No man is an island, especially in a business. Everyone in the organisation needs someone else’s help sometime or another, either as part of the regular work flow or during emergencies. Whether it’s the Managing Director or the cleaning lady, every person in an organisation has to consider himself or herself as part of a team in order for a business to function smoothly.
On a recent course to help delegates build their assertiveness skills, an individual highlighted that she did not fully understand what other people in her department were employed to do. This then impacted on her ability to communicate with team members, understand priorities, and learn from others in her team.
This astounded me as I thought it would make perfect sense for people in one department to understand what others are doing. Not in any great detail, but at least have a basic working knowledge of job role and responsibilities, and how each employee fits in to the overall company structure. In smaller businesses this is not an issue but the larger the business the easier it is to start working in silos and see yourself as “separate” from others around you.
Is it important I hear you ask to know what the next man (or woman) does? Well, if you want to delegate a task to someone working within your company how do you know you are delegating to the right person? How can you then delegate effectively at all? What about when it comes to business growth and development – if you are not aware of the bigger picture, do you really care?
As business leaders and managers we want our employees to work to the best of their ability – we have a responsibility to ensure that they are not simply job titles and numbers. It is really important for every member of the business to understand the concept of teamwork and to consider his or her job as part of a team effort. Making employees understand that they are part of one team is the best way to prevent an insular, narrow-minded work attitude. This will engender a willingness on the part of everyone to pull together in one direction rather than working individually or in silos.
So, do you know what other people in your department or business are employed to do?