January 2019 - HR News You Can Use
Team Work & Collaboration
January 2019
Team Work & Collaboration

This edition of our monthly HR newsletter is focused on Team Work and Collaboration.  We explore multi-generational challenges, managing different types of employees, professional experience working in an effective team, and practical solutions to address the challenges of cross functional collaboration.

If you wish to contribute to this newsletter, or would like to see specific topics included please contact us today.
Multi-Generational Collaboration
By Jennifer Cook, Chief Operations Officer

There are certain realities in life that we all must come to grips with as we move through our professional career. The most basic is that no one is getting any younger ever, and this means your workforce is consistently and steadily aging. Your most experienced members of the workforce have the greatest amount of intellectual capital about your business and the responsibilities they execute in their roles. These members of your team are critical to sustainable success.

However, entering the workforce are often individuals from a different generation, including millennials, with a completely different view on life, business, culture, and the world around them. It is critical to understand that each generation, both the mature workforce that has a wealth of expertise, and the younger generation with less industry or professional experience, come to work with an entirely different lens.

As an employer and speaking to the business owner or company leader reading this article, you face the challenge of bridging the gap between these generations in order to leverage the valuable opportunities afforded to you through empowering and supporting multi-generational collaboration. To accomplish this, you must educate and train your mature workforce on effective knowledge transfer, inclusion, coaching, and mentoring. Similarly, you must educate and train your new workforce members on inclusion, communicating ideas, building a business case, and effective listening.

If you are not presently taking strategic and proactive steps to maximize the incredible depth and breadth of innovation, creativity, and diversity of through across the entire spectrum of your workforce, you are missing an opportunity to sustain and expand your success as a leader and as a business. You are encouraged to reach out to me to find out how we can provide you the strategic guidance and effective execution of creating multi-generational collaboration in your organization. Call me at 302.276.3302 or email me at jennifer@symbiancehr.net
Managing an Individual Contributor vs. Managing a Team
By Laura Goad, HCM Consultant

Being a manager is challenging and rewarding all at the same time. One of the most important ways to successfully manage your team or any individual contributor is your consistency. Before your management approach can be effective, it must be consistent. An example would be to ensure you recognize and reward or correct members of the workforce similarly for common behaviors, contributions, performance failures, or conduct violations. When you are consistent it will be evident that you treat everyone professionally, respectfully, and with a non-bias view. 

Consistency is critical, however when dealing with an individual contributor versus a team, there are nuances and best practices to help you achieve your goals.

Individual contributors are skilled professions in their field of expertise.  These members of your workforce are often critical to success and are probably indispensable to you. The challenge for you as their manager is helping them grow professionally.  Just because they don’t want to move into a management role does not mean they don’t want to grow professionally and advance their competency and capabilities for the business. You should engage these individuals and partner with them to build a strategy for their professional development or you may risk losing them to competitors who offer them a path to career advancement and development. 

Ways to ensure that your individual contributor is developing and happy in their position is to have one on one discussions to map out opportunities for development. Help them understand their value and encourage them to think about how they can expand their experience while supporting the success of the business. 

Managing teams have their set of challenges too, since each team member brings to work each day a different set of competencies, skills sets, experience, and ideas. Creating a culture of collaboration and coaching members of your team to recognize the value of diversity of thought can enhance the effectiveness of the team. Strive to be thought leader and encourage your team to leverage the capabilities of each other to achieve common goals. When considering the organizational and professional development of the team, you cannot treat each member the same, nor can you expect the same results out of each member.

It is important to take the time to get to know all the individual strengths and weaknesses of your staff, and then develop a strategic plan to address and mitigate the gaps. Unlike dealing with a single individual worker, you must understand the impact of your interactions and communication with the team on various individuals. As noted above, consistency will avoid the perception of favoritism and bias, and help you build trust and respect of the team. Work diligently to help your team understand the pros and cons of team work so they can develop the skills necessary to collaborate and communicate effectively to achieve the goals you have established for the team. To learn more about building effective teams contact me at 302.276.3302 or email me at laura@symbiancehr.net .
5 Ways to Warm Up Your Inside Sales Cold Call List – By Ron Romanik

Approaching cold call lists for inside sales is like preparing for winter. You can expect cold blasts of pushback, but you can also plan for them.

Just in case you were wondering, cold calling is NOT dead. But you can warm up inside sales cold lists by doing substantial planning before starting calls. With a plan in hand, you’re prepared to react quickly during the call. Here are eight inside sales tactics for converting your lead generation and list generation efforts into profitable investments.

1. Plan for Expectations

A little perspective can go a long way. For instance, do you know how you got the lead? Is there any relationship up to this point to work from? Read the rest of the article here.

Autonomous or as a Team? The Pros and Cons
By Daniel Schmitt, HR Assistant

People will find many pros and cons when it comes to working autonomously or when working with a team.  It is possible for a group of team members with a common goal in mind to accomplish the same as an individual working towards the same goal. Working as a team involves effective utilization of everyone’s strengths while keeping open communications to minimize and keep drawbacks to a minimum. Although working autonomously eliminates differences and what some may think to be drawbacks, it can be limiting in opinion and one sided.

Oftentimes teams are created because a specific goal cannot be achieved by an individual – by creating a team, what may be a weakness for one, may be a strength for another; therefore, creating a balance of available resources. Sometimes working independently results in failure for the individual because he or she lacks the necessary competence or experience that could be gained by working with a team, causing it to potentially take longer to complete a project or a task. When working as part of a team, each member of the team must develop a level of trust in those on their team to feel comfortable that everyone will participate and complete tasks as expected. In contrast, working individually this challenge does not exist, however all responsibility is on the individual either creating stress and pressure, or empowerment and control.

Two important factors to consider with team work are conflict and what some may label as “passing the buck”.  In any group situation, work or not, there is bound to be some type of conflict amongst people, it’s natural. As a result of conflict, a person may prefer autonomy to refrain from having to adjust to the responsibilities in working by other’s rules and conforming to the interests and ideas of others. In speaking of drawbacks, “passing the buck” can oftentimes be a rising challenge when working in a group that an individual would not face. Without the ability to collaborate and share responsibility effectively, this challenge can demoralize a team member and cause them to withdraw diminishing the overall capabilities of the team.

As this article highlighted for you, working as part of a team or autonomously each have their pros and cons. All of us work both autonomously and in a team at different points in our career, on different projects, and on different tasks. You may not have a preference, however the key is making sure you recognize, understand, and apply the concepts expressed here to achieve your greatest success!
3 Strategies to Building an Effective Work Team
By Melissa Cook, HR Assistant

Most of us can recall our own experience in working in an effective team and ineffective team over the course of our life. People in the workforce today should follow these crucial practices to build and support an effective team; (1) communication, (2) inclusion of diverse capabilities, and (3) adaptability.

Communication is what drives a team. If everyone in the group is communicating effectively, the outcome and work produced is measurably more productive.  Everyone will be aligned, and any misunderstandings can be addressed timely and efficiently because trust is developed. For example, brainstorming and sharing ideas makes everyone in the group comfortable sharing their thoughts because everyone plays a huge part in contributing to the success of the team. Once this is done, they develop an amazing solution to the assignment they are working on, or they identify multiple solutions to solve the problem.

Inclusion enhances trust and expands our view of the world. Be open to suggestions, don’t automatically shut someone down for their input just because their view is different than yours. When you have an inclusion of diverse capabilities and perspective, there is generally more innovation, creativity, and unique approaches to solve problems.  When you work with people of various ages, there is an opportunity to learn a variety of points of view enhancing the opportunity to consider all options to arrive at a solution.

Being adaptable is very important not only to a team but to your employer because it demonstrates that you can be flexible. Adaptability enables you to work under different circumstances while performing your best effective team work.  Overall, to produce the best work and become an effective team, you need to set clear goals, negotiate your disagreements, be willing to listen to others, support a productive work environment, and work with other team members cohesively.  If you execute communication, inclusion, and adaptability, you are well on your way to building a successful and effective team.
Warren's Upcoming Speaking Engagements
March 29, 2019
Delaware State Bar Association
Dover Downs - Dover, DE

Warren will be presenting at the Annual Conference at Dover Downs for Small & Solo Practitioners on "Talent Acquisition and Manager & The Law" to provide the strategies, knowledge, and tools they need to build and sustain their practice.
April 9, 2019
First State ALA
Wilmington, DE

Warren will be presenting at the April First State ALA meeting on "Risk Management of Your Employment Practices". Practical strategies and tips to protect your business and achieve your goals.
ALA 2019 Annual Conference
April 14th-17th, 2019
Grapevine, TX

Wednesday, April 17, 2019 60 Minutes from 8-9 a.m. 
HR30 Risk Management of Your Employee Practices
Audience Level: Intermediate
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 90 Minutes from 1:15 - 2:45 p.m.  
HR32 Got Diversity, Get Inclusion!
Audience Level: Advanced
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 75 Minutes from 3-4:15 p.m. 
HR33 Protecting Your Firm - Workplace Investigations
Audience Level: Advanced
Your company can also benefit from a workshop, seminar, or training presentation by Warren. Call or email today to schedule!
Challenges in Cross Functional Collaboration
By Warren Cook, President & CEO
Are your functional leaders engaging each other effectively to ensure the flow of communication and operational activities are successful? When you describe your management team, do you use terms like “silo”, “ineffective”, “lack of collaboration”, or “unsuccessful”? This is not an uncommon challenge in organizations yet permitting this behavior to continue can lead to disastrous consequences over time.

Speaking to business owners and business leaders, if you do not have a strong effective leadership team you are already experiencing the challenges of getting anything done the way your business needs to. From lack of consistency, to project misalignment, to poor data and key performance indicators, to an inability to align the culture across the organization. The struggle is real, and the unfortunate reality may be that as the leader you have been unsuccessful in establishing your expectations and holding your management team accountable to drive the mission, vision, and culture of the business.

It is critical to align the functions of your organization and have them collaborating and aligned to achieve established goals. If you think back to when you began expanding your business and realized you need different subject matter expert to drive success, you would never have considered allowing each of the subject matter experts to work in a silo and ignore one another to the point that it is unclear who is doing what and how each department supports the others to execute the work of the business. A simple example could be the launch of a new office. If you only involve sales you may be exited that you added a few new clients, however, without strategic planning and collaboration with operations, compliance, information technology, and human resources, you may be unable to fulfill the commitments and obligations to your new clients because there is no alignment across the other functions to support your sales activities.

Far too often a breakdown in leadership, accountability, trust, and relationships cause the silos to exist and walls to be created disconnecting the lines of communication critical for organizational success. If you are a business leader facing these types of challenges, I encourage you to contact me to discuss a path forward to establish expectations, reinforce leadership, implement accountability, and break the barriers between functional areas the inhibit achieving the level of success you know is possible if everyone would just work together aligned. I can be reached at 302.276.3302 or by email at warren@symbiancehr.net .
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