Posts Tagged ‘teamwork’

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

March Madness and the Workplace: Comparing Your Employees with the Big Dance’s 68 Teams

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012


Talking about teamwork in the workplace is fitting now that March Madness officially starts this evening. Whether the team you cheer for made it to this year’s Big Dance, the dynamics of the 3-week NCAA tournament offer you good tips to execute when engaging different players within your workforce team. Knowing how to use your people’s strongest assets will help you improve employee satisfaction and business productivity at your organization.

The college basketball event has its own terminology, and the nicknames they assign to teams can also apply to employees in your organization.  Read the following March Madness tags and their definitions to see how staffers with similar characteristics can be coached to create a championship team.

March Madness in the Workplace:

On the Bubble: Teams on the fringe of making it to the college basketball national tournament. They earn one final chance to show that they deserve to be in the competition.

Workplace Counterpart: Employees who are on the bubble at your organization have talent and know-how to be extraordinary teammates, but their overall records indicate that they aren’t strong competitors. Work with them to identify their strengths and weaknesses to ensure that they are the right fit for your company. If they are, offer these employees positive and constructive feedback frequently. Help them use their strengths to accomplish their career goals.


Cinderella: A team that no one expects to play big at the dance but advances in the tournament anyway.

Workplace Counterpart: Don’t underestimate your office Cinderellas. They are dedicated to doing their jobs well and aren’t afraid to work through any obstacles that they may face. Give them assignments that match their talents, and you won’t be disappointed with the results they bring you. Recognize their contributions by praising them, and you’ll see that they’ll become more confident and productive in their decision making.


The Elite Eight: These are the tournament’s final eight teams. They’ve shown their expertise and finesse for the game to remain in the competition.

Workplace Counterpart: Your elite employees are engaged and make great contributions to your organization each work day. You can count on them to encourage other team members to perform well and give their all when completing projects. Because they always bring their A-game to assignments, some managers might take their excellent work ethic for granted. Continually give them feedback and ask them what they hope to accomplish to make sure they remain satisfied in their positions.


The Final Four: These teams have fought hard to prove that they have the talent to be national champions. They are the best of the best of the 68 teams invited to the Big Dance. Their workload increases as they play for the last two spots and eventually the national championship title.

Workplace Counterpart: Your employees who are similar to college basketball’s final four are determined to make a difference at your organization. They are your company’s top performers who steadily produce high-quality work. These employees aren’t afraid to challenge traditions or explore new options for getting things done efficiently. Keep these staff members engaged by assigning them a variety of projects that showcase their expertise and passion for achieving big results. Treat these employees well by offering them promotions or raises that indicate you acknowledge their efforts. They will remain loyal and help get your company through tough business situations.

For additional ideas on engaging the different staff members that make up your workforce team, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: katerha

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.


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.


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.


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