Written by Daryl Fong and Patricia Auyeong.
Making a Great Team at the Workplace
Teamwork is not only important, but vital to the success of a business or organisation. The word “teamwork” can be defined in many different ways. The most common would be something along the lines of “combined or cooperative effort of a group of persons working together for a common cause”. One of the most basic definitions is that teamwork is what makes a team work.
In today’s society, especially in places like Singapore where people are living and working longer, it becomes imperative to get the different generations in an organisation to work together as a team. With proper teamwork, all staff will:
That is why in February 2016, SK-II, the boutique spa, enlisted the help of Centre For Seniors to arrange a session for their staff to better understand “Making a Great Team at the Workplace”.
But how do you build a good team in the workplace? Especially in modern multi-gene
rational work environments?
Build Trust and manage Conflict Resolution
Learning to rely on and trust your colleagues establishes strong relationships between co-workers. Building strong bonds of friendship can be a powerful thing, especially in a multi-generational workplace. However, it is not uncommon for employees to have conflicts because of factors such as age differences.
For example, SK-II has a lot of staff with ages ranging from their teens to their fifties. Before attending the “Making a Great Team at the Workplace” session, the mature employees often viewed the younger ones as possibly taking over their jobs and pinching their most valued clients. The younger staff, on the other hand, felt that the older ones were being selfish with their knowledge and stubborn. In the workshop, participants are taught certain communication skills and how to actively listen to your colleagues.
Maria, branch manager with SK-II, said “We are very grateful to CFS for conducting the workshop focusing on communication skills, teamwork for the good of the organisation, and the importance of mentoring and sharing. I personally learned quite a few things, like the communication skills which involve different aspects such as visual, auditory, verbal and listening.”
Learning to listen properly will help build trust amongst colleagues of varied backgrounds and ages, and help resolve discord.
Combine Strengths and Develop Employees
Every generation of a society and workers has its strengths, collating those strengths is the key goal. Being able to rely on each other, and allowing teammates and colleagues to learn from one another’s expertise and experiences is the surest way to improve productivity and grow the organisation and its employees.
Before attending the workshop, SK-II had admirably started a mentoring-buddy system for older staff to help bring the younger and newer recruits through the paces. Maria explains “Junior staff are always assigned to the more senior staff. Often times, when newcomers join a new company such as ours, they may feel lost and not know where to find answer or seek advice. Thus, we saw the need for mentors, especially for newcomers, as a support system, and as a way to keep the same high quality of service throughout.”
Although the mentors and their assigned buddies didn’t seem comfortable around each other and communication between the older staff and the younger staff seemed to be lost in translation at first, they have now started listening and learning from each other. They all now agree that they feel more like a cohesive unit.
Promote Achievement and Camaraderie
Colleagues working well together as a team encourages them to feel proud of their contributions and builds a sense of achievement and fulfilment. Completing key goals for the organisation allows employees to build loyalty and can benefit the company in the long run.
Maria said “Our team at SK-II now tends to remember what it takes to make a happy work environment, and the importance of teamwork for the good of the company. We can still joke amongst ourselves when colleagues do something deemed not ‘great for teamwork’ and we can correct it and laugh it off.”