Staff vs. Team: The Importance of Role Clarity

By Maria Forbes
March 6, 2019

A common question we are asked; “Why aren’t my employees getting along?” 

Often times strained working relationships are the result of misunderstanding roles within an organization. This lack of clarity frequently fosters a highly competitive environment, and what may seem like conflict between your employees is stemming from relationship baggage, they may be misinterpreting their responsibilities.
If you want to get your staff on the same page, start by thinking of them as a team.
Consider the difference; a staff responds to a given workload. When an employee’s role and the expectations of their individual contribution to the organization are not clearly defined, a culture of competitiveness can emerge.  A staff will often become over-focused on protecting what they perceive to be their “turf,” rather than directing energy toward cultivating collaboration. Because of this they become task-oriented, checking items off of a list, rather than working collectively within the organization’s ecosystem to achieve big picture goals.
A team is empowered to work collectively by bringing their own strengths to their roles. When an employee’s role is clearly defined and they understand what is expected of them, their energy can be devoted toward a contribution toward achieving shared goals.  When treated like a true team, you will observe your employees encouraging and empowering one another, rather than competing.  Misinterpretation of roles and responsibilities will be reduced, and jobs are transitioned to contributions, creating a highly engaged ecosystem.
Further, when roles are appropriately aligned with an individual’s talents and strengths, you can expect that they will be functioning at a high capacity in the workplace. Each team member will view themselves as a valuable asset within the organization, support the mission, and be inclined to both provide positive client relationship management and cultivate new business development.
Lack of clarity not only keeps everyone from properly navigating their individual roles, but can also lead to employees feeling devalued when they don’t understand how their contributions support the bigger picture . Give your team a break from the competition; refresh your employee roles and engage their strengths toward a shared organizational goal. When you recognize their unique abilities at play and in a culture of mutual respect, they will do.
For more tips to fully engage your team and start the transformation contact us at FIREPOWER Teams!

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