Whether in the workplace or in sports, teamwork can produce extraordinary results. While this seems like a relatively simple task, teamwork does not happen automatically. There are a number of factors that are required for a team to develop and work cohesively and seamlessly.
At Clark-Reliance, we attempt to always use the following rules in our interactions:
Help each other be right, not wrong.
This is the underpinning of all successful teamwork. Our employees are encouraged to try to help their colleagues make a correct decision. This helps to avoid duplication of tasks. It also helps to avoid tasks being executed which are not in the best interest of the company.
Look for ways to make ideas work, not for reasons they won’t.
Make sure that you are promoting listening skills. Never dismiss an idea from someone. Listen to what someone else has to contribute and to try to help make that idea work.
If in doubt, check it out!
Don’t make negative assumptions about each other.
Simply stated — don’t engage in water cooler banter. Instead of fostering negative communication, create an environment of positive communication. If you are uncertain about something, go to the person directly and verify the facts.
Help each other win, and take pride in each other’s victories.
Celebrate your co-worker’s accomplishments. Share compliments. You will find that your enthusiasm is contagious.
Speak positively about each other and the organization.
When you have a chance (internally or externally) speak positively about your colleagues or your company. This can be at press opportunities or charitable events. Always promote the company and your colleagues.
Maintain a positive mental attitude no matter what the circumstances.
The adage, “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it,” can be applied in life and business.
There will inevitably be difficult circumstances where difficult decisions will need to be made in a decisive manner. You have to carry a positive attitude no matter the outcome of those decisions. Do everything with enthusiasm because if you have a good attitude, it will come back to you in return.
Act with initiative and courage.
This is Clark-Reliance’s “empowerment team rule.” We spend a lot of time ensuring that everyone in our organization understands that they have the right to participate and are encouraged to take the initiative to help drive positive outcomes, no matter how small they believe their idea is.
We want our employees to feel comfortable to take the initiative to do what they know is right. We want them to understand what the company is trying to accomplish.
Whatever you want, give it away.
This is troubling for some. For example if you want someone to trust you and have them respect and trust you, then you need to engender those same values in someone else.
If you want to be trusted and respected, you have to be trusted and respectful as well. Those who trust and respect others are generally those most trusted and respected by others.
Don’t lose faith.
There are always going to be times when the rules have been stressed, strained and broken. As long as everyone keeps pushing in the same direction, it will heal itself.
We want everyone to have fun doing what they do. We are direct and serious about running a successful business, but we want employees to have a positive, fulfilled and enriching career, and so should you.
Matthew P. Figgie is chairman of Clark-Reliance, a global, multi-divisional manufacturing company with sales in more than 80 countries, serving the power generation petroleum, refining and chemical processing industries. He is also chairman of Figgie Capital and the Figgie Foundation, a member of the University Hospitals Board of Directors, corporate co-chairman for the 2013 Five Star Sensation and chairman of the National Kidney Walk.
Rick Solon is president and CEO of Clark-Reliance and has more than 35 years of experience in manufacturing and operating companies. He is also the chairman of the National Kidney Foundation Golf Outing.