Posts Tagged ‘team’

6 Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate the Success of Your Workplace Teams

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

In many parts of the world, people welcome the first day of May with lively carnivals and family-friendly festivities to celebrate the springtime holiday known as May Day. While many people celebrate the warm-weather event, employers should take some time to consider how they celebrate success created by their company teams.

Recognizing the individual contributions an employee makes is a critical factor in determining whether he plans to stay with your organization for the long run.  Just as individual recognition is important, acknowledging great efforts made by collective teams and departments is also important. Team members spend significant periods of time collaborating with each other, and their willingness to be productive and achieve success on a team should be celebrated.

Commending your teams for a job well done doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are six low-cost ideas to celebrate deserving teams at your company:

1.       Write handwritten notes to all team members

Taking the time to write your employees a handwritten note is a unique way to show them your appreciation for their efforts. Employees can also easily display or share the positive feedback found in their notes.

2.       Make a company newsletter announcement

If you’re proud of a particular workplace team, share your feelings in your company newsletter or on your company intranet. The honored team will enjoy the public recognition that you give them. Others who aren’t on the team will have the opportunity to learn what made the honored team successful.

3.       Celebrate with senior management

Inform senior management of the great work your direct reports are completing. Let the executive team know the exact details of the project you assigned and how your employees produced great results. Having your team present the execution and results of their project to management is a great way to show members of leadership that you’re proud of your team, and they should be, too

4.       Give them flexibility

Allow members of deserving teams flexibility in their schedules after they wrap up a successful project. They can use the flexibility you grant them in a number of ways. Maybe they’ll take a longer lunch or leave early on Friday to go to the beach with friends. Either way, they’ll be thankful.

5.       Throw an appreciation party

Whether it’s a pizza party or an ice cream social, plan a bash to show your teammates that you’re grateful for their hard work. This get-together can be solely for your outstanding team members, or you can host the whole staff so they know what they should be working towards.

6.       Plan a company picnic

If your staff continually achieves strong, positive results for your company, show your gratitude by organizing a company picnic. Let employees invite their families so they can enjoy the excitement and celebration as well. You should plan games, prizes, and a speech or mention of your appreciation for their contributions.

For additional ideas to celebrate the success of the teams within your organization, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Jason Pratt

4 Leadership Concepts to Bring Your Company Success

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO, writes a bimonthly newsletter that features advice for a variety of topics affecting high-level executives in the workplace.  In his latest Executive Scan, Bruce discusses leadership styles. He doesn’t believe there is one leadership style that all executives should assume because workplace conditions change and leadership styles should be adapted to an organization’s current needs.

Most business leaders can’t envision, develop and achieve a successful business initiative without help from their team. Because of this reason, Bruce asks employers to not view leadership as their personal style, but as the ability to get the most out of themselves and their workforce. Below are four leadership qualities that will guide you to success:

Big Picture

Strong leaders do not act in their own self interest. They understand that an organization is comprised of many individuals who also want to see their organization succeed. Effective leaders base major decisions on what’s best for the entire company, not what’s best for themselves and their reputation.

Clarity

Great leaders are excellent communicators. The first time they assign a project, they communicate their expectations clearly so all team members are satisfied with the end result. Additionally, strong leaders value transparency and keep their staff updated on important company news and decisions regularly.

Debate

Successful business leaders are not afraid to be challenged. When employees feel that a company process is ineffective or that they can provide a better solution to a problem, effective leaders want them to speak up.  These leaders understand that disagreement can sometimes spark innovation.

Recognition

One of the best qualities of good leaders is their desire to give credit when it’s due.  Praising employees for the hard work they contribute is an action that strong leaders execute frequently. They also know each of their staff members’ names and learn the characteristics that make each employee unique.

Employees who have effective leadership feel valued at their organization, which keeps their levels of engagement and productivity up. Include the concepts above into in your approach to leadership to create a more productive and enjoyable workplace.

For more information and practical strategies on leadership, please call a CAI Account Manager at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746, and ask about CAI’s multi-series leadership training program, The Management Advantage.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Strategies for Creating Highly-Efficient Teams

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

You have worked on teams since grade school. Some of your experiences with teams have been rewarding, leading to success, and some have been unpleasant, leading to unresolved conflicts and missed opportunities. As an HR professional, you know that there are many teams within your organization, which is the largest team. Knowing how to shape teams to benefit the productivity of your company will help employees reach business goals more creatively, collaboratively and efficiently.

Back in grade school, there was always at least one member of the team who did not want to pull his weight. In a company setting, laziness should not be permitted. A well-engineered team can accelerate problem-solving and propel innovation to create unprecedented success for your organization. So, it is important for all staff members to play their parts.

Teamwork

Try implementing some of the techniques below to invoke positive team-building skills at your organization:

  • Create measurable goals. Unattainable goals will take a team nowhere. Base team objectives on prior business performance and the strengths of each member. Aggressiveness for obtaining goals is good, but being unrealistic in aspirations will waste time.

 

  • Establish expectations. Delegation and accountability are essential for maintaining a great team dynamic. Make sure everyone knows their role and what they are responsible for in order to meet deadlines and achieve results.

 

  • Advocate for open communication. One of the greatest benefits of team work is the diversity and creativity that comes from bringing people of various backgrounds and skill sets together. However, this also means that conflict can occur. Encourage each team member to express their opinions and ideas freely while also listening and respecting the views of others.

 

  • Do not settle. It is excellent when teams assemble strong workflows that yield many positive outcomes. Having success is satisfying, but you can always work harder to attain better results or develop a more productive process. Periodically hold discussions with team members to see if there are areas in which the group can improve and grow.

 

For more information on forming effective teams at your workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Highways Agency

Employee Recognition: Top Ways to Recognize Employees In the Workplace

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

In Somebodies and Nobodies: overcoming the abuse of rank, Robert W. Fuller discusses the importance and impact of employee recognition in the workplace, by saying that “eliminating deficiencies of recognition in the workplace is proving to be as good for the bottom line as eliminating nutritional deficiencies were in the past for the productivity of day laborers.” Because of the current economic shift, the focus for most organizations has turned toward maintaining continuous workflow, and keeping the company, its clients and employees intact. With the day-to-day impact the economy has left on organizations, employee appreciation may often be forgotten. But can organizations really afford to place employee recognition on the back burner?

Employee recognition can easily be linked to employee engagement and company morale, potentially determining internal performance and results. Overlooking the importance of employee recognition may cause negative impacts to spill through the workplace and company culture. The reality is that all staff members work hard and want your organization to succeed and thrive through this challenging time. Now is the time to take a step back, recognize the value of the individual and show your appreciation. Yes, the stable paycheck is more than enough, but small gestures of recognition go far, and help employees remember they are a valued and integral part of the team.

Highlight employee successes – When customers or clients speak to the performance and service of your employees, do you make them aware? Publicly recognizing the efforts of your staff, and acknowledging the work they are committed to, is appreciated and respected.

Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition – Positive feedback from management is valued and always welcomed, but the recognition that comes directly from peers is often a true reflection of an individual’s performance and contribution. Coworkers who work together on a consistent basis see the moments of excellence that management may overlook. Find a way to allow employees to acknowledge each other. Do you have weekly staff meetings? If so, try and include this recognition by allowing staff to highlight the achievements of a teammate.

Take a break from e-mail communication – In a society that moves at such a fast pace, it’s rare that we take moments to handwrite our appreciation. This simple gesture goes further than you may realize. By taking time to write your thanks through penmanship, you remind your employees they are worth more than a quick “click and send” e-mail praise.

Food always does the trick – No one ever turned down a surprise staff breakfast, group lunch or gift certificates to dinner. Food is always a fan favorite and is a great way to gather employees for conversation that doesn’t involve the ongoing to-do list.

Celebrate the special occasions – Birthdays, engagements, wedding and baby showers – they all encompass the monumental moments of your employees’ lives. Organizations are able to connect with staff outside of a professional relationship if you celebrate the special moments of an employee’s personal life. As you begin to incorporate these celebrations into your culture, your company will feel less like a business and more like a family.

For additional information, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo source: CCL Staff

Top Seven Management Myths

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Bruce Tulgan of Rainmaker Thinking, Inc. will be delivering one of the keynote presentations at CAI’s 2011 HR Management Conference. Bruce is a well-respected expert on leadership and management and is also internationally recognized as a thought leader on young people in the workplace.

Bruce’s presentation for the HR Management Conference is entitled It’s Okay to Be the BossTM: Developing the Managers that Your Employees Need. He will focus on what he calls the biggest problem in corporate America – an under management epidemic affecting managers at all levels.  Participants will be challenged and given tools to help their managers spell out expectations, monitor and measure performance constantly, correct failure quickly and reward success even more quickly.

As a preview to Bruce’s presentation we will be posting a series of three videos here on the Workplace Insights blog.  In the first video Bruce highlights the top seven management myths.