It was a cool fall night. The field was lit up with lights, the grass had been mowed, and the infield dirt was fresh. My non-intimidating, adult kickball team showed up to play against a team that had already defeated us 3 times before. Half of our team was missing and we were on a perfect losing streak. Needless to say, we really weren’t expecting to win.
Fast forward about 30 minutes into the game and we were ahead by several points. Finally, we were winning. During this particular game, I think the idea of teamwork really ‘clicked’ with everyone. We were all striving for the same goal, to beat this ONE team-just ONE time. My team started to realize that different people have different strengths and we had to try to use them to our advantage. For example, one player in particular could kick it really hard and far into the outfield. However, he would kick it high enough that it would be an easy out. The great thing about this player though is that he always kicked when we only had one out. This meant that almost every time he kicked the ball, someone who was already on base got to advance several bases, which helped bring in runs. He may have gotten out, but the amount of people that got all the way home was greater. The best part is that he knew that was his job; to bring the other players into home. What a great team player!
I write all of this to highlight the importance of teamwork, in every aspect of life. You need your team to work together in the office or on the field. Make sure your employees know that there is value in what they do. Recognize even the small accomplishments. Create a culture of learning and coaching. Ensure that goals are obtainable (just because they haven’t been met before, doesn’t mean they are impossible). When it comes to developing an employee recognition program, try letting the employees set their own goals. Incorporate team awards, as well as individual awards in your employee incentive or sales incentive program. Most importantly, emphasize the importance of never giving up. You never know when someone might just knock it out of the park.