Imagine a work environment where nothing gets done unless the leader explicitly assigns every task that comes up to a specific employee. If the leader doesn’t mention it, then it is pushed to the side and ignored. Interdependence on your team shuffles to the back burner. Juggling all the tasks falls into the lap of the leader, and the workplace becomes inefficient, disorganized, and unhelpful.
Now imagine a scenario where every employee shares a common goal and takes action within the workplace. These employees know that success depends on their working together and they understand that actively participating is beneficial for the entire team and business.
So what is the difference between these two scenarios?
Interdependence. A workplace displays interdependence when all of the members within it work together toward a common goal. Rather than keeping to themselves, individuals collaborate and facilitate efforts to progress towards that shared interest. Instead of team members isolating themselves — or competing with one another — which defeats the purpose of a team, employees cooperate to achieve success. This is how you build healthy levels of interdependence on your team.
Interdependence is key to creating a healthy team culture and a sense of community. Do you want to improve collaboration through developing interdependence? Here are four ways to achieve your goal.
Improve interdependence on your team by clarifying the common goal.
- Does your business have a set goal for this year?
- What about this month?
- And lastly, do your employees understand why these goals are important and how they are a key part of making this goal become reality?
While having goals are very important, if the team does not actually know what they are, goals become pointless. Leaders cannot succeed without people who willingly follow them and help them achieve their vision. It is the same with any company! Have a meeting and set the long term, yearly goal. Maybe it is reaching a specific revenue or increasing your overall number of clients. Set it and then create monthly goals based off that. Divide the overall revenue or new clients over the course of twelve months. What does your team need to achieve to get there?
Improve interdependence on your team by highlighting how each role is important.
Make sure every employee recognizes how he or she can make this goal a reality. Maybe one employee contacts potential clients, and the person next to him continues the process with interested clients. Which employees creates content for your webpage? Make sure they understand that the webpage is key for drawing in potential clients and leading them into becoming interested clients. Each employee is critical in order for the overall client number to increase. They are a unique part of your team and without their participation goals will not be met. Through highlighting the different aspects and members that are necessary to make the goals, you highlight every role and make every employee an important part of the process.
Improve interdependence on your team by providing motivation.
While creating goals is key to any successful company, if the employees are not motivated to reach these goals then they still will refuse to participate. Sure, maybe by increasing clients or revenue will help the business grow, but what will your team members gain from it? Their mindset might be that their salary will remain the same and only the owner of the company will profit. In this case, make it perfectly clear from the beginning that if the company profits then the team profits. Bonuses are a large motivator especially around the holidays. Let your employees know that you value their work and that their hard work will pay off!
Improve interdependence on your team by encouraging information sharing.
Okay, so maybe every employee knows how he or she plays a unique role in reaching the goal. However, what happens if one of them notices a problem in their area, that will affect the long term goal, but they fail to share this information that they found with the team? Is the atmosphere within your company one of sharing and active listening or does everyone get the job done but keep to himself? Keep a close eye on this. Without openness a company can fail to succeed.
If the team member handling potential clients notices a question or concern that continues to pop up in conversations with these clients, but fails to let the team member know, then this problem will not be fixed. Potential clients will continue to check out the website, notice that a concern is not being addressed, and then choose another company who better handles their needs. Client lost. Profit lost.
On the other hand, if that information had been passed on, and the team had been notified of this common concern, then it could have been addressed immediately. Clear communication is not only important for developing an interdependent team, but it also provides a better customer experience.
Improving interdependence on your team conclusion.
A healthy, interdependent team feels valued and understands the importance of working together. Taking time to reflect on how your company can improve brings about an awareness that is critical for establishing a sought after work culture. Through working on clarifying goals, building team collaboration, and improving communication, you will create a highly sought after, successful business.
Want to learn more about interdependence and how your company can benefit from it? Check out the links below.
- Book: TIGERS Among Us – Winning Business Team Cultures and Why They Thrive.
- White Paper: How To Build A Principled and Collaborative Team Culture
- What It Means To Have A Culture Of Interdependence
- A Declaration of Interdependence
- Three Types of Interdependence in an Organizational Structure
Copyright TIGERS Success Series, Inc. by Dianne Crampton
About TIGERS Success Series, Inc.
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