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Monday, December 7, 2009

Fostering a sense of team, Part I

A reader commented on my last post that it would be helpful to hear about ways managers can help foster a sense of team. This is a great suggestion and great topic.

Before I get into the tips about fostering a sense of team, I have to say that managers have to have at least a few team members who want something more from work than just to show up and get a paycheck. Sure, often times there are a few people who do the absolute least they can do and even look for ways to “get over” on the system because they think it’s fun (and, hopefully, if you have people like that on your team, you’re working to correct their attitudes or eliminating them from the organization). Still, most people want to be a part of something that’s bigger than just them. They are open to being part of a dynamic team if the opportunity comes to them.

If you’re a manager who has no one on your team who cares about anything more than themselves, then you have a problem. You have to look at yourself and see what you’re modeling to your folks. The other area you have to look at is the culture of your organization. If your corporate culture is very cut-throat and dog-eat-dog, then you’ll probably have a much harder time building a team that is built on trust and common goals. It’s not impossible, but very hard. You might just need to decide if that organization is something YOU want to be a part of and then decide for yourself whether to stay or move on to a group with a more positive culture.

In my two next posts: Fostering a sense of team, Part II and Fostering a sense of team, Part III, I'll share some of the tips you might find helpful in building your team.