What my coffee shop experience taught me about teamwork!

I was in my favourite coffee shop the other day waiting for my usual morning pick-me-up; my gingerbread latte.

There was a long queue so I had plenty of time to watch the staff at work.

It was not going well.

The first thing I noticed was that each employee was trying to do, pretty much everything.

They were starting to process different orders and not quite finishing them and they were then losing track of where they were and getting muddled.

They then found themselves taking over someone else’s job halfway through and giving each other completely contradictory instructions.

In short, there was a breakdown of communication, processes and teamwork.

Not surprisingly, the customers were getting irate.

There’s no ‘I’ in teamwork

We’ve all heard the sayingthere’s no ‘I’ in teamwork’, but what does it mean?

Foremost, it means working for the good of the team rather than your own individual goals.

And in the workplace this can be the difference between success and failure.

Effective team working doesn’t however, just happen by accident and a conscious effort is needed to enable groups of individuals to work well together.

With this in mind, let’s have a look at the building blocks of an effective team.

Clear roles

In order to be effective, there needs to be a good balance of skills, abilities and aspirations in your team.

In addition, each team member needs to have a clear understanding of his or her role (including where this ends!) as well as the role of everyone else.


Effective processes

Teams and processes go together like coffee and cream (or a latte and a muffin!) and without effective processes in place – to solve problems, make decisions and manage deadlines, your team will fall apart.

High-performance teams take time to identify, map, and master their key team and business processes.

Clear communication

One of the biggest obstacles to great teamwork is poor communication.

Effective communication in the workplace relies on everyone keeping an open mind, engaging in active listening and, as my coffee shop example showed, breakdowns in communication can knock a company off track and prevent it from reaching its full potential.

It’s really worth therefore, investing in time to get this right.

We can help

At Chrysalis Business Support we can review your businesses processes and systems to make sure they’re working effectively.

And when they are, you’ll see an increase in productivity and a reduction in costs!

Call us today on 01905 670910 to find out how we can help the people in your business work together, better.

The coffee by the way; is on us!