A common mistake business owners or managers make when bringing together a work team is that all team members will fit together and function well right away.
This just is not so, each team player needs to first understand what his/her purpose is as an individual player before they can move into a team position. Think of a basketball team there is a center position and a couple of forward positions, small and power and then you have two guard positions, point and shooting, but each player needs to know and understand what their positions role is and how it affects the other positions in order to play the game well.
All work team players need to be able to understand and articulate the answers to these questions:
- What exactly is my job?
- Why is it necessary to do the job tasks of my position?
- How does my job affect the overall business?
- How does my position affect my teammates’ positions?
- How will I know if I’m doing my job well?
Once an employee has a good understanding of the what, why and how of their job position they than can begin to think about everything that is done in the “we” form as in teamwork.
- What is our job as a team?
- Why does our team need to do their job tasks?
- How does our job as a team affect the business?
- Who cares about us as a team?
- How are we doing?
It’s necessary for each employee to understand the “I “ of their position before they can begin to focus on the “we” of the teams work. Giving employees this transition time improves the rate of success when joining them together as a team. When workplaces fail to do on-boarding like this often the employee will fail to perform to the best of their ability, which causes them to disconnect and possibly look for another job.
When you put in the effort to build a team one step at a time, the payoff is tenfold not only for the business but for the individual players and the team as a whole.