Team spirit’ needed in all workplaces

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 8, 2005

&8220;Team spirit&8221; is a term familiar to all of us. From childhood on, in school and on the playing fields, we have been indoctrinated in the value of working together to achieve our goals. Can we transfer this to the workplace?

Today most work must be done in groups. Few jobs lend themselves to a person working alone.

If these work groups could be looked upon as teams, we might instill in the members of that group a feeling of belonging that leads to commitment and higher productivity.

Creating a Team

David Dugan was faced with a problem. His salespeople depended on the support of the office staff to obtain and maintain sales production. The salespeople were paid on a commission basis.

They worked hard and long hours to get and keep accounts.

However, they were often frustrated when the order department would stall deliveries by finding problems or the customer service representatives would antagonize a customer by indifference to an inquiry.

David re-organized the department into five teams covering the five regions into which the country was divided.

Each team was made up of salespeople, order clerks and customer service reps.

In orienting them to the new system, David followed the TEAM acronym for successful team development.

T-rain. E-nthusiasm. A-ssurance. M-easurement.

At the end of the first year, sales productivity had increased. Instead of stalling orders because of a minor error, order clerks went to the source of the error and corrected it. Secretaries and customer service reps went out of their way to help the customers and morale in the entire department was high.

Using teams has many advantages.

People who learn to work together as a team will produce more, will enjoy working more and will be less likely to quit for superficial reasons.

It will create a more motivational environment in the workplace and help build the esprit de corps that is so important to success in meeting goals