Team members who understand one another make the most effective collaborators. In the haste to meet tight deadlines and simply complete the task at hand, though, many companies fail to allow sufficient time for people to make a personal connection. Be sure your firm isnt one of them.
One strategy that can help is to ask individuals in a particular group to cross-train one another so all members can learn about the responsibilities, pressures and priorities of their teammates. Also, dont be afraid to shake up the typical makeup of a unit to encourage people to bond with others outside their immediate circle.