By Chelsea McNally, GSOC Operator
Once you have assembled a successful team, the next step is to keep them together by keeping morale high. According to Gallup’s 2014 Survey of Employee Engagement, low morale in the workplace and the associated drop in productivity cost the United States an estimated $500 billion per year. At SIS, where groups and departments are shaped to meet a variety of requirements, handle 24/7 schedules, and coordinate employees spread out across multiple offices, team-building can be challenging. These tips, taken directly from the SIS Culver City Office, can help keep the most fragmented of teams together.
Good communication should serve as the foundation of any team. Without it, a team can’t function properly, let alone successfully. One strategy that the SIS Reception Department uses is an open door policy. Team members are encouraged to express any issues or concerns they may have to leadership, and leadership is similarly open with the team. By helping resolve issues as they come up, SIS Reception is able to build trust and keep working toward their goals while minimizing friction. This precedent encourages team members to keep the same policy with each other and extend that to other departments, which helps facilitate collaboration throughout the entire office.
2) Leading by Example
People learn through imitation since birth, so leading by example is a great way to set the tone for operations. From arriving on time to writing professional emails void of emoticons and grammatical errors, the way team leaders conduct themselves demonstrates what type of behavior is acceptable and expected. Furthermore, as team members model their behavior after their leader’s, a sense of continuity and mutual respect is established, which leads to further cohesiveness.
Even the most seasoned employees can benefit from being recognized, whether it’s a job well done, their birthday, or a work anniversary. For example, the SIS Global Security Operations Center (GSOC) and SIS Intelligence Services jointly celebrate birthdays with cake and a card signed by everyone in both departments. Being recognized reminds people that their work is important and that they are a valued member of the team. This, in turn, helps motivate people to put forth their best work.
Whether it’s sharing the occasional cat video like the SIS SpecOps Scheduling Department, or funny pictures like GSOC, laughter can help break up a tough day. By sharing funny stories, jokes, and experiences, busy days can seem less stressful. Encouraging fun can help avoid employee burn out, which helps keep employees engaged.
Of course, there are more ways to maintain a successful team. Events and training sessions also contribute to a team’s cohesion. However, these four tips are some of the easiest ways to keep a team motivated, positive, and working together.
Thank you to everyone at the SIS Culver City Office who contributed to this article.