The 5 Characteristics of a Team-Oriented Department
Creating a team-oriented environment can seem like a daunting task. In today’s workplace, employees can find themselves competing against each other instead of helping one another out, and in the end everyone’s performance suffers for it.
As a team leader, it’s your job to take your employees to the highest level of performance—you can do this by creating an environment that plays on everyone’s strengths and creates a culture of excellence. At Hytrol, we place importance on having a family culture and helping one another. You can create this kind of culture in your own department by focusing on these five major characteristics.
Chances are, your company has multiple areas that people can be experts in. Find out what areas of knowledge you need and create those experts, then help them go beyond a surface level of understanding. Not everyone needs to know everything, so encourage your employees to focus on a specific area of knowledge. Make sure they know to whom and when to pass on a problem that another employee would be best at handling. That way, you can cultivate their knowledge while helping them be autonomous in their specific areas.
You may be able to teach knowledge, but soft skills can be the make-or-break piece of the equation. Professionalism is one of these, and it shows. Having team members who understand the importance of politeness and reliability is priceless.
That’s not to say that none of these skills can be helped through training. When it comes to communication through email and phone calls, help your employees by letting them take online or in-person courses of elements they may not always think about—even something as simple as to answer the phone with a smile.
Anyone can create an environment of problems, but it’s one tiny and crucial step further to create an environment of solutions. Team members should know and be able to take that extra step, because when employees are proactive, it creates a community where people want to come to work every day. And, isn’t that who you’d like to come to for answers?
Listening to coworkers can be just as important as listening to customers. When there’s tension in your department, it shows, and everything else is tainted by that strain. Encourage your employees to show interest in each other, and they’ll show more interest in the job they’re doing as well. Ultimately, this will help them feel like they’re all in this together—because they are.
A great employee does more than reacting to problems as they come; they take proactive steps to create a better customer and employee experience. When you react to a problem, you’re thinking of the past—when you proactively approach the problem, you’re thinking of the future. That’s a tiny, but significant, difference.
Every time an employee takes initiative, it makes the environment just a little bit better for those around them. When everyone takes initiative together, it can change your environment completely.
What would you add to this list? How do your teams approach creating an environment of respect and positivity?
About the Author:
Tony Sartin is the Customer Care Manager at Hytrol. He has over 27 years of experience with the company and has been involved in many customer-centric initiatives throughout the years, including the Lean manufacturing transition and the development of Hytrol's internal training program. Tony's unique blend of customer-focused enthusiasm and extensive manufacturing knowledge is the driving force behind the team of support experts within Customer Care.