For newbies in any organization or teams, there will always be the constant pressure to perform and impress their bosses, in the hopes of getting the regular employment status, or getting the promotion they’ve been eyeing. Unfortunately, while these high-performing young professionals appear to have everything under control, many are actually lost in the sea of information within the first six months to a year of their jobs within the organization. It is within this same period that the managers have the major task of rewiring the young professional’s definition of teamwork. This will require intensive communication and corporate training.
Below are some points to emphasize as managers try to connect with their younger team members and instill in them the value of teamwork.
- You can probably solve a problem on your own, but you can solve it better and faster with a team.
High-performing young professionals have been wired to try and do things on their own by circumstances that have actually made them diligent and high-achievers. For instance, they’ve managed to pull-off a class requirement on their own because their teammates were not as helpful, or totally refused to deliver their parts. Young professionals, then, enter the workforce thinking this same principles apply. If he’s a one-man-team, this is absolutely true. But, if there’s a team under a manager which this young pro belongs to, it is the manager’s task to orient young professionals that solving problems within the scope of the team should be done as a team, not alone. Behind this concept is the principle that not one person has monopoly of all skills and information in the team. To complete tasks and projects, each person will have one piece of the puzzle, and the young professional should recognize this point.
- You can impress management not just by being independent, but by how fast you can turn in results. Young professionals think that managers will always pick the most independent workers as the most reliable and trustworthy member of the team. Unknown to the young professional, what managers need most are not lone-wolves, but coordinators. The burden for managers is to constantly make people in the team work together. Young professionals should understand that they will be able to impress their managers if one can make communication easier between members of the team, with the result of quicker resolutions and accomplishment of tasks. To do this, the young professional should practice empathy, communication, and respect towards the other members of the team. These skills are not easily acquired, and can only be developed once there is acceptance of the fact that teamwork is absolutely necessary.
- Working with other people prepares you for your next career step. Sometimes, young professionals think of having to work with other teammates as a burden. They’d rather do things on their own than having to deal with the fluctuating emotions, personalities, and quirks of their teammates. Unknown to many young professionals, this exercise of actually dealing with the “workplace dramas”, so to speak, helps them grow as a person and a professional, preparing them for bigger roles in the future. Whether it’s a role within the organization or outside the organization, managers should be able to make young professionals understand the value of teamwork necessity not just for career but also for personal growth.
- Self-awareness is key to learning more and doing more for your team and stakeholders.
Admitting one does not know the answer can be a very difficult thing to do, especially for a young professional who’s still trying to prove himself in the workplace. But, a manager should be able to train young professionals with this skill of identifying the missing resources or information in order to solve a business problem. Owning up to the fact that he/she might not have this skill or particular resource at the moment is key. Awareness is the first step to finding the solution. A lot of times, the solution is not so far away — usually one other teammate can provide help or lead the way to someone who knows better. But, if the young person does not have the capacity to admit the lack of such a resource or skill, he/she puts the team at risk of prolonging the process of finding a solution. Self-awareness is then another key point for young professionals to appreciate teamwork better.
All these key points can be emphasized and communicated further through training, one-on-one sessions, and team exercises. External training companies or consultants can provide third-party support and a fresh perspective into team dynamics. More importantly, the relationship between the manager and the young professional would define how well the manager can integrate this young professional into the culture of the organization, while further embracing teamwork and growth.