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Work Groups vs Teams

Industry News, News | October 19, 2016 | By:

How both approaches impact business profitability

In the U.S., approximately 30 percent of employees are engaged in their jobs—which means that more than 2/3 of employees are not. According to Lynn Dessert, MBA, DCC, an executive career advisor who spoke Tuesday morning at IFAI EXPO 2016 in Charlotte, forming committed and valued teams and work groups can have a big impact on how employees view, and do, their jobs.

Key success factors include: setting a mission and a vision; leadership; clearly defined roles and responsibilities; effective communication and a reward system. There are differences between work groups and teams: work groups have a more defined structure and leadership, and are more focused on individual jobs; teams have shared responsibilities and direction and are more collaborative. In both cases, the link to profitability involves six definite steps:

  1. Examine your culture
  2. Determine the approach
  3. Select the right leadership
  4. Access training and development needed
  5. Establish clear measurements (and benchmarks)
  6. Communicate and execute

Dessert warned attendees that if you feel your company’s employees are not engaged, two good methods to find out why not are: using an internal survey, and holding communication sessions/town hall meetings. But in the first case, she says, make sure you ask questions about things you’re willing to do something about. And in the second, remember that you cannot become defensive. If people won’t talk, then the trust level is not there.

Treat the cause, not the symptom, Dessert advises, and forming work groups and teams of these more engaged employees will have a much greater impact on operations and profits.

Galynn Nordstrom is senior editor of Specialty Fabrics Review magazine.

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