If you walked into your office and asked your employees what team they were on, what would they say? Would they reply with the name of your business? Would they even know how to answer? Having your employees identify with a team can be HUGELY beneficial to your business and the overall happiness of your employees. However, that team should not simply be the name of the company or an individual department. It should be more than that. Giving employees the chance to build team names, logos and personalities around the groups that they are working in can provide a stronger sense of identity and purpose behind their work.
A true team identity isn't something that can be forced, but rather something that will happen organically if given the chance to grow. Put your employees in a position that encourages team building and more often than not, you'll see a greater level of efficiency and cohesiveness between the groups that you have working for you. Continuum's Help Desk in Cranberry, Pennsylvania has done a tremendous job of encouraging its technicians to identify with the teams that they're a part of. Check out the video below to see how the technicians at Continuum's Help Desk are fostering teamwork to make the dream work!
Do you want your business to have teams of its own? Here are a few ways to help this process along. It's important to remember that you don't have to have a large organization with a ton of employees in order to put these tips into practice. A team can be as small as two people! It's not the size of the dog in the fight. It's the size of the fight in the dog!
Encourage employees to come up with team names
A good team name should be one that the members of a specific group create on their own and agree on. When you ask any given member of your organization what team they are on, they should be able to proudly respond with "The Fighting Mongooses," "The Night Owls," or whatever other name they have decided best identifies their group. Having a team name that all members of a group can identify with can help establish roles and goals for a group that is working closely together. Jacque Rowden, the Senior Director of Continuum's Help Desk, recently told a story about a group that worked the overnight shift. For a while, the group members would blame each other for any shortcomings that occurred during their shift. However, after they came together and rallied under a common team name, they were able to better allocate their resources and as a result, their shift began running much more smoothly and efficiently.
Being able to unite under one common team name can eliminate a group's tendencies to place the blame on an individual. Instead, your employees will focus on doing whatever is necessary in order to have the team rise to the top.
Develop team logos
In addition to establishing team names, design a logo for each team. As you can see in the video, the teams at Continuum's Help Desk have used their logos to brand different things around the office. That way, when anyone in the organization passes by the location of a certain group, there is no question which team or team member they are approaching. Having something to represent that team that you are a part of can really help build the feeling that you belong to a legitimate organization within an organization. You don't need to have a talented designer on your team in order to come up with a logo, even something simple will get the job done.
Having a logo associated with a team or group simply enforces the idea that a certain group of people is working together toward a common goal under a common name. While a team name is important for the members of the group to identify with, a logo can help others in the organization easily understand who belongs to which team.
Coin some unique team/company lingo
At the recent Robin Robins 2015 IT Sales and Marketing Boot Camp, Robins discussed the benefits associated with an organization's ability to "change the language to change the culture." In order to foster a positive culture within an organization, Robins recommends coming up with a unique set of company terms/lingo. For example, change the name of your company's office. Instead of simply referring to your place of work as "the office" or "[Your company name] Headquarters," Robins, a keynote speaker at Navigate 2015, suggests coming up with a unique and fun name for the space. She even referenced High Point University, a school that saw its enrollment grow exponentially once a certain set of fundamentals was applied, one of which was "change your language to change your culture."
This same thought process can be applied to the individual teams within an organization.
Encourage some friendly competition
A team should win together and lose together. Once you have identified the different teams that exist within your organization, you can help the growth process by encouraging some friendly competition between them. Perhaps you offer up a prize to the team that shows the most success over the course of a given month. Success can be measured in many ways. The scope of your organization should really determine how you are measuring the success of your teams. It's not always as simple as "whoever closes the most tickets," or "whoever brings on the most new clients." Get creative with how you are measuring the success of your teams. Perhaps you could reward the team that shows the most "team spirit" during a given month!
At the end of the day, people like to be able to identify with a group. In any organization, you're going to have groups of employees that work closely together on certain projects and initiatives. Why not put a name and identity behind these groups? You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
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