|Team Building Information||
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
A Team That Gleamed
Too many techies get a bad rap for lacking teamwork and communications skills. The stereotype is that while techies are great at what they are trained to do, they cannot parlay their knowledge onto others. Because of the stereotype that techies cannot communicate, they also can be stigmatized that they lack adequate teamwork skills. So, what are the chances of two Helpdesk teams communicating with each other to successfully form one team while not compromising customer service?
Does this plan initially sound like an enormous task? Does it sound impossible? Not if you were lucky enough to have been on such a dynamite team like mine.
In 1997, I started working at the Ameritech Advertising Helpdesk, which was supporting Yellow Pages Salespeople, Artists and Data Entry from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. When Southwestern Bell Corporation acquired Ameritech in 1998, procedures started to change. Ultimately, The Ameritech Advertising Helpdesk became the SBC Yellow Pages Helpdesk and we were to support clients not only in the five-state Great Lakes region, but clients in other regions in which SBC resided. SBC had Yellow Pages clients in the east in Connecticut, in the middle of the country in Missouri and Kansas, in the southwest in Oklahoma and Texas and in the west in Arizona, Nevada and California.
There were two Helpdesks: the Helpdesk who supported clients in the Great Lake region and the Helpdesk that supported clients in the eastern, middle, southwestern and western regions. The Helpdesk supported clients 24/7 during the weekdays, a part of Saturday and was on call for Sunday. The Great Lakes Helpdesk had about seven to eight dayshift personnel, two afternoon people and one mid-nighter. The eastern, middle, southwestern and western region Helpdesk had about eight to ten personnel that worked different hours from 7 a.m. until 10p.m. eastern time.
The grand plan was to combine both Helpdesks and have all of the analysts versatile in all of the applications in order to support clients from all of the 13 states. For example, most of the analysts who supported clients in the Great Lakes region had never worked with VMS systems, but were very familiar with systems like the Remedy Helpdesk software. Conversely, most of the analysts who supported clients in the eastern, middle, southwester and western U.S. had been trained on the VMS systems, but had never worked with Remedy.
Being in Information Technology, one may get used to systems and applications going wrong. It seems that in too many instances, techies are troubleshooting and fixing systems.
So, how did combining operations go without sacrificing customer service?
1. It was about a six-month plan, which started around February 2002 to gradually adjust analysts from both Helpdesks. One analyst from each Helpdesk was trained for several months before supporting clients in all 13 states.
2. Both Helpdesks were in different parts of the Call Center. A couple of analysts from both Helpdesks switched desks in order to familiarize each other with systems.
3. Management was very supportive of the transition and realized that there was a learning curve during the transition.
4. There were two analysts from both Helpdesks called Helpdesk Advocates, who were the liaison between the analysts and management. Both Advocates communicated the analysts' concerns to management.
5. Clients were informed that both Helpdesks were in the process of being combined and to please be as understanding as possible during the transition.
6. Every analyst was receptive to any question from other analysts. Every analyst was in the same boat - so to speak. Every analyst knew that he or she would have questions about systems in which he or she was not as familiar. How every analyst handled any question from a coworker would reflect the way in which he or she would be treated when he or she had a question. It was the human nature aspect.
7. Every analyst had a desire to learn.
8. Every analyst had a willingness to train
9. If an analyst could learn one system, he or she could learn other systems.
10. Every analyst was a team player. Although there were folks who had years and even decades of experience on some systems, no one was too good to help out any analyst who had never worked with a particular system. The fact that every analyst was cooperative during the transition made it an enormous success.
This is what I personally learned from the experience:
1. Teamwork is not about individuals. When a client's problem was solved, it was the whole Helpdesk that triumphed.
2. When superstars play as a team, the team will ultimately win. Every member of the team was a superstar who played as a team and we ultimately won in transitioning both Helpdesks.
3. Every analyst proved that they could parlay their knowledge and translate that language to other analysts and clients.
4. Perception and reality may be two completely different things. I knew very little about the folks at the other Helpdesk. When I got to know them, they were as wonderful as the folks whom I already knew at my own Helpdesk.
5. Teamwork is all about dealing with people. What you make of your relationships is up to you.
6. It is amazing what a team can do when it is up to the challenge. My team only had a certain amount of time to transition its operations and we did it!
7. Sometimes just a desire to learn can make the difference between success and failure.
8. Investment in relationships with people is invaluable with a rewarding rate of return.
9. Random acts of kindness
10. You can actually appeal to people's better nature and not just their self-interest.
Everyone involved displayed so much cooperation and willingness to train no matter how many times they were asked a question. Everyone involved during the transition should be very proud that they were part of that awesome period and it is something that they can take with them anywhere else they go. All of us were a part of a group that needed to implement the greatest effort of teamwork or we were not going to make the transition.
Considering that three shifts were involved makes the event even more a source of pride for all of those who were involved. Any person on the team could be approached and they were more than willing to help with any question. We were an example to follow and we certainly set a great standard for teamwork!!
Teamwork is all about people. Those in technical professions are people too. No matter what your profession, people in technology have great skills like everyone else. My team broke the stereotype that techies cannot communicate well and are not team players. It's not your profession that determines what makes you a great team player, it's who you are. It's not how much people skills that you possess, it's what you do with those people skills that matter.
This article is dedicated to the one of those great team members, Monica Mitchell, who died of pulmonary embolism on Wednesday, November 5th, 2003. May God's grace be with you always, Monica. For those of us who had the pleasure to have worked with her, we will greatly miss you.
Published November 2003 : zdnet.com.com/2100-1107_2-5107498.html
North Notes is a writing and researching company, which primarily helps writers gain focus, motivation, remove mental blocks that help to unblock the writing process. EVERYONE who writes has been stuck at some point in his or her career. You do not have to accept these mind-boggling roadblocks!
http://www.northnotes.com; (586) 216-7516
Team Building - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Checklist for High Performing Teams
Why do some teams perform well while others struggle? How can you assess how effectively your team is working now, and identify methods for improvement?Research shows that 85% of the reasons that teams of people succeed or struggle has more to do with interpersonal issues, than technical competence. But both are needed for effective teamwork.
Characteristics of High Performance Teams
Abstract: Based on significant research, Entelechy has defined characteristics of effective teams.Entelechy reviewed over 50 studies on high performance teams and compiled a list of high performance team characteristics.
High Performing Teams: 10 Things You Want To Know About Building A High Performing Team
"Conflict becomes politics, commitment becomes 'Only if it's in my best interest', accountability becomes 'Only when it serves me,' and results just fall by the wayside."- Patrick Lencioni, author of "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team", speaking about dysfunctional teamsBased on my experience as a manager, a member of many teams, an HR professional, and a coach, below are 10 things you want to know about high performing teams.
Introduction:Working with teams, whether as leader of a single team or manager of several, is an essential part of a manager's remit. Teamwork is rapidly becoming the preferred practice in many organizations as traditional corporate hierarchies give way to flat, multi-skilled working methods.
Grow Your Staff into a Team of Creative Problem Solvers
As a manager, your employees will come to you with situations they don't know how to handle. When they approach you during these times, they are looking to you to give them the solution to the problem.
You are Excused from Training
Trainers, please picture this..
Beyond Brainstorming - Large Groups
When leaders, consultants and managers require ideas, they automatically tend to herd people into a room and conduct a (usually ineffective) brainstorming session. One reason for their ineffectiveness is a failure to consider the impact of group size.
Team Building Survey Reveals Clues, Not Answers
Team Building Question:I'm a manager of a team of 20 people and here is my question. At this year's survey, the results show that my team members don't think their colleagues (from my section and from other sections) often act on their own initiative.
For companies to be competitive, decisions have to be made faster than ever before, and expenses have to be lower. The hierarchical environment did not support fast decision making.
Working as a Winning Team
It's a great sunny day so it's time to get out and enjoy the weather. Many of us would like to, but we have projects due, tasks that need to be done, people that we need to see, and money that needs to be made.
7 Key Dimensions of High Performance Teams
7 Key Dimensions of High Performance Teams We can always look at the behaviors and skills of team leaders and team members in analyzing team performance and success, but it is also instructive to look at the overall team as well. The list of attributes that follows describes team units that are highly productive and successful.
Team and Organizational Survival Strategies for Turbulent Economic Times
Survival: The Name of the New Economic Game People rarely have a neutral reaction to Survivor, the reality based TV show. Love it or hate it, with 51.
Business Innovation - Effective Team Structures
Creativity can be defined as problem identification and idea generation whilst innovation can be defined as idea selection, development and commercialisation.There are other useful definitions in this field, for example, creativity can be defined as consisting of a number of ideas, a number of diverse ideas and a number of novel ideas.
Franchisor Award Programs; Ideas and Innovation
Franchisors should also be heavy on the award side of motivational material. Award certificates and plaques should be given out to franchisees who perform above expectations.
How Leaders Unlock Potential in Teams
Leaders are faced with unlocking the potential in the people that they lead and motivating the individual is a key part of this process. Motivation is not something that is done to an individual as they already posses it.
How to be Healthier and Happier In Your Organisation
Did you know your work environment can actually make you sick?The affects of airconditioningResearch has shown that airconditioning can cause allergies, respiratory infections, asthma, fatigue and headaches. And that's just a few things.
Team Work - A Challenge of Character
Over the years there has been much ado about team work, the value of teams, the ups and downs, the pros the cons! Some appear to work and others fail, why? Can your business benefit from a team work approach or not?As people we are 'complex beings' It never ceases to amaze me how we often gravitate to negative ways of thinking about others when we ourselves (if we are honest) have just as many flaws and faults. We often find ourselves thinking about the glass half empty instead of the glass half full.
Young minds are quite easy to shape. International Terrorist recruiters know this and have an abundant source of young men and women to pick from.
How to Align Your Team through Change
Eight Principles for Purposeful AlignmentEffective teamwork requires individual members of the team to be connected by, and aligned to a common purpose, values and sense of identity. Sometimes individuals can drift away from the team as a result of the mental limitations they create about their work and role.
Go On, Be A Tiger
From the moment he putted with Bob Hope on the Mike Douglas Show at age two, Tiger Woods appeared destined for fame. After an unprecedented junior and amateur career, his entry into the professional ranks in 1996 received tremendous publicity - and one of the largest sponsorship contracts in history.
© www.KewlOz.com 2013