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As a manager, one of your main jobs is to create an environment where employees work well together towards a common goal or vision. One of the ways to improve teamwork in the workplace is to ensure that each employee knows exactly what is expected of them and what should be left to others.

Marvelless Mark® compares a successful team to a successful band.  “Musicians talk about those awesome moments where the sound is “tight,” where all the instruments and vocal elements blend together to create something greater than anyone could create alone.”

When it’s time to put your band together, you don’t put a call out for “musicians.” You are looking for a singer, a guitarist, a bass player, a drummer, and maybe a keyboard player. When you bring on any of these people, they know exactly what their role is in the band. They don’t wonder if you want them to play a different instrument the next day. The guitarist won’t kick the drummer off his drums, and the bass player isn’t likely to sing over the lead vocalist. They know what their roles are and because of this, they can create music as one.

Now imagine that your department ran just as well. Everyone knows exactly what they’re doing. They are willing to help and support their fellow teammates, and no one is trying to shirk their responsibilities in the hope that someone else will pick up their slack.

This may get a little murky in situations where multiple projects are happening at once, and where employees don’t have set roles but rather fluid responsibilities based on the project at hand. The more work you do up front to communicate expectations, the better off it will be in the end.

The Benefits of Clearly Defined Responsibilities

  • Employees know what to do. They understand the goals of the group and they know exactly what they have to accomplish in order to reach those goals.
  • Employees enjoy working together. When they know exactly where their responsibilities end and their coworkers’ begin, they will be less likely to step on another employee’s toes to “look good” or to ignore their responsibility in the hopes that someone else will do it.
  • All aspects of the project get completed. Instead of everyone shying away from the less-enjoyable tasks, they are clearly assigned, communicated, and finished.

How to Define Responsibilities for your Staff

When it’s time to assign roles and responsibilities to your employees, there as several steps that you need to follow:

1) Complete an organizational audit where you list every single employee in the company or in your department.

2) Determine what roles you need filled and what projects you need completed. Do you have enough staff or do you need to hire? If you need to hire, consider exactly what the new employee will be doing and hire accordingly.

3) If you have all the staff necessary, review their existing job descriptions, the tasks that they are already responsible for, the skills that they have, and the tasks that they enjoy doing.

4) Choose the best employee for each role based off of the above characteristics. If you are giving someone responsibilities beyond their job description, be careful not to take away another employee’s responsibilities without explaining why you are doing so.

5) Clearly communicate to every employee what needs to be done and who within the team will be handling it.

Once you’ve followed these steps, stick to your decisions. Changing responsibilities in the middle of a project may leave employees frustrated, overwhelmed, and angry with both you and their co-workers.

When you clearly define each employee’s roles and responsibilities, you create a harmonious environment where your team can work together as one. When they work together, rock star results are just around the corner.

“We do great work together and we do inspire each other, and I think we have a very good sense of how much further we can go in the company of each other than just on our own.” — Adam Clayton, U2

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars.

Turnover is a constant source of stress in most companies. In order to improve teamwork in the workplace, you need to find a way to limit the “revolving door” aspect of hiring, and keep your employees happy, engaged, and focused on the greater good.

When employees work together for long periods of time, they become like a family and are more capable of surviving whatever may come their way. Think about bands that have been together since the beginning: Aerosmith, U2, and Fall Out Boy – they may have their difficulties, they may have their arguments, but when it comes down to it, they do what is best for the band. They have a vision and they follow it.

Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that if everyone is committed to doing what’s best for the band, and has the vision clearly fixed in their minds, you will be in a much better position to deal with any difficulties that come your way.

When you hire the right employees, train your team well, reward them often, and only fire when absolutely necessary, you create a cohesive unit that will stick together through thick and thin, and ultimately create and maintain a successful company.

Hire Smart

Posting a job opening can be an exciting time for your department. You have the opportunity to bring in an amazing employee who will gel with your other employees and take your team to the next level. But then the resumes start pouring in and you are up to your ears in potential hires. It’s like you hung a sign in a coffee shop saying “Guitarist wanted.”

There are things you can do to cut down on the overwhelm of hiring a new employee, and find the right fit for your culture.

  1. Know your culture. You must know what your company is about and what drives your culture before you can find someone that matches it.
  2. Know what position you need filled and what kind of person would be good for it. If you don’t clearly understand your ideal employee, you can’t hire them.
  3. Write clear job descriptions to limit the number of applicants who don’t qualify.
  4. Pay attention to personality as much as qualifications and experience. They may be amazing at what they do, but if they don’t fit in with your team, they won’t last long. Doing a group interview may be helpful to see if they complement your existing employees.
  5. Follow your gut. When it comes to hiring, the most “qualified” applicant may make you feel queasy. It’s okay to listen to your instincts and choose the one you believe will fit the best.

Train Well

If you don’t train your employees properly in the beginning, they will be frustrated and unsuccessful, and it will create a rift with other employees on your team who are stuck picking up the slack. You wouldn’t ask your drummer to play the guitar when the guitarist isn’t hitting the right notes.

In order to train your employees properly, you must:

  1. Identify what duties they have and what skills they need to carry out those duties.
  2. Provide a mixture of classroom, online, and hands-on training.
  3. Assign them a mentor to show them how to do their job and how to assimilate into the company culture.
  4. Provide outside training and motivation from professional speakers and trainers who can offer a new perspective.

Reward Often

Employees that feel respected and appreciated will stick around much longer than someone whose only motivation is their paycheck.

Offer rewards for hitting sales goals, recognition for a job well done, and show appreciation for teamwork. This supports a culture of working together rather than stepping on one another to succeed.

Fire Infrequently

When you fire a band member, even if you replace him quickly, there is an adjustment period. They need to learn the music, and even more importantly, they need to establish rapport with the other band mates.

Hiring and firing employees is no different. It will take them weeks (if not months) to get up to speed on their duties and the company itself, and there will be an awkward period of adapting to the rhythm of your team.

Sometimes, firing an employee is necessary. However, there are times where they can be moved to another position and repurposed. If this is possible, you may just find that they are the perfect employee.

Creating a winning team is about finding people who will work towards the same goal. When you hire the right musicians for your band, train them well, reward them consistently, and replace them as infrequently as possible, your team will create rock star results for your company.

“We don’t fight, but we all have strong personalities. But in the end, we want the same thing. You know, we’re very competitive: We want to be on the radio, have big singles. We don’t want to be thought of as a veteran band.” — Larry Mullen Jr. (U2)

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars.

You’ve hired the best people in the industry. They are intelligent, eager to excel, and fearless when it comes to sales. Unfortunately, they aren’t working together. You need a way to improve teamwork in the workplace quickly so you can meet your sales goals and create the rock star results you’re looking for.

How do you inspire your employees to work as a band rather than solo artists? By clearly communicating your vision.

What is Vision?

Vision is a band’s (or department’s) unifying force. It is a common purpose that everyone works toward. Having a vision helps to set goals, motivate employees, and organize your efforts so you are working as one.

As Marvelless Mark® says, “When your vision is clear, humble beginnings, setbacks, and disappointments won’t matter.”

Your vision doesn’t have to be huge, but it does have to be specific and well-articulated. And most importantly, everyone on your team needs to know and embrace it.

Benefits of an Effective Vision

Having an effective vision can work wonders for your sales team and ultimately improve your bottom line. And effective vision:

  1. Provides an overarching direction for the team and serves as a guidepost for employees.
  2. Allows you to create goals for individual employees and for the team as a whole.
  3. Empowers employees to make decisions for the betterment of the company instead of having to pass each question up to management.
  4. Aligns people across the department and across the organization.
  5. Creates an environment of teamwork where each individual employee is working towards something greater than themselves.

How to Craft an Effective Vision

In order to create your vision, you need to follow these 5 steps:

  1. Focus on the future. What would you like the company to accomplish or look like 5 or 10 years from now? Giving your employees the opportunity to weigh in on the company vision will make them even more invested in making it happen.
  2. Make it Purpose-Driven. When it comes down to it, employees (especially Millenials) want to know that they are not just making money for upper management, but that they are making a difference in the world.
  3. Make it Unique. What makes your company different from others in the same industry? Your vision should clearly state what makes your company special.

Shock rocker, Marilyn Manson said, “I like to make people think differently than they did before I walked in the room.”

  1. Identify your Core Values. What are the beliefs that your company operates under? What is the attitude that you’d like to inspire among your team members? When your core values become a part of your vision, they also become a part of each employee’s operating system.
  2. Make it Uncomfy. What kind of vision would “We will make just enough money to pay our bills,” be? Your vision should stretch the self-imposed limits of your team. It should make them strive for something greater than they ever thought was possible. It should challenge the status quo.

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino talks about his first meeting with rapper Jay-Z. Instead of asking how much money he’d be paid, Jay-Z asked: “Can we change the business together?”

Having and communicating a strong vision is one of the most important things you can do for your team. When you want your band to work together and create magic, you need to have a vision. Once you have a vision, you can focus on making plans and commitments. You can inspire greatness and achieve rock star results.

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You spend 1/3 of your day at work. That means that your coworkers are an extended family and learning to improve teamwork in the workplace will go a long way to creating a peaceful, satisfying environment in which to spend your time.

In Rock and Roll, your band members are your team, and if you can’t work together… you’re not going to survive life on the road. Musicians talk about those awesome moments where the sound is “tight,” where all the instruments and vocal elements blend together to create something greater than anyone could create alone. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that: “If you want to rock, your band matters as much as your attitude. You have to surround yourself with the right people, you have to create the right relationships with them, and you have to work together.”

Strategies to Improve Teamwork

There are a number of strategies you can use to improve how your employees relate to one another. These include:

1. Create a vision

A vision is a unifying force that everyone on the team works toward. When you communicate your vision, your team members have something larger than themselves to focus on.

“All the big bands began as little bands with a vision.” – Steven Tyler

2. Commit to the long haul

Harvard psychologists found that the longer a group works together, the more effective they are. Select team members that are future-focused and are willing to do what’s best for the company.

3. Be clear about roles and responsibilities

Does your drummer think he’s responsible for playing bass? If so, your bass player is likely to get irritated. Clearly define each team member’s roles so they know what they are responsible for and what should be handled by another employee. This prevents one employee from doing the brunt of the work (and becoming resentful) while another shirks his responsibilities.

4. Celebrate wins

When your team hits a goal or works together to overcome a challenge, celebrate! Creating a festive work environment and celebrating teamwork will help your employees feel like a band that makes beautiful music.

5. Schedule regular meetings

One-on-One feedback is important, however, holding team meetings allow you to gather staff together to remind them that they are not alone on their journey.

6. Hire as a team

A lead singer wouldn’t bring on a guitar player without consulting the other band members, so why would you do that to your team members? When employees are asked to provide input regarding new team members that join the department, they are more likely to work cohesively. Holding group interviews is a great way to see if personalities will mesh.

7. Encourage socialization

Provide opportunities for employees to spend time together outside of the office. When team members get to know each other as people, not just coworkers, they are more likely to develop empathy and treat each other better in the workplace.

8. Set goals

Employees should have individual goals and team goals to work towards. Having team goals will encourage them to work together and support one another to create rock star results.

9. Avoid micro-managing

Many employees don’t do well in an environment where they are watched constantly. Trust your team enough to give them the space they need to rock out, build relationships, and reach their goals.

10. Encourage open communication

Do your employees feel comfortable approaching you with new ideas and challenges? How about voicing their concerns with their peers? Foster a culture of open communication and head off conflict before it arises. Also, open communication builds trust. Trust is one of the most powerful team building components on the planet. It’s the glue that bonds team members together and keeps their work relationships productive and healthy.

11. Handle conflict quickly

Anger, frustration, and resentment that’s allowed to fester can destroy a team from the inside out. Encourage employees to come to you with any challenges or complaints they have regarding other employees so the conflict can be handled before it damages the relationship.

12. Discourage gossip

Gossip spreads like wildfire throughout a company leaving victims in its wake. Let employees know that “water cooler gossip” won’t be tolerated and that if conflicts arise, they should be brought to your attention immediately.

13. Respect each other’s differences

Just like a band, your team is made up of different personalities, different skills, and different preferences. Everyone on your team should be kind and respectful to one other or they shouldn’t be on your team.

14. Educate and motivate

Sometimes it takes an outside party to recognize the challenges in your department or business and create a plan to improve the teamwork going forward. A motivational speaker and consultant can help you determine what changes need to be made and how they will be implemented.

15. Lead by example

If you want to have an excellent team, you have to be an excellent leader. Model the behaviors that you’d like to see from your employees.

Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of making a company (or a band) work. When you get the right people together with the right attitude, you’ll be sure to hit the top of the charts.

“I owe everything to the musicians I work with.” Robert Plant

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.