Dr. John A Passante President & CEO, The Organizational Development Group, Inc., author, The Human Side: High Touch Leadership in a High-Tech World, adjunct professor, Northwood University–The University of the Aftermarket, and Dr. Thomas Litzinger Professor, Northwood University executive director, Northwood University–The University of the Aftermarket, share their thoughts on the multiplying benefits of adopting a team spirit within your organization.
Indeed, March/April are exciting months, as we enter the spring season, watch college basketball, and anticipate warm weather as well as the start of the baseball season. It is the perfect time to reflect on the power of team spirit. Think back to your high school and college days–when you attended sporting events, class assemblies, graduations, and class reunions–you could feel the pride and sense of belonging. Successful organizations understand, encourage, and foster positive team spirit. IT IS IN THEIR DNA!
The essence of team spirit is a feeling of camaraderie among all members of the organization, enabling employees to support each other, cooperate, and work towards common objectives and professional purposes. The sense of pride and loyalty is increased when employees feel belonging and a team spirit. Indeed, we all seek psychological safety, meaningful purpose, an ardent desire to have a positive impact in life and in business, and to work in an environment of mutual respect and enthusiasm that opens the door to better productivity.
Difficult tasks are shared and completed faster, and employees play to each other’s strengths. Team spirit results in self-monitoring as employees hold each other accountable. Different perspectives, ideas, experiences, and skill sets lead to better and quicker results and nurture a culture of healthy competition. The Organizational Development Group, Inc. “Driving the Human Side of the Business Enterprise” outlines team work as:
T = Together
E = Each employee
A = Accomplishes
M = More
When we collaborate with good team spirit, our morale improves, and we are ready to tackle difficult challenges and situations–HEAD ON! Knowing with full confidence that we have the support of our team members guides us and helps us to improve. An organization with a positive team spirit increases and improves employee and customer relationships, reducing toxicity and employee turnover. The true sense of professional commitment grows. Instinctually we all work to achieve and to make a positive contribution, which keeps us motivated.
A question to probe: Is there room and time in your organization to sincerely express appreciation for a job well done? Consider having a positive “Employee Spirit Day” and celebrate employees’ professional achievements. Be fully aware that your employees are indeed your strategic advantage in today’s highly competitive automotive aftermarket. Cheering on every accomplishment will increase team spirit and incorporate the belief that everything is achievable–and it is! Remember the power of the human spirit and potential! Organization and employee consistency and unity equals success. Success breeds success.
A team spirit builds:
• A clear mission
• Valuing differences
• Improved employee performance
• More creativity
• A true sense of professional caring
Team spirit is the engine that inspires and empowers employees to achieve remarkable things!
Team spirit and building a foundation or culture of team is extremely rewarding and may contribute to higher levels of accomplishment for an organization. Building team at its core is creating an environment of trust and safety. When our team feels valued, cared for, and significant they experience increased levels of confidence that releases a powerful attitude of “can do” throughout our organization. Creating a level of trust and safety starts at the top; the leader is responsible for developing an organizational culture that promotes trust, safety, innovation, resilience, and influence.
It is critical to understand and explore the concept of innovation when we are discussing team. The power of team is released when leaders promote and encourage innovation. True innovation is what drives our success, is what sets us apart, and is what creates a real and lasting competitive advantage and simply cannot happen without the inspiration of senior leadership. Creating a lasting competitive advantage that our customers can see, and touch is what motivates our team to succeed at the highest level.
You see, when our team feel safe the power of our minds is set free to accomplish remarkable things. Teams that innovate on the highest levels secure a bright future for themselves and their organization. Innovation supports increased levels of efficiencies, skills, and levels of engagement and retention that has the potential to take an organization to new heights. Our team inspires to have a role in our success and are seeking opportunity to contribute.
Conversely, based on personal experience, leaders that do not promote harmony, trust and safety, and innovation are much less likely to create a dynamic organizational culture, and much less likely to maintain a lasting competitive advantage. One feeds off the other, team members who have been given the freedom to innovate have the capacity to accomplish amazing feats.
Customers are also more loyal to organizations that innovate because it helps them see the value of what they are paying for our products. Innovative organizations promote solutions, and this is conducted by creating a team who is free to create and explore.
One of the most powerful concepts the new generations are bringing to us is the concept of dreaming. The human mind is amazing and capable of incredible things when it is released to explore and create. Organizations who want to succeed on the highest level should consider reinvesting in their teams, promoting a culture of innovation, creating solutions that contribute to our value proposition statement and our competitive advantage. One last reminder that team and innovation begin at the top of any organization.
For added thoughts and coaching on developing teams and creating innovation for your organization, contact University of the Aftermarket at [email protected].