In the majority of successful companies, it's great teamwork that is the difference being good and being great.

Engaged teams create engaged customers, and engaged customers remain profitable customers.

A great vision and a sense of purpose can help teams become engaged with the company, but to really take it to the next level you need your teams to be engaged with each other.

You would be surprised by how many dysfunctional companies I see where the issues are siloed business units that not only don't work well together but often create problems that hamper each other's performance.  These are clear signs that the teams are not engaged with each other.

Great team engagement doesn't happen by chance it needs to be worked on and leaders need to focus on ensuring the following three C's are in place to help produce great results.

Communication

A lack of cross-team communication is the first step to teams becoming isolated and siloed. If teams don't know what each other are doing, what challenges they face it can result in a team implementing a solution which is great for them but not the overall end to end process. The more teams know about the work and needs of others they more they can take into account in their own work.
I remember when I took a new job where I was to bring together two departments who should have worked closely together. I ask the leader of one of the teams to organize a dinner with the team leaders of the other departments. I was surprised when he said to me, "can you tell me their names and I will get right on it".  This was a clear sign that these teams not only didn't communicate but even worse didn't know each other.

Cooperation

You need to make sure that you give your teams time to help each other in times of need. If you overload them, keeping them fully occupied on their own work, there is little time, if any, for them to help others. And when one team doesn't have any time to help out, they will often find they get the same answer when they reach out for help.

Collaboration

When I talk about collaboration, I'm talking about a much higher level of cooperation, one where teams and not just responding to requests, but are proactive in seeking out opportunities to help their colleagues sharing ideas and best practices. One way to boost collaboration is to have cross business unit and silo goals and projects that they can work on together. This will help them get to know each other better, their strengths, their working styles and will get them used to helping each other.

If you want to improve operational performance, increase customer satisfaction and drive up profits you need to create teams which communicate, cooperate and collaborate.  

Published on: Oct 30, 2017
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