Working together in teams is not only critical, but also an essential component for maintaining the momentum of growth
Gaining a reputation as a valuable team member impacts our current work goals, our relationships at work and our opportunities for team leadership
What makes one organization more successful than the other? Better products, services, strategies, technologies or, perhaps, a better cost structure? Certainly, all of these contribute to superior performance, but all of them are aspects that can be replicated in another context over time. The one big thing that differentiates and creates sustainable competitive advantage – and therefore sustainable Return on Investment is the Human Element
Every organization’s constant endeavor is to find better and smarter ways to reach its goals and objectives. Research clearly indicates that the critical success factor lies with the power of collaboration and a supporting culture, thus prompting us to relook at ways and means to get there. Working together in teams is not only critical, but also an essential component for maintaining the momentum of growth.
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand” – Chinese philosopher Confucius
Learning from experiences through an action-oriented outbound program is a powerful methodology as one is able to generate powerful insights and thus see the consequences of inaction and action. Experience-sharing, Analyzing, Reflecting and Correlating the learning’s for application of the workplace is what makes experiential learning the most effective medium to develop successful teams at the workplace and teams must have a clear agenda.
One of the key enablers in getting to the goal was capturing the thoughts and feelings and the voice of the employee effectively and designing interventions around it. Thus, was born the e2: An Employee Effectiveness Study which is a rather simple but a robust tool. The first year results very emphatically suggested that collaboration was the need of the hour and needed out-of-ordinary ways to address it to enhance collaboration in inter- and intra-teams thus giving birth to two interventions.
THE NEXT WAVE (One Team – One Plan – One Goal)
In today’s tidal wave of global, economic, technological and social change, that name of the game is not only survival but growth. If we are going to withstand relentless and constantly growing global competition, we need to be different and radically change the way of doing business. In this quest, as the organization grows, there needs to be constant alignment at regular intervals to take stock of the situations and group and regroup ourselves to the one goal, one objective.
The Next Wave is a three-day outbound intervention fundamentally re-looking at what has worked well for us, what could be enhanced, what needs to be corrected and what needs to be celebrated & shared. The intervention is an opportunity to connect with employees who have been with the organization between 6 months -18 months and also provide a platform to enhance cross-functional collaboration by setting common expectation and resolving conflicts in turn resulting into enhanced collaboration within the team.
To ensure the momentum is sustained at the workplace, project teams were created and encouraged to choose and work on real life action oriented projects. Each team was assigned a mentor who would work as a guide and a coach along with strong review and preview mechanisms at periodic intervals with a final presentation to the senior management.
PIT – STOP
The Term “Pit-Stop” is inspired from the motorsports. A pit-stop is where a racing vehicle stops in the pits during a race for refueling, new tires, repairs, mechanical adjustments, a driver change, or any combination of the above. Pit-stop work is carried out by anywhere from five to twenty mechanics. By making pit-stops, cars can carry less fuel, and therefore be lighter and faster. Teams usually plan for each of their cars to pit following a planned schedule. Choosing the optimum pit strategy of how many stops to make and when to make them is crucial in having a successful race. It is also important for teams to take competitors’ strategies into account when planning pit stops, to avoid being “held up” behind other cars. An unscheduled or extended stop can be very costly for a driver’s chance of success.
In today workplace, the pit-stop is extremely relevant and meaningful. We are all expected to be contributing team players, working in synergy and collaboration. Gaining a reputation as a valuable team member impacts our current work goals, our relationships at work, our opportunities for team leadership and the degree of satisfaction and motivation we feel in our jobs.
The PIT-STOP intervention looks at ways to strengthen the sense of common purpose among team members and the value of a collaborative approach to achieve team success.
The outcomes of both, the Next Wave and the Pit-Stop had a stupendous impact both at the intervention level as well as at the overall engagement level. The HR played a pivotal role in not only designing but also as a facilitator enabling successful project implementations and ensuring the team is completely motivated and engaged during the post intervention activities. At an organization level, the impact was strongly felt in increased scores in the collaboration index, which was a true reflection of the employee’s observations and feelings.
In conclusion, collaboration can be so much more than just assembling a team to do routine work. Done poorly, the results are half-baked; ideas half-heartedly supported but done well, the results outperform expectations generating enthusiasm and a feeling of positivity across.
An organization’s performance improvement depends heavily on leaders, managers, and employees learning to see new potential and opportunities in them and in others. This learning can be promoted by effective collaboration approaches, techniques, and tools that help teams develop effective dialogue. Dialogue is an effective approach to help participants consider options. Dialogue is a conversation that generates new knowledge. We have a choice: Let it happen, or make it happen.