Working as a team

When was the last time you sat an hour late, helping your team mate finish his Herculean task of compiling sales data of the entire fiscal? If you cannot recollect, be rest assured that when you feel over burdened with work, no one from your team will reach out with a helping hand.

This allusion was not meant to shock you out of your senses, but just to remind you that sharing responsibilities in a job works to your benefit too. Sharing work load not only helps in building a healthy work environment, but also in creating good professional relation ships. It also has a role to play in molding you into a better professional.

You may often hear HR professionals, seniors at work or even your peers talk about the concept of working as a team, but few amongst them really understand how to create the experience of team work or how to build an effective team.

First things first: belonging to a team, in the broadest sense, is a result of feeling part of something larger than yourself and this stems from your understanding of the mission or objectives of your organization. It is also pertinent to know that though you have a specific job function and belong to a specific department, you are unified with other organization members to accomplish the overall objectives. It is always the bigger picture that should drive your actions and remember that your role exists to serve the bigger picture.

The very essence of team work rests on the premises of shared responsibility ad collective accountability. In layman’s words it means, we swim together, we sink together. You may be a star performer, and in certain cases may also believe that you are better than anyone in your team. No harm in self adulation. But if you want to taste success, you will need to function as a unit with all your not so, talented and oh-so-mediocre teammates. Remember working as one cohesive unit is going to be the key in your success, advices manager in the operations department of a non-banking financial concern.

In recent times, most of India Inc has seen tightening of budgets which has translated into shortage of staff and freezing of recruitment, It is evident that during these times, it is your team skills which will be put to test. More often than you realize, your superiors and HR department officials are keeping a close watch on whether you are willing to pitch in and help colleagues handle excessive work load or are you inclined to just finishing your own tasks and leave. If you are still not doing this, it is not too late advises a project manager with a leading IT firm.

Even in companies, hitherto best known for their red tapism and laid back work culture the tide is turning. With a large number of employees taking voluntary retirement and no fresh recruitments we too are overburdened with work. Although computers have helped us a lot, nothing can substitute a good team and excellent team members. We take turns for sitting late, when there is urgent work to be done. We have all started believing in the concept of shared workload. To say the least, it has really put a smile back on many faces, especially working mothers, who have a lot of other responsibilities to manage after work, shares a PSU bank employee.

Some organizations abroad are committed to the cause of shared workload an often host workshops on team building. Some in India Inc also do the same, but their numbers are limited to the IT, ITES and BFSI sectors. As managers, one needs to emphasize the importance of sharing resources, whether it means creating a database of information or a shared folder of documents. One should also ask the team for their ideas to help spr6ead the workload evenly and encourage helping hands.

As young school students, we all have been taught the importance of sharing and helping each other, both in the times of happiness and also during hours of misery. In the Indian ethos sharing is an intrinsic part of our psyche. What one needs to do is to put oneself in the shoes of a teammate who needs help, and think what best can be done to clear the mess. And if one can manage to do that, rest all will fall in place.