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Yay team!

August 3, 2011 | By Bruce Hourigan | No Comments

Just because a group of people work at the same place doesn’t mean that they’re working “together,” toward the same goals. Successful businesses have strong teams. That’s true whether it’s a department store, your favorite restaurant or a salon/spa. When groups work together, the path is easier and the results are impressive.

There’s more to working as a team than sharing a business address or uniform. Start with these tips, and start reaping the rewards of teamwork:

  1. Everyone’s on the team. You can’t have a team if 80 percent of the staff is on board and a few people aren’t. This isn’t voluntary. The whole staff plays by the same rules. No exceptions. It means that everyone enjoys the good times, too.
  2. All team members have an important role to play. When we start thinking in terms of “star” employees and “everybody else,” we send a message about who’s important to the business. Which employees could your business operate without? The person who handles front-desk and administrative duties? Stylists? Massage therapists? Team members may not play the same functions, but each has a significant role to play. A drummer may not get the same recognition as the lead singer, but the show doesn’t go on until everyone’s on stage. Don’t play favorites.
  3. Great teams have great leaders. The owner and manager are the coach and captain. They must be an example to the team and a source of encouragement and support. Let’s face it, it’s challenging to own and manage a business. Your staff, your team, looks to you for how to act and react, and for how to respond to challenging situations. Make sure you’re giving the right messages, every time.
  4. No team can survive without communication. All you have to do is watch a pitcher and catcher in a baseball game to see how important communication is! You may not have such a complicated set of signs, but constant communication is a must, every day, both formally and casually. Don’t assume your team already knows something – tell them, and tell them again. There’s a reason a coach has locker-room meetings with the team before the game and again at halftime (and that’s in addition to all the communication during the game)! It’s really difficult to over-communicate.
  5. Team members take care of each other. It’s corny, but there truly is no “I” in team. While personal successes and growth should be encouraged, the team should always be shooting for mutual goals. Staff members should be helping one another out and looking for ways to make things go more smoothly for the team. Share concrete examples of how this happens at your business with your staff, and make sure you praise this behavior. Have team goals and be sure to celebrate when they’re met.

Fostering a culture of teamwork is not an simple task. When you do, everything about running your business should be easier and more enjoyable. And that’s a worthwhile goal for everyone.

Categories: Business Builders

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