Ask any job candidate what he or she is looking for in a work environment, and he or she will probably say some version of this (at least, this is what I’ve heard so many times):
“I want to work in a team, where people help each other out and there’s a strong group dynamic.”
Lots of people say this, as did I, but it has taken me awhile to realize what it really means to me.
Having a true “team environment” is about more than, I have a big project and I need your help. That’s important, too, but there’s more to it than that. Being a part of a team means (in no particular order, by the way):
- There is information flow between levels of hierarchy.
- Each employee has skin in the game, a stake in the outcome of any particular project.
- Collaboration is a normal part of work life, and it is encouraged by management.
- Everyone works to be proactive, instead of reactive, and that people work together to create plans for the organization as a whole in an integrated way.
I’ve read so many articles lately that describe how to create an organizational culture that make employees feel connected, empowered, and appreciated. And a key element is this focus on collaboration. It’s not just about Millennials in the workplace, whose view of work rests largely on this concept of teamwork. Instead, it’s about creating an environment in which employees feel empowered and each person, no matter their status or title, is given an opportunity to collaborate with management to improve processes, articulate plans and move organizations forward.
That’s what being a part of a team means to me. And that’s what I’ll be looking for in my future work life.
Am I missing something? What does being a part of a team mean to you? Leave your comments below.