Any organization that relies on labor in any numbers would do well to embrace the concept of team. I have worked at a couple of agents that really went after the high school and college athletes due to their previous experience in team based sports.
Management that treats all as equals, including rotating workers to break up monotony or bad work pairings, as well as keeping everyone informed of any situations pertinent to their own interests will develop a sense of belonging in the group. Uniforms can play a key role in this, keeping in mind most people are mindful of how they look, everyone should be informed of openings that are made available by another employee’s exit. When I started out in this business, all sales folks were guys with experience on the trucks, operations managers were former drivers or warehouse managers, everyone was familiar with most everyone on any operational or sales level. Fewer problems, fewer questions.
Continuity is vital to teamwork, communication and opportunity also play key roles towards a stable, productive crew, constant changes in supervisory positions, company policy, or procedures will breed unrest and resentment, particularly from the established members of the work force. During “peak season” we are often pushed and pushed hard to fulfill all job assignments with late hours, early starts, multiple job days, assisting other crews who are experiencing their own “long day”, everyone needs to know they can count on their crew mates, if they can’t then you have “an everyman for himself” mentality, there is no pride, only a sense of one’s own self, that does not work in any “team” sport.
On my next blog, I will discuss how the use of a mentor program can aid in the development of “Lead Men”, and how one agent created unity as well as an abundance of leadership and responsibility in their own local crew.