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Organizational Development Team Effectiveness

The Power of Empathy in the Workplace: Building Stronger Connections

Empathy plays a crucial role in creating a positive workplace environment. Let’s explore why it matters and how you can foster empathy at work.

  1. Improved Communication:
    1. Empathy allows you to adapt your communication style to different team members. Whether you’re talking to your manager or presenting to a large group, understanding their perspective helps you connect effectively.
    1. Active listening and encouraging words when coworkers share ideas strengthen working relationships.
  2. Stronger Relationships:
    1. By understanding coworkers’ backgrounds and perspectives, you build rapport and trust. Recognizing their viewpoints fosters collaboration and teamwork.
    1. Acknowledging other workers’ beliefs is essential for conflict resolution, problem-solving, and innovation.
  3. Boosted Creativity:
    1. Empathy leads to creative solutions. Considering the audience’s perspective or customer needs helps identify effective strategies.
    1. Viewing products or services from recipients’ viewpoints reveals new opportunities and encourages experimentation.
  4. Increased Sales and Investment Opportunities:
    1. Empathy helps you understand stakeholders’ motivations, such as clients and investors. This insight can lead to better business decisions.

How to Show Empathy at Work

  • Involve Workers in Decision Making:
    • Seek input from your team before major decisions. Understand how changes impact their lives, even if the decision is final. Inclusivity fosters empathy.
    • Offer incentives to ease concerns about shifts in daily schedules.
  • Acknowledge Other Workers’ Perspectives:
    • Put yourself in each employee’s position before criticizing. Consider personal lived experiences.
    • Ask the right questions, listen actively, and respect team members while correcting them.
  • Watch Out for Signs of Burnout:
    • Recognize burnout among team members. Balance work and home life to prevent exhaustion.

Remember, empathy is not just a buzzword—it’s a powerful tool for creating a supportive, collaborative workplace. By practicing empathy, you contribute to a positive company culture and build stronger relationships with your colleagues.

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Organizational Development Team Effectiveness

Human connection in the workplace is crucial 

Human connection in the workplace is crucial for creating a sense of belonging and inclusivity within teams. When team members establish meaningful relationships, it leads to several positive outcomes:

  1. Improved Engagement: Employees who feel connected to their colleagues are more likely to be engaged in their work. In fact, research shows that if employees don’t have a best friend at work, there’s only a 1 in 12 chance that they’ll be engaged.
  2. Higher Job Satisfaction: When people feel connected to their coworkers, they tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction. Feeling part of a supportive community contributes to overall happiness at work.
  3. Increased Productivity: Connected teams drive collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Colleagues who communicate effectively and work well together are more efficient, leading to better productivity.
  4. Retention and Well-Being: Employee disconnection is a significant driver of voluntary turnover. Lonely employees cost U.S. companies up to $406 billion a year. Conversely, employees who experience high levels of belonging have reduced turnover risk, increased job performance, and fewer sick days. Healthy work relationships facilitate greater learning, improve retention, and increase innovation and performance.

To foster human connection in the workplace, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Make Workplace Connection a Ritual: Encourage regular team check-ins, virtual coffee breaks, or casual chats. Create opportunities for colleagues to connect beyond work-related tasks.
  • Make It Easier to Ask for Support: Cultivate an environment where team members feel comfortable seeking help or advice from one another. Encourage open communication and empathy.
  • Make Onboarding More Experiential: During onboarding, focus not only on tasks but also on building relationships. Introduce new hires to their colleagues and team dynamics.
  • Make Recharging a Reality: Recognize the importance of breaks and downtime. Encourage employees to take breaks, recharge, and connect with others during these moments.

Remember, human connection isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s essential for a thriving workplace. As leaders, we can actively promote connection and create an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Here at OEC, Inc it has been our mission for over 30 years to facilitate connections that bring purpose and meaning to you, the people around you, and the Organization you give your gifts to every day.

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Enhancing Virtual Team Dynamics in the Digital Workspace

Brett Hodge 03/01/2024

In the era of remote work, virtual teams have become the backbone of many organizations. However, maintaining the dynamics of a team that interacts primarily through screens presents unique challenges. This blog explores strategies to improve virtual team dynamics, ensuring a cohesive and productive work environment.

Understanding Virtual Team Dynamics

Virtual teams operate across various time zones and cultures, often without ever meeting face-to-face. This can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection. To combat this, it’s essential to understand the nuances of virtual communication and foster a sense of belonging among team members.

Building Trust and Accountability

Trust is the foundation of any successful team. In a virtual setting, trust is built through transparency, consistent communication, and reliability. Leaders should encourage open dialogue and provide regular feedback to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and accountability.

Communication: The Lifeline of Virtual Teams

Effective communication is vital for virtual teams. It’s not just about the frequency of interactions but also the quality. Utilizing the right tools—whether it’s video conferencing, messaging apps, or project management software—is crucial for facilitating clear and efficient communication.

Fostering Engagement and Collaboration

Engagement can be a challenge in virtual teams. To keep team members engaged, incorporate interactive elements into meetings, such as polls or brainstorming sessions. Collaboration tools that allow real-time editing and sharing can also enhance the sense of teamwork.

Cultivating a Supportive Culture

A supportive culture is characterized by recognition, inclusivity, and the promotion of work-life balance. Celebrating achievements, acknowledging milestones, and providing support during challenging times are all practices that contribute to a positive team culture.

Continuous Improvement

The virtual workspace is ever-evolving, and so should the team dynamics. Regularly assess the effectiveness of communication strategies, tools, and team morale. Be open to feedback and willing to make changes to improve the team’s performance.

Conclusion

Improving virtual team dynamics is an ongoing process that requires attention and effort from every team member. By building trust, enhancing communication, fostering engagement, and cultivating a supportive culture, virtual teams can overcome the barriers of distance and become more cohesive and effective.

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Organizational Development Team Effectiveness

How employee management tools can significantly impact your company’s bottom line:

Brett Hodge, CEO 03/27/2024

Introduction

In today’s dynamic business environment, organizations face multifaceted challenges. Managing human resources effectively is a critical aspect of achieving overall success. Employee management tools play a pivotal role in optimizing workforce performance, streamlining processes, and ultimately contributing to the bottom line.

1. The Expanding Role of Finance and HR

Traditionally, finance departments focused primarily on financial operations. However, the landscape has evolved. Finance professionals now actively participate in shaping overall business strategy. They contribute to cost management, forecasting, and labor optimization. Understanding the workforce—often the largest and most complex expense—is essential for creating a successful business strategy.

2. Workforce Intelligence: The Power of HR Data

Workforce intelligence, derived from HR data and metrics, empowers finance professionals with valuable insights. Here’s how it can impact your bottom line:

a. Cost Optimization

  • Recruiting Efficiency: HR metrics help identify steps to optimize recruiting costs. By understanding which channels yield the best results, you can allocate resources effectively.
  • Talent Assignment: Assigning the right talent to the right tasks ensures productivity. HR data reveals how efficiently employees are assigned and engaged.
  • Pay Practices Alignment: Ensure that compensation and benefits align with performance, avoiding unnecessary costs.

b. Productivity Insights

  • Declining Productivity: HR metrics highlight signs of declining productivity. Addressing these early can prevent revenue losses.
  • Talent Development: Determine whether it’s more beneficial to build talent internally or hire contractors. Investing in employee development pays off in the long run.

c. Process Improvements

  • Efficiency Gains: Identify and implement improvements across various workplace processes. Streamlining workflows directly impacts the bottom line.
  • Diversity and Profitability: A diverse workforce contributes to innovation and profitability. HR data helps create an inclusive work environment.

3. Uncovering Top Performers

  • Armed with HR insights, you can identify top performers who significantly impact your company’s financial success. Recognize their contributions and learn from their practices.
  • Equally important is understanding why some employees fall behind. Addressing performance gaps can boost overall productivity.

Conclusion

Employee management tools bridge the gap between HR and finance. By leveraging HR metrics, you can make informed decisions, optimize costs, and create a thriving work environment. Remember, data-driven strategies lead to a healthier bottom line.

So, embrace the power of employee management tools and watch your business flourish! Contact us at OEC, Inc. for more information 812-345-7519.

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The Importance of People Data in Driving High-Performance Teams

Brett Hodge 03/08/24.

In today’s dynamic business landscape, high-performance teams are the backbone of organizational success. These teams consistently deliver exceptional results, innovate, and adapt swiftly to change. But what fuels their excellence? People data plays a pivotal role in shaping high-performance teams. Let’s explore why it matters and how organizations can leverage it effectively.

People data provides insights into employee behavior, preferences, and performance. By analyzing this data, organizations gain a deeper understanding of their workforce. They can identify patterns related to productivity, engagement, and collaboration. Armed with this knowledge, leaders can make informed decisions to optimize team dynamics.

High-performance teams thrive in environments where employees feel valued and supported. People data helps organizations tailor their employee experience. By tracking engagement levels, satisfaction surveys, and feedback, companies can create targeted interventions. Whether it’s personalized training, flexible work arrangements, or recognition programs, data-driven approaches enhance employee well-being and motivation.

Effective teams require the right mix of skills and competencies. People data allows organizations to assess their talent pool objectively. By identifying gaps, leaders can strategically hire, train, or develop team members. Whether it’s technical expertise, leadership skills, or emotional intelligence, data-driven talent management ensures teams have the necessary capabilities.

Predictive analytics based on people data can forecast individual and team performance. By analyzing historical data, organizations can identify factors that correlate with success. For example, understanding which traits lead to high sales performance or effective project management enables targeted recruitment and development efforts.

Inclusive teams outperform homogeneous ones. People data sheds light on diversity metrics, such as gender, ethnicity, and age. Organizations can track representation, pay equity, and promotion rates. By addressing biases and promoting diversity, high-performance teams emerge—bringing varied perspectives and innovative solutions.

High-performance teams rally around shared goals. People data ensures alignment by tracking individual and team performance metrics. Whether it’s revenue targets, customer satisfaction scores, or project milestones, data-driven goal-setting fosters accountability and collaboration.

Continuous learning fuels team growth. People data identifies skill gaps and learning preferences. Organizations can offer targeted training, mentorship, and development opportunities. A culture of learning enhances team agility and adaptability.

Leaders armed with people data make better decisions. Whether it’s resource allocation, team restructuring, or performance evaluations, data-driven insights guide actions. Evidence-based decisions minimize risks and maximize team effectiveness.

Conclusion

In the quest for high-performance teams, people data is not just a tool—it’s a strategic asset. Organizations that harness its power create agile, engaged, and resilient teams. So, let’s embrace data-driven practices and propel our teams toward excellence! 

For more information on using Data to drive excellence contact us at www.oecleadership.com

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The Best Human Asset Software for your Business

benefits of using the Predictive Index (PI) in your organization. OEC, Inc. is a Certified PI Partner. Contact us for more information. https://www.oecleadership.com

Predictive Index: The Key to Talent Optimization

In today’s dynamic workplace, understanding employee behavior and optimizing talent is crucial for organizational success. The Predictive Index (PI) is a powerful tool that provides valuable insights into workplace behavior, motivators, and potential. Let’s explore how PI can enhance your organization:

1. Understanding Workplace Behavior

  • Scientific Validation: PI is a scientifically validated behavioral assessment tool. It evaluates the motivating needs that drive an individual’s workplace behavior. By understanding these needs, organizations gain insights into what makes their employees tick.
  • Predicting Performance: PI measures cognitive ability, behavior, and interests. It predicts how individuals will perform in specific roles or work environments. This knowledge helps in making informed decisions during talent acquisition and team building.

2. Talent Optimization

  • Hiring Right: PI assists in identifying candidates who not only qualify for a role but are also likely to thrive in it. By assessing personality traits and cognitive abilities, organizations can make better hiring decisions.
  • Team Dynamics: Understanding the mix of driving needs within a team is essential. PI helps identify potential areas of conflict or cooperation, promoting effective collaboration and communication.
  • Leadership Development: PI identifies individuals with leadership potential. It enables personalized development plans to nurture their skills, ensuring a strong leadership pipeline.
  • Management Support: Pi integrates behavioral data with AI to provide managers all they need to schedule 1:1 meetings, Team meetings, feedback and communication, performance management and more.

3. Aligning Individual Capabilities with Organizational Goals

  • Behavioral Mapping: PI provides a ‘behavioral map’ of an individual’s work persona. It reveals factors like dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality. Organizations can align these traits with their goals and requirements.
  • Stress and Team Response: PI helps understand how individuals respond to stress, scrutiny, and team dynamics. This knowledge aids in creating a supportive work environment.

4. Not Just a Test, But Insights

  • Detailed Insights: PI isn’t a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ test. Instead, it offers detailed insights into behavior and performance. Organizations gain clarity on their workforce’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Conclusion

The Predictive Index is more than a tool; it’s the key to talent optimization. By leveraging PI, your organizations can create a harmonious workplace, maximize productivity, and align individual capabilities with strategic goals. So, contact us at OEC, Inc. to embrace PI and unlock the potential of your workforce! ????

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Key Changes Companies Should Make

Key changes companies should make in 2022

Josh Bersin, the founder of an HR research firm, says that “you have to run your company as if every employee has one foot out the door.” And he is right because employees today demand fast, positive change from their employers.

Let the data talk: 

  • 8 out of 10 employees feel ‘more empowered’ to hold leaders accountable for workplace changes in 2022. 
  • And 56% of workers said they will only wait 30 to 60 days for employers to make needed changes before they consider leaving. (Human Workplace Index)

So what can companies do?

Well, every company is different and has its unique challenges. But one thing is for sure: now is not the time to let up on the gas (despite today’s prices, har har).

A universal principle is companies must deeply understand what their employees want and then take action to deliver. By collecting employee feedback, companies will unlock a treasure trove of opportunities to improve retention, productivity, and workplace happiness.

How can they take it a step further? Companies must double down on improving the employee experience end-to-end. To start, that means:

  • purging any signs of toxic culture (one way is to create a set of strong company values and reward the right behavior)
  • hiring the right people for the right roles
  • giving employees a meaningful mission and purpose to work toward
  • training managers to listen and support employees (versus telling)
  • creating and communicating legitimate career paths (only 11% of companies offer formal career pathing programs). 

The MIT study also revealed four short-term strategies companies can use to increase retention.

  1. Identifying lateral career opportunities
  2. Offering remote work arrangements
  3. Hosting company-sponsored social events
  4. Offering predictable schedules
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Team Effectiveness

Managing Relationships in Teams is Critical

Managing relationships in teams is critical to high levels of effectiveness, results and employee satisfaction. In my last article I wrote about the misnomer of personality conflicts and how what we call personality conflicts are actually relationship conflicts. How we interact, communicate and work with others is the foundation to how we experience life.

There are 14 core relationship principles described by scholars Finkel, Simpson, and Eastwick in 2017. The factors are distinct from one another, though interrelated, in how they influence relationships. I have applied these sound relationship principles to teams.

  1. Uniqueness: Relationship outcomes depend not only on the qualities of different people but also the unique patterns that emerge when they interact. Positive or negative feelings are generated by the interpretation of difference and ability to integrate those differences into team output.
  2. Integration: Through interdependent interaction, team members will start to blend together. Self-regulation can get replaced by mutual regulation and a sense of shared identity. Research has shown that when people get closer to each other they tend to think of each other in more positive terms and will help to further one another goals.
  3. Trajectory: The trajectory of teams relationships over time is affected by team members continuous perceptions of interactions and experiences over time. Relationships grow and develop in stages. Much like the stages of group development; forming, storming, norming and performing.
  4. Evaluation: People on teams typically evaluate their relationships based on commitment, trust, caring, contribution, reciprocity, safety, and satisfaction. If evaluations are only private, no one gets the feedback to help improve team relationships.
  5. Responsiveness: Responsive behaviors are important to teamwork. The ways teammates are responsive to each other can be seen in different light. One may feel others responses are too quick or too late, lack depth or sincerity. Higher levels of support promote higher levels of well-being.
  6. Resolution: How well teammates communicate about relationship events affects long-term quality of the relationships. Negative events have a stronger impact than positive events. A teams ability to share openly, listen to each others experience, and respond with empathy is critical. Forgiveness is key!
  7. Maintenance: Positive team relationships are maintained by thinking and behaving in ways that show a willingness to put self-interests aside for the good of the team. Team relationships are a series of deposits and withdrawals over time. Teams must maintain a positive relationship account. Withdrawals will occur in the life of a team and so intentional positive deposits on a daily basis are a must. A good start is just with manners and social kindness and recognition of each others value.
  8. Predisposition: People bring basic personality and temperament qualities with them into teams. Some of these will be seen as strengths for the team and some will be seen as liabilities. The more neurotic the team members predisposition, the more difficult and challenging the relationships will be. Emotional intelligence is important as well as high levels of trust that allow for individual growth within a team setting.
  9. Instrumentality: Teammates bring their own goals and needs into the team relationships. The dynamics of the team can positively or negatively affect the degree to which each team member is able to meet these goals and needs. The teams ability to discuss, understand, and integrate these goals and needs is critical to continued commitment toward the teams results. In high performing teams members goals and needs are understood and the team finds ways to support and assist in meeting these.
  10. Standards: Team members bring relationship standards to the team. Shared values, expectations, and desired outputs need to be clearly understood and realistically managed. Standards can be too high or too low depending on the team member and perceptions of each team member. High trust teams manage this by coming to understand each others standards and then being willing to flex these standards into a common understanding and agreement. College student team projects often run into this dilemma when talking about expected grade. Where the single unemployed student expects nothing but A’s and the single mother of two who works and goes to school is ok with a B grade due to all of her life reponsiblities.
  11. Diagnosticity: Team members tend to assess themselves and others, and the environment they are in. People naturally assess how their team relationships are going and what is going right and what is going wrong. When under stress teammates tend to have a higher propensity to think about their relationships and identify problems. When one team member sees something as a positive and another sees it as a negative, relationship “strain” occurs. Taking risks during times of uncertainty and working through them successfully can actually build trust and commitment.
  12. Alternatives: FOBO (fear of better options) occurs when team members are disgruntled with their current environment and so rather than focusing on working through issues and developing the team, they instead are focused on wishing they had a better option/team. Teams can avoid this by working on relationships in an environment of psychological safety where openness is not just valued but practiced and supported. If you have invested yourself in a team there is a tendency to want to invest in its continued improvement.
  13. Stress: High demands on a team can exceed the teams resources for coping. Stressful situations test team relationships. Team members are more likely to be defensive and retaliate when their buttons are pushed. Breakdown in communication occurs as team members try to distance themselves from each other. Recognition of the stresses and team adoption of effective stress management skills are important to surviving stressful times.
  14. Culture: A team culture (values, beliefs, behavioral norms, traditions) exists whether intentionally created or not. If not intentionally created a default culture will develop and many times it is not optimal for achieving results. Teams need to align their culture to a shared set of values that are aligned with the organizations values. Identify your teams culture and agree on elements that help move your team forward effectively.

How to Build Good Work Relationships

1. Develop Your People Skills. Good relationships start with good people skills. For instance, how well you collaborate, communicate and deal with conflict.

2. Identify Your Relationship Needs. Look at your own relationship needs. Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you?Understanding these needs can be instrumental in building better relationships.

3. Schedule Time to Build Relationships. Devote a portion of your day toward relationship building, even if it’s just 20 minutes. These little interactions help build the foundation of a good relationship, especially if they’re face-to-face.

4. Build your Your EI. Spend time developing your emotional intelligence(EI). Among other things, this is your ability to recognize your own emotions, and clearly understand what they’re telling you. High EI also helps you to understand the emotions and needs of others.

5. Appreciate Others. Show your appreciation whenever someone helps you. Everyone, from your boss to the office cleaner, wants to feel that their work is appreciated. Genuinely compliment the people around you. This will open the door to great work relationships.

6. Be Positive. Focus on being more positive. Positivity is attractive and contagious, and it will help strengthen your relationships with your teammates. No one wants to be around someone who’s negative all the time.

7. Manage Your Boundaries. Make sure that you set and manage boundaries  appropriately – all of us want to have friends at work, but, occasionally, a friendship can start to impact our jobs, especially when a friend or colleague begins to monopolize our time.

8. Avoid Gossiping. Don’t gossip –  Gossip is a major relationship killer at work. If you’re experiencing conflict with someone in your group, talk to them directly about the problem. Gossiping about the situation with other colleagues will only make the relationship more stressed and will cause mistrust and animosity between you.

9. Listen Actively. Practice active listening when you talk to your teammates. People respond to those who truly listen to what they have to say. Don’t try and be right. Focus on listening for understanding and you’ll quickly become known as someone who can be trusted.

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Team Effectiveness

What Is Team Culture?

Creating strong, high performing teams at all levels of your organization is critical to success. Organizations can’t make progress without a strong culture of teamwork. Fostering a great team culture throughout your organization must be a part of your overall Organizations Culture strategy.

A Team culture is the shared values, practices and beliefs that guide the team members interactions with one another, other teams, their managers and customers both internal and external. Team culture refers to the behaviors and patterns of a team from which members develop shared meaning. It is about both shared aspirations as well as the processes to get there, both practical and personal. Within an existing Organizational Culture teams are made up of different combinations of people and have different dynamics, manifesting their own culture. 

Here are six ways you can create an extraordinary team culture:

1. Create a Team Charter

Teams must have a starting point, a compass by which the team gets its sense of meaning and community. The charter must answer : Why are we together, Mission and Objectives, Strategy and plans, Roles and Responsibilities, Accountability structure, Behavioral expectations and agreements.

2. Set Aside Informal Time For Your Team To Relate

Positive Relationships have a big impact on great team culture. It is ideal for team members to truly like and care about each other. This is difficult to achieve in a formal setting, but critical to collective goal accountability and true no fear open communication. The ability to be vulnerable with each other allows for more authentic conflict resolution which is critical to ongoing and long term team health.

3. Be a Trustworthy Leader

Positive relationship with the teams manager is always ranked tops by high performing teams. Emotional intelligence and the ability to be self-aware of how your behavior as a leader affects the dynamics of the team and your ability to manage those behaviors; both the utilization of positive behaviors as well as the reduction of team killing behaviors. Team members must not be afraid of approaching you and asking questions.

4. Promote A Culture of Learning and Development

Opportunities for learning and development contribute to team members job satisfaction. They feel valued as well as it strengthens the overall competence available to the team. Learning and development is also one of the most effective tools to help teams develop their effectiveness. This works best when teams develop and learn together using simulation, experience and review. Knowledge sharing between team members builds relationships as well as a sense of belonging and value.

5. Make Your Workplace Conducive To Teamwork

An important part of catalyzing a great team culture is having a physical environment where productive teamwork is possible. Teams need to have time together to plan, create, polish, and synergize. Research shows that while virtual teams can be successful, they do best when they have had face to face time and use technology to collaborate. Sitting together and creating collaborative work spaces facilitates relationships between team members .

6. Celebrate Accomplishments

Part of a great team culture is a culture where team members take the time to celebrate their work, each other, and the blessings of working with others towards purposeful contributions. This should be a regular agenda item at team meetings.

Visit https://www.oecleadership.com 812-345-7519

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Why is Teamwork so Challenging?

Most of us work in teams or at least work environments that call for high levels of collaboration. Hopefully you have experienced success in teams but no doubt you also have experienced the challenges. Why can working in teams be such a challenge at times? in a 2016 Harvard Business Review titled “Collaboration overload”, Researchers found that there has been a 50% plus increase in collaborative activity in our work over the past decade. With this increase comes a new set of skills and conditions necessary to be successful. Teamwork has gotten more complex with people working on multiple teams at once with sometimes very different focus and different members. Trust is the foundation of effective teamwork and is often left to chance, as with all of our relationships trust must be worked on and discussed in order to create and maintain it. How we create, kickoff, and maintain our teams is critical to long term success and overall team member engagement. In the attached article Bev Attfield talks about 5 common Challenges teams face in todays work environment. https://blog.jostle.me/blog/5-challenges-of-teamwork-and-how-to-overcome-them

Visit https://www.oecleadership.com 812-345-7519