The Importance of Team

By: Arun Subramanian

There is something quite powerful about being a part of a team. Not only does it help foster a sense of community among employees, but it is also a commonly held belief that cohesive teams help everyone achieve more. Remember that old saying, “There is no I in team”? The popular phrase speaks to the essence of teamwork. Working on a team allows us to accomplish broader, strategic goals with support.

In many industries, and perhaps more specifically the tourism and hospitality industry, few jobs are completely independent. Most jobs within our industry have both subtle and overt dependencies on other roles within the organization. That interconnectivity is what fosters team culture leading to a healthy workplace that is both conscientious and productive.

Strengthen Job Skills

Central to the team is that everyone involved has a responsibility to help each other succeed. By doing so, they help strengthen each other’s skills and build up their collective confidence and self-esteem. Employees learn additional skills when they are collaborating and find that work can be done more efficiently.

Team players are integral to your success, since the guest experience depends on many people performing their roles together. Having said that, how do we get a good team in place?

Setting the Stage

While there is no single way to do it, there are some tried and true strategies for team building that employers can follow. We’ve compiled some of our best tips to ensure the foundation for a successful team:

Hire the right people – This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s important to find the right “fit.” Look for people who value collaboration and teamwork.

Have a strong onboarding process – Setting employees up for success starts on the very first day and continues throughout the employee process. The most effective way to bring about team success is through a strong onboarding and orientation process. Be sure that the organization’s values, policies, and processes are understood.

Set clear expectations and reachable goals – Be clear about what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and what success looks like.

Communicate – Regular communications supported by timely and actionable feedback is essential. Employees should be given an opportunity to provide feedback on how managers can improve the working conditions to help them feel comfortable, safe, and included. Listening to and acknowledging their feedback helps employees feel they are a valued member of the team.

Don’t play favourites – Judge everyone by objective criteria and let the decision-making process be transparent so everyone understands how decisions are made.

Have their back! – Employees should know they are supported when they make difficult decisions that don’t turn out right; who should they turn to when they have a problem? (e.g., handling a difficult customer). If a worker is lagging, work to understand the reason behind this and look for ways to support them. Employees will feel confident and self-assured when they are receiving the attention and support they need to get better at their jobs.

Treat everyone equally – This creates a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment and is essential in today’s tight labour market.

Celebrate the wins! – Be sure to recognize everyone’s efforts and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. Even a small appreciative gesture can go a long way.

Support your team – Give employees the resources and tools they need to build up their potential and skill set. Be caring and supportive.

Establish good policies that build employee retention – An internal promotion policy is a smart way to retain the good employees you have. When colleagues see their co-workers climbing up the ladder, they notice that good employees are rewarded for their performance and are motivated to do their best, encouraging them to stay with the employer.

Uphold team morale – It is essential to promote positive team morale as a part of your culture.  When a team member does something wrong, take action. It can be done with sensitivity, but you should be firm. Don’t conduct a public trial as this might make employees feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. Talk to them privately. Speak to other team members who may be affected. Use this as an opportunity to reiterate the company’s values and policies.

Strong, high performing teams don’t just happen. It requires concentrated and constant effort to make them happen. But when you do have a strong team, it will make all the difference!

Arun Subramanian is the Vice President of Industry Health & Safety and Human Resources at go2HR. Connect with Arun