Random experiences during team management

Managing teams and working in groups has always been one of the best ways for me to learn and grow. Here are some interesting observations that I have made during past few years of handling teams. Few of these have helped me to a great extent in improving work environment, understanding team/individual and organization’s expectations, enhancing efficiency and productivity, besides team morale..  [I’ll take up the details on each of these experiences in my future posts]

– Some of the teams had been really wonderful, where members appreciate each other’s strengths and enjoy work. However, there are still a few everywhere who “DO NOT KNOW” how to enjoy the work. They ‘choose’ to crib and hence don’t give their best shot.

– It’s crucial to identify critical INTERNAL customers as well [different business units and stakeholders within the organization] and look towards building strong relationships with them. The idea is while providing services, employees of one department shouldn’t just focus on ‘completing their work’, rather they should go ahead and think of doing ‘value add’ to the overall organization. This helps the teams to get identified as a reservoir of energy and not just a department in some organization. Company meet and team’s day do help to an extent.. but interactions with ‘critical internal customers’ can do wonders and assist in conflict management.

– At times, we don’t have a choice for the kind of work and it’s being assigned to us, however, we can always make a choice of how to do that work.. Since not many know this, lack of energy & enthusiasm and sudden drifts in the willingness to work are visible among members.

– Giving real life examples, telling inspirational stories, does make 5% difference for a few days but again things are back to the same stage. The energy level vanishes soon because some people are concerned about their personal problems, some don’t feel happy with the work they are doing, some are not happy with the external customers they are working with and some have other concerns like salary, infrastructure, career path etc.. Mostly this happens when they have not seen the bigger picture of the industry, of the professional life and even the personal life.. They take decisions but not with a very high maturity level. Having a mentor or one-on-one sessions regularly helps to a major extent and results are reflected in terms of increased efficiency, good morale, pro-activeness among members.

– Every individual has IMMENSE FIRE hidden in himself/herself, however, it is very important for managers to identify that and ignite it before it loses its light and energy. The point is: it’s easy to let the good people go but extremely tough to retain that fire at right place.

– Some of the organizations I’ve worked with have amazing management committment towards its people. The formation of core groups in such organizations has been successful in setting the right example for everyone.

– Organizations do have strong Core values listed, however, the focus on implementation isn’t much, though exceptions are there. For example, Creativity as one of the core values looks wonderful on the hung plaque, however, if properly implemented can assist in turning people into organization’s assets.

– Teams need to be made aware of the importance of “attitude towards work”. Talking can help to an extent, however, making the teams visit places where people work with full energy and involving them in some interesting activity with those people can bring good changes. More you see is more you learn.

– Make the work fun, by starting small contests, like “idea of the month”, having a creativity board to allow free flow of thoughts, having an award system based on customer’s recommendation – these little things always help.

Shall continue sharing my learnings and experiences…