Who said “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”? Although you might assume it is the war cry of some famous general – or Shakespeare – the first recorded use dates back to Aesop and his fables. This quote can be found as a direct statement in “The Four Oxen and the Lion.”
OK for those who came back from that link….
Here at netlogx, our team members are far from sounding off war cries. Teamwork is one of our operating principles (http://netlogx.com/about-us/our-initiatives/operating-principles/) which we aim to live by each day. They provide a framework by which our consultants can evaluate decisions in order to move business forward in real time. As a leader, I strive to provide the space to allow our team members to work and contribute to a united and forward thinking company recognizing we are in an ever changing workforce landscape.
Here at netlogx, business success represents our consultants working on our clients’ problems which results in the metric that over 85% of our team members work remotely. As a company, we try to accommodate our remote team members in the following ways:
- Taking into consideration time zones when scheduling the team building meetings and team trainings
- Including remote team members in initiatives such as the Wellness FitBit competition
- Adding “random appreciation” lunches for remote staff
- Personal interaction with all team members via old fashioned “snail” mail for birthday and netlogx anniversary cards
- Adding team events in offsite locations – baseball in Lansing, pizza in Santa Fe, picnic in Indy
- Adding an annual in person team meeting aligned with a Holiday party
As I have been working on purposely growing as leader I have listened and absorbed guidance from those I respect. Here are some ideas I am working on to foster and encourage teamwork and team member engagement:
- Don’t forget the team members you don’t see and hear from – ( i.e., ensure the quiet efficient wheels are acknowledged not just the squeaky ones)
- Develop ongoing effective communication between dispersed team members and their Organization Team Leader (ensure communication happens frequently and in a manner best suited to the team member – face to face, Skype, phone – and at times that provide the pace and provide a team member the needs to be able to be open and share)
- Leverage champions within the company to enhance opportunities to build teams. Here at netlogx we encourage team member to acknowledge great work (SPOT awards) and, possibly more significantly, Random Acts of Kindness, for it is in the small details that relationships grow
- Actively seek ways to let the team share ideas and feedback – we facilitate feedback after all meetings and have employee managed forums to share concerns and develop meaningful solutions
As a leader, it is my responsibility, supported by the management team I have at netlogx, to anticipate and remove roadblocks, and to try to alleviate obstacles to success. As a business owner I have always been very aware that when we hire we are taking on a person alongside their family and the wider community they interact with. So having happy employees matters to me personally but research continues to show, “Companies with engaged team members outperform those without engaged team members by up to 202%”. Not really surprising since we are at work for a significant part of life – it needs to be rewarding.
“Unity is strength. . . when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek