When every employee acts in tandem with others, the teamwork can be invaluable for the company's operation. The secret to this success is to have a teamwork action plan, in which employees are invested in making the effort to carry it out. Including employees in the development of a teamwork action plan ensures their understanding of expectations as well as their participation in the company's success.
Give Fair Warning
Send out notice to employees who will be involved in designing the teamwork action plan. In a small company, this could include every worker. In larger companies, department heads or representatives appointed by vote in each department may be invited to the meeting. Include the meeting's purpose with the invitation to attend. Let potential attendees know it will be for the purpose of developing a teamwork action plan. Ask them to bring their ideas to the meeting on the appointed day.
Cut to the Chase
Allowing team members to voice opinions about issues they see in their work areas helps get to the heart of the matter. Once the concerns are voiced and written down on a dry-erase board, solutions can be examined. It must be made clear that no repercussions will happen for voicing concerns.
Whether the action plan is designed by every employee together or by their appointed representatives, including employees in the plan's design gives them ownership over its success or failure. When they have a stake in its future, they will typically work hard to ensure it succeeds. Having them work together to develop a teamwork action plan for improving the company sets the stage for team efforts.
Once the team is assembled and concerns about what is not working within the organization are listed, the team can tackle them one at a time and develop solutions. For example, if customer-service calls are not being returned quickly enough, the teamwork action plan may include a mandated time frame in which to return the calls. The solutions along with steps to accomplish them are then listed in the teamwork action plan. Continuation of actions already working must also be incorporated into the plan.
Create Cohesive Structure
A group-appointed person must write down the elements agreed upon for the new teamwork action plan. This is later typed up and sent out to attendees to read and mark with any changes needed. A follow-up meeting with all attendees provides the opportunity to discuss any other needed changes.
Share It With the Team
All employees must receive a copy of the teamwork action plan. It is a good idea to have each employee sign or acknowledge by email that he has received and read the plan. The plan must be implemented within a day of being sent out.
Candace Webb has been writing professionally since 1989. She has worked as a full-time journalist as well as contributed to metropolitan newspapers including the "Tennessean." She has also worked on staff as an associate editor at the "Nashville Parent" magazine. Webb holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with a minor in business from San Jose State University.