What does it mean to be a team player? Someone who would do whatever it takes to improve the entire organization, not just his or her own personal goals? Is this a thankless position? The idea of being a “company man” was one of allegiance and devotion to the organization you worked for. The company man was also a long-standing employee, who chose to stick with the team because it was equally the honorable and profitable thing to do. In modern business, though, with all of the fluctuations in positions and titles, these ideals may seem a bit outdated. Loyalty does still exist, but not emerging as a driven leader in your field or showing marked desire to improve your position, can be seen as a negative trait. So, how does one balance loyalty to a company and the initiative for personal growth? The answer lies in the ability to affect positive change.
Assess the Situation
Change can be a powerful tool for making a statement and emboldening the organization. Before any actions occur, though, there must be an assessment of the existing effectiveness, attitude, and culture of the workforce. If you ever hope to achieve success, you have to develop a clear picture of the overall process. Fortunately, there are a number of available tools that can track and generate reports on everything from company assets to work patterns and usage of available space. A good FM will also recognize this opportunity to build their reputation as a fair and decisive decision-maker; an asset that is always valued by the C-suite. In addition, you will have a chance to develop a rapport with your team. Show them that you are making an investment in them, with the expectations of positive results, in the process. Now you are beginning to build loyalty and trust in both groups you find yourself sandwiched between.
Bond to the Brand
Once you have data-driven snapshots of your team you can begin to make appropriate changes, or restructure existing efforts, to promote greater productivity. This is also the time to promote loyalty to the company by showing the team that they are more than just workers, but associates who can be expected to become more invested with their roles in the organization. Show them their value by making them an integral part of the process. Also, remind the team that they are building their own reputation and resume. Even though there is more movement and job title changes in modern business, which can undermine loyalty, there can be new methods of promoting productivity through frank discussions about upward mobility with your team. Promote inner-departmental discussions, creative work solutions, and continued collaboration means helping your team round up to “ride for your company.”
Bold Changes With A Gentle Touch
Inevitably, there are going to be situations in which changes have to be made and, regardless of the scope or magnitude, change will be resisted, at some level. A good facilities manager, or any manager, for that matter, will recognize that it is not the actual change, but the method in which it is executed, which will make the most waves. Cowboys made changes often based on critical, if not life-threatening decisions. They were always looking out for each other, but also their specific brand they rode for. And the cattle bosses gave them this freedom and power because they respected and trusted their instincts and decisions. This same kind of respectful attitude towards change can make the difference between a difficult or smooth transition.
By using the data collected from an IWMS, or facilities management software tool, an understanding of the people that work for you and a clear directive for future success, you present the changes as the most logical for the company and not a personal attack on any person or department. And, when creating the changes, make sure to offer chances for improvement or additional training. Some team members may be unaware of what they aren’t doing and simply need a clear picture of performance and definitive goals for the future. After all, many of the existing employees already possess pride and loyalty for the company and simply need a guiding hand to move them to the next level of their role in the company. You’ll have them riding for the brand in no time.
Teamwork can be an elusive yet extremely necessary piece to the success puzzle. Change, as a tool, can refocus a team and bind them in a positive manner. By clearly defining individual and team goals, workers are able to restructure themselves and aren’t wandering off the trail from lack of direction. Data driven instruction is one of the best methods for giving direction, as the numbers presented can very effectively show what direction the team is moving, what they can do to change, and the results of the change. Be the transformative force your team and organization needs by incorporating these and other methods explored in Wide Open Workspace: Trailblazing Solutions for Tomorrow’s Workforce.