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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

You work for a company day in, day out. You have your own specific role and responsibilities, and you’re in charge of finishing your daily tasks. You also know that your colleagues are in charge of their own responsibilities, but you rarely (if ever) cross into their territory because you believe their priorities and methods are unrelated to yours. 

Suddenly, you find yourself swallowed by work. Whether it’s because of external pressure, like a global pandemic, or from internal pressures, such as increasing demands from your boss, it’s becoming more difficult to finish your daily tasks, and soon enough, you find yourself on a sinking ship with no lifeboat. Eventually, you are overworked, stressed out, and feel that you may need to start looking for a new job. What happens then? From our experience, we’ve seen this happen too often to our clients: employees are burnt out and underperform, HR departments must tackle poor employee experience, and companies struggle retaining their workers. In fact, according to a LinkedIn study, employees are 92% more likely to look at a job post when they face work-related stress and 45% more likely to apply for a new job when they feel that they don’t receive support from upper management. 

How can this all be avoided? The answer: Teamwork.

Groups vs Teams

In order to visualize what a team is, we have to understand the difference between a group and a coherent team. First, think of a public transit bus. A public bus is packed with people, but riders barely communicate with each other and get off at their distinct stop. Each rider has their own distinct individual needs, unconcerned about others’ purposes. Occasionally, some riders will engage in conversation and establish a passing connection or friendship, but these people are simply a group of people.

public transit bus group
game day bus ride team

Now think of a spirited bus ride taking a team of players to their game. On this bus, the riders get on and off at the same time. The players have uniform values and a mission to accomplish, with roles and goals that are interrelated. They regularly coordinate and communicate individual efforts to achieve a common goal, and they work together to keep each other motivated. They provide each other authentic and ongoing feedback, and they value collective improvement over individual development. Contrary to the public bus, the players on this bus work as a team.

How Does Teamwork Make the Dream Work?

Our last blog post revealed the biggest obstacle that a company can face: silos. We discussed the dangers to your business and the problems organizational barriers cause when your employees aren’t working in close collaboration or as a team, and we even shared the first step of breaking down silos and eradicating the problems they impose on your organization.

 We’ve all heard the saying “teamwork makes the dream work.” But let’s break down this line by uncovering the power of teamwork and the benefits it can bring to your organization and bottom-line.

Higher Productivity

Different people approach problem-solving in their own distinct ways. In a team, employees with varied skills and expertise across various departments join forces to perform quality work within a shorter time than any lone worker or department could do. With effective communication and collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, teamwork is a more efficient method of making sure each individual works on the portion that is most aligned with their skills. When operating as a team, you receive the best of what everyone has to give. In turn, you have employees who are less likely to be overburdened by their workload or the level of quality demanded to them, knowing that teamwork breaks down complex activities into smaller, more manageable portions, allowing them to be completed more quickly.

Team Cohesion

For a firm to succeed, cohesiveness is critical. Without teamwork, individuals are more inclined to put their personal gains before the company’s interests. Your business, bottom-line, and corporate culture will suffer as a result of everyone working toward slightly different goals.

By focusing on establishing a well-oiled, cohesive group of employees, you lead the way towards the company’s success. However, it’s important to realize that cohesion does not instantly happen overnight. Your team has to first communicate with impact in order to foster creativity, dedication, and innovation. Only then can diverse minds work together to build on each other’s ideas, generate solutions, and produce fresh ideas that aid in innovation. 

team cohesion

Less Managerial Intervention

When employees possess a team mentality, they work harmoniously together to achieve the same end-goal. They win as a team and they lose as a team, so they notice and rely on the quality of one another’s work. If one employee’s performance is insufficient, other team members will have the incentive to step in and offer their expertise and a fresh pair of eyes to assist them. Effective teams can control their own performance and improve alongside their team members without the need for constant management intervention.

When individual workers function as part of a team, there’s a pervasive sense of accountability and self-monitoring that isn’t present when working in silos. Due to a team’s self-correcting behaviour, management does not have to interfere as frequently, and instead, organizations can leverage the power of team support. 

Strong Company Culture

A well-functioning team will develop a sense of solidarity, devotion, and synergy that defines the corporate culture. Working in a positive atmosphere improves team morale and employee experience and fulfillment, as well as generating a sense of belonging to something bigger than the employee themselves. When team members hold a shared mindset and purpose, a company can transform into a collaborative community in which everyone contributes to the greater good of the organization.

A strong company culture not only sets a clear image of your company’s brand and workforce, but it ensures that you’re retaining the right people. Employees are more inclined to stay with a company if they feel like they belong to it, implying reduced turnover and fewer new hires to onboard. A healthy company culture recruits, but more importantly, retains valuable talent.

What Are You Waiting For?

All successful businesses are built on the basis of high-performing teams, and knowing how to work effectively together is essential. When members of a team feel linked to one another, their emotional investment in the group grows, as does their dedication to success with their high-functioning team. To foster a genuine sense of community among your employees in order to achieve passionate and effective teams, an organization must build an emotionally intelligent team. By prioritizing emotional intelligence in the workplace, your employees will be able to use the information provided by emotions to act appropriately in the face of daily challenges. Not only will there be more open and honest conversations, but your organization can transform from a group to a team. If you’re ready to take the first step in building trust and developing intimate authentic connections, click here for a free emotional intelligence team activity. 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help successfully leading high-performing teams, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest posts! 

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The Biggest Obstacle in your Business: Silos

The Biggest Obstacle in your Business: Silos

The saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” holds true in almost all cases. When we think about team cohesion, we know that multiple forces working together are likely to succeed. In recent years however, organizations have lost touch on this concept. At first glance, it makes sense: each department has their own responsibilities and objectives within a company, so it’s only reasonable for divisions to operate separately. Marketing is responsible for a different set of tasks than Production, while Production has their own responsibilities from Public Relations, and so on.

A common misconception is that when one division runs smoothly, it is a clear benefit to the company as a whole. However, improving each department does not improve the whole. By only focusing on how one department runs, we miss the intersection between different units, which is where the true value lies. In the beginning, a company can get away with improving one part of their company at a time. But when employees in one department fail to effectively communicate with those in other departments, red flags start waving. 

Then we see this happen: different departments fail to cooperate, same tasks are done more than once, and each department maintains an “Us vs Them mentality, succeeding within their own division regardless of the effect on the overall company. Ultimately, it’s up to the HR department to take over accountability and address issues, gaps, and productivity issues; the brunt of all the issues. In other words, when interdepartmental problems go unchecked, the entire organization suffers as a result. 

Welcome to the biggest obstacle in your business: Silos. 

In this blog, we’ll reveal how critical it is to eliminate the destructive power of silos that are impacting the success of your team.

What are Silos?

Organizational silos occur when employees are separated, often characterised by the department they work in. Silos aren’t necessarily a negative thing and are unavoidable in some cases. With departments having their own area of specialties and set of duties, full transparency is not always needed. However, some might interpret organizational silos as solely a structural problem rather than an emotional one

When separate teams refuse to relay vital information, not only is a communication barrier at work formed, but also an emotional barrier. Companies are in hot water once they allow silos to grow to the point where departments are focused on their tasks, with little regard or care for the needs of other teams. Not to mention that employees who are hesitant to share knowledge or collaborate across the board have tunnel vision which creates a toxic company culture. 

Organizational silos have the power to wreak havoc on an organization, and they can be extremely difficult to break down once established.

Why Should I Care About Silos?

As a leadership and emotional intelligence training company, our clients face a multitude of issues within their organization. One that appears to create more problems than anything else is teams working toward separate goals and ineffectively communicating. 

In a recent McKinsey poll of global executives, siloed thinking and behavior were ranked the number one obstacle to a healthy digital culture. This survey underlines the difficulty of developing engagement and connection in a siloed digital workplace. Yet, with the post-pandemic era coming around the corner, this pain point will only be magnified, with some employees planning to work in an office while others are staying at home to work. Soon, the next normal will demand leaders to juggle a hybrid model of workforce both online and on-site. Companies that work in silos are likely to fail at building an agile organization, which will only slow them down further. In our experience, it is critical to recognize the dangers of silos on the overall health of your organization now, so that you can take the next steps of breaking them down.

communication barrier in workplace

The Consequences of Silos

Communication Barriers

Efficient organizations thrive off of effective communication within and between their departments. While information may flow efficiently throughout a department, organizational silos prevent the transfer of this information between departments. With silos, a company that was once a well-oiled machine faces a disconnect in communication. We’re familiar with the effects of miscommunication: poor decisions are made based on limited information, distrust builds between departments and management, departments selectively share information, and sooner or later, your company is struggling to move in the same direction.

Productivity Problems

Silos have the ability to severely reduce performance and production levels. For example, if your employees are not aware of the vital or relevant information, and even worse, they spend time finding it themselves and doing redundant tasks, their productivity is needlessly low. There is no need to go into detail about what happens when productivity takes a hit — employees aren’t performing optimally, managers are displeased, and the HR department is stressed.

Silos reduce performance and production levels

Low Morale

One of the main consequences of silos are the issues it creates for company cohesion and employee engagement. Silos can build up distrust and conflict between teams, erode faith in the company’s values and leadership, and demotivate employees from working in the best interest of the organization. Over the past year, we’ve already seen employers struggle to maintain workplace morale within their virtual workforce. With employee engagement at an all-time low, learning to bridge the gap between silos is essential to long-term longevity and building trust, enhancing employee morale, and improving employee experience

Lack of Innovation

Innovation is rooted in data and discussion. Teams that actively discuss insightful findings together and collaborate as a whole foster creativity. When teams aren’t encouraged to exchange ideas and bounce off one another, innovation is stifled and the company isn’t at the forefront of advancements. When different departments share ideas and bring new concepts to the table, trust and resilience is planted in a company. An organization that breaks down silos is far more likely to be an innovative one.

The First step to Breaking Down Organizational Silos

breaking down silos

Before anything else, we must remember that we are human. As much as we like to believe that we are most productive in our own isolated silos, humans are social beings. In fact, a company with effective cross-functional collaboration and communication typically outperform siloed organizations by up to 40%. This is no surprise as employees lose the ability to share knowledge and cross-pollinate ideas when they’re emotionally segregated.

The first step to breaking down silos is learning how to communicate with impact. The key to impactful communication? Emotional intelligence. In order to build trust, improve employee satisfaction, build morale and facilitate real-talk conversations, an organization must leverage emotional intelligence to ensure that the company collaborates effectively and maintains a cohesive mission that runs deep within an organization.  

Not sure where you stand in terms of your emotional intelligence? Try our free 15-question quiz to measure your level of emotional intelligence:

 

Breaking down silos at work is not an easy job. However, ignoring the problems and obstacles that silos impose on your organization would be more destructive to your employees and the sustainability of your business. In the long run, there’s nothing stronger than a unified team that communicates with impact and has a common goal. 

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it impacts your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help breaking down silos in your organization to foster productivity and achieve more, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest blogs! 

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