Developing a Stronger and More Cohesive Team

I’m often asked,
“How can I develop a stronger and more cohesive team?” 

 The answer is not as simple as waving a magic wand but here is one critically important suggestion to building your team that I’d like to offer here.

“Everyone on the team should be continually training their replacement!”  Yes that’s right, train the people around you just like they were going to replace you.  And I direct this to ALL levels within your organization, from the mail room to the board room.

A few thoughts to ponder;

1.       You know your “job” and you are very good in the performance of your responsibilities!

2.       In the event of your absence, whether planned or unplanned, who will or is totally qualified to act on your behalf without any disruption in the process of your everyday tasks?

3.       How would you feel if your boss said, “I’d like to promote you to the next level in our company, but we don’t have anybody to take your place, so no promotion at this time?”

4.       Are you carrying a heavy load while people around you seem to have more leisure time at work?

 Here is my logic to this proven approach;

To begin with, there is absolutely no room for paranoia in the work place.  I’ve heard people say half heartedly, “soon he will know as much or more than me then he’ll want my job.”  This is stinking thinking folks and needs to be out of the workplace.  All employees want the opportunity to grow and it is imperative that an employee take ownership of sharing their knowledge with others. 

The best way to grow an employee and improve his/her confidence level, is to continually offer them education and a feeling of being wanted, needed and respected.  Making a n employee stronger by giving them additional knowledge or tools will have a defined strengthening of your team.  Employees will become contributors and not just a warm body going through the motions. 

SUGGESTION:  My message today is a challenge to you to give this concept a try.  Pick one employee and start giving him/her slightly more responsibility.  Do this immediately after you take the time to explain to them your goal and plan and that you’d like them to learn more and add more value to the team.  And don’t forget to tell them that you expect them to “train the people around themselves just like they are going to replace you.”  A real by-product of this concept just might be an improved employee retention ratio which equates to a strong bottom line on the P&L.

 A few years ago, I had the President of a company have his Marketing Department make several banners for the office and plant area that said, “EVERYONE ON OUR TEAM SHOULD BE CONTINUALLY TRAINING THEIR REPLACEMENT!”  And in small print it said, “See your supervisor for details”.  The results were multiple company meetings explaining this concept and low and behold, production went up, employee retention improved, and people even looked happy to be there.  What have you got to lose? Give it a try and I’d certainly be interested in your results.


George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points and to many managers and employees today forget the meaning of teamwork. In our society today of what is in in for me a lot have forget helping others helps themselves. The more others know how to do my job the more others can help me with that job. I have personally wore 14 different hats at a company I worked for. I did IT, ERP, MRP, CNC Programming, Quoting, CNC set-up, CNC operation and etc... and it amazed me when I was showing others what I knew they were blown away by my openness to share. I did not like wearing so many hats, yet no one was willing to help in those areas where it needed to be. The more the others got up to speed the less hats I had to wear and it got down to about 4 hats, but when I started all these areas of the company lacked experience. Intelligence today is measured by a degree not by a persons ability or experience. If more managers would quit admiring that piece of paper on the wall or their title and let their actions speak then the sharing and growing would be more prevalent in their companies. Yes take an employee under your wing and teach them. The old adage feed person to fish you feed them for the day or teach a person to fish you feed them for life applies. Do the same in the work place don't just give instruction on what to do give instruction on how to do it so they can do without the need of hand holding. Ownership starts with being an owner. If you are always being the landlord of a job and not the giver of a job then you do not give the freedom needed to take ownership of it.


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