As I sit here in subzero windy temperatures in Chicago; I am thinking back on my Thanksgiving vacation where we went on a Caribbean cruise in which I paid close attention to the crew working on board. It reminded me of my time in the Navy, and while admittingly I didn’t spend as much time on a ship as others, living and working on a ship can teach you much about teamwork that we might not experience in the corporate world.
Trust and getting along is everything
Teamwork is generally a misunderstood, misused term. Many have only a hint of what teamwork really is. Some think it is about getting along. Others think it is about getting along well. Among other things, teamwork is about understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses and the roles of the other teammates in order to perform optimally.
To most of us, the phrase Work that Matters infers job satisfaction. The outcome is lower stress, lower turnover, and higher productivity – in business, a ‘win-win’ for employees, customers and shareholders. The logic is infallible. So, I ask you, why is there such a gap between the theory and the practice? Why are so many organizations and so many workers struggling to find workplace nirvana?
A round up of workplace developments and legal trends to help keep HR ahead of the curve
If you’re in HR, March is probably one of your favorite times of year. There are no messy open enrollment or year-end issues to deal with, there’s a bit of an ebb in legislative volatility and winter is poised to end, meaning transportation and attendance issues are hopefully about to clear up a bit while seasonal affective disorder is on its way out.
With few exceptions, creating teams within a workforce is one of the best ways to stimulate business. The more engaged and stimulated the employees, the more productive they are and the more profitable you become. Sounds simple enough, but such camaraderie does not necessarily materialize out of thin air. A good team needs a good coach.
Creating a winning team spirit
A company’s traditions are an investment that pays in human dividends. Banking on people more than products or technology to ultimately make a difference in the world is something that separates the mediocre from the extraordinary. A bold statement, to be sure, but what does it REALLY mean?
It’s 3 p.m. on Friday and your boss has already told you that you can head out early for the weekend. You’re wrapping up a few items and planning to leave shortly when a coworker comes to you and asks you for some help with a project they’ve been working on. Your first instinct is to say you’re sorry but you have plans and need to leave early for the weekend. While that may get you a few extra minutes of weekend sunshine, you could be missing out on some valuable work experiences.
Ahh, Vegas - how we love to hate you! You're hot, you're sleazy, you're crowded, you're expensive and you cheat...of course we hate you!
The annual SHRM conference was held in Las Vegas this year and over 15,000 attendees gathered to learn more about their profession. I have been to Vegas for conferences before but this is the first time in which I gambled...and by gambled I mean I played PaiGow.
Look at this chart. Does it resemble your employer’s organizational chart?
Now envision this: No pyramid. No managers. No directors. No vice presidents, senior vice presidents or chiefs.
We tend to segment our organizations: by generation, by department, by location, by tenure.
Everyone who works with people is realizing that the old autocratic method of leadership simply doesn't work. The way to win is to build a great team.
In my mind, Ocean’s 11 is one of the coolest movies ever, with great lines, and an amazing cast. It also breaks my rule that remakes aren’t as good as the original, because this one blows the Rat Pack’s version out of the water. Here’s what IMDB has to say:
Striking the right balance between accountability and engagement in the workplace can be a challenging task for leaders. One is directly manageable and the other is not. Accountability is something leaders can control, while engagement is something they can hopefully influence.