Even after 34 years in business now, it still is an inspiration for me to see all of our team here at C L Graphics gather together and do all that it takes to get through one of our busiest times of the year! From working overtime to pitching in on assignments that are not common to one’s daily responsibilities, I have seen us work through some very complex jobs in a productive and efficient manner. And, with a great attitude! This is not to say that everything turns out perfect – sometimes we find ourselves having to “re-load” and start over, but even then it brings us together even more to get it right!
This is not always the case for some businesses, but rather one that needs to be encouraged. Perhaps at the very top of the list is the need to lead by example. It is not enough to just let everyone know your expectations, you need to actually be willing to assist and do some of the work yourself. This can be difficult to be able to work in all aspects of a particular job, however if you can pick and choose what you can be productive at, then jump in and be willing to work extra yourself.
Just as important is to clearly outline all that needs to be done. In some organizations this is done through a computer generated job schedule, or by using a job board that shows due dates and responsibilities. No matter what system you have in place though, it is also critical to do daily updates – being able to cross off completed work and identify any possible “bottlenecks” within the production process. There is a great book on this subject called The Goal, by Eli Goldratt, and it can help you identify the priorities within a very fluid workday. And of course it is not enough just for one or two department managers to know what the immediate needs are, but even more important to share these with everyone within their team to help them stay accountable to each other and to assist when needed.
I will also suggest that in the “heat of the battle,” it is also pretty important to be able to have fun at what you do! This means patting each other on the back or being able to socialize a little in the middle of doing something. While this may not seem productive, we all need to laugh once in a while over a good joke or commiserate with each other on the latest results of a local sports team. This concept of having fun working together is where I believe the real concept of teamwork comes together, and helps us all get the job done!
How does your team work together? Do you feel inspired?