Teamworks that really work: Team Building with Shift Scheduling Software!

Let’s call it Teamworks, the options you get when your setting up the auto-reply emails going out to your teams.

In addition to everything else you get, the increased engagement, the positives of working with truly happy and life-balanced employees, you can also get a major team building resource. Importantly, it’s only as powerful as you make it.

If you’re managing 3 shifts a day, chances are, your late night shift doesn’t feel any sense of team-play with the people working before and after them. That’s a big fat problem – for all your people – and for your organization as a whole.

We’ve written here, a couple of times, about innovative ways to use your scheduling emails to build productivity, and to improve overall engagement. But let’s take a look specifically at building teams, at Teamworks and making teams work better for themselves and for your overall organization.

We can’t be totally specific here – NimbleSchedule is so flexible it works with all kinds of business models. But now, just imagine if the emails you’re regularly sending out were also sending out something like the following.

1. Messages to Re-Clarify Team Purposes – Lots of people in your organization haven’t heard what you expect from them since they got hired. What’s up with that? Review the purpose and reinforce it. Purposes change. People do too.

2. Messages to Establish or Re-Establish Goals. A little input from your people can’t hurt, but you know what’s realistic, and if you don’t why not ask?

3. Introductions, Role Clarifications and Common Purposes. Whether you’re in luxury goods or healthcare, there’s a common task for everyone to understand. People well-removed from the end-user need to hear about how what they do helps.

4. Close Gaps. Just like above, if your own end user is not the company customer, your people benefit from knowing who the end user of their own work is. How is it benefiting them? How can it be better?

5. Work with Conflict. We work with people who have to bridge teams that absolutely HATE EACH OTHER. It’s no easy task. But well-handled conflict is fuel for your fire and for learning how to make the whole thing work better. Individual goals and processes are natural places for conflicts to come up. But now that you are regularly emailing all your teams, and it’s email that’s almost guaranteed to get opened, why not use it to resolve conflicts and get people more involved.

6. Build Internal Communications. No one likes to have a PowerPoint presentation read to them. Likewise, internal communications is not a dictation from some giant dead corporation. On the contrary, Communications require a dynamic two-way process, and lots and lots of people will risk nothing. That risk averse disposition hurts your company. Get on top of it.

7. Build Transparency. Just like flex-time scheduling should be a bonus for employees who earn it, transparency is a bonus for companies who earn the trust of their teams. Continuous improvements mean you can start to build a far smarter organization. A few geniuses on top are only as good as a few hundred smart people supporting them.

8. Encourage Dissension. Alright, it’s part of transparency. Anonymity, supported by any standard issue survey software, is a great way to learn from your people. You can also give even the timid a chance to say whatever they need. They might not do it other wise. Send out a survey and just see what you learn.

9. Recognize Teams, and then People, with Reference to their Teams. Rewards and recognition should go to teams, not to leadership. Make sure that goals and achievements are clearly articulated – even for people not on the team. And like always, time off makes the very best reward. It’s cheap. It’s very well received and it’s worth trying to achieve more of.

10. Market Your Brand. Think about how a good social media policy can help to make your employees into Brand Advocates. In the same way, your regularly scheduled emails should be reminding employees of who and what they work for and who and what, together, all of you are. What you stand for really counts.

Just like we always say, auto-send emails can be a death-knoll if they’re not done properly. In fact, that’s like any other part of your company. Put the best writer on your team in charge of even the most insignificant auto-reply you send out. Communications live and die by the attention you give them. The Teamworks options for auto-scheduling and auto-confirming your teams, shifts, schedules and extra hours are just as good as you want to make them. So don’t leave them to chance.

Let us know in the comments below how you’re building your internal communications and how they’re working out for you.

Photo this page: Gears and Wheels © Flickr Creative Commons by Irish Typepad

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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