Challenges abound for teams who are scattered across the globe – think how difficult it is to get together with teammates on a large corporate campus, for example, and then multiply that exponentially. Virtual teams include cultural, technological and interpersonal challenges that are unique, but not impossible to work around. From the leadingvirtually.com blog, this article focuses on the challenge of a virtual team with several sub-teams.
Posts Tagged ‘Team Building’
The Problem: A manufacturing and sales company with five U.S. plants and 1,000 employees had one big problem – a major communication barrier between plant management and production-line teams. Productivity was low, defects were high, and both sides were in denial.
The Solution: This company needed a riveting, mindset-changing, do-or-die example of great teamwork in action. No tepid teamwork training video would do. CRM Learning’s dramatic, true story, Teamwork in Crisis: The Miracle of Flight 232 was right on the money.
The Success Story: Plant managers and front-line teams together attended training events at each location, which began with the Teamwork in Crisis video and progressed to open, honest and sometimes difficult dialog about the obstacles that stood in the way of success.
But the preparation for these events actually took place several weeks before, when management met with production line supervisors for frank dialog on what was needed to improve efficiency and quality. Both sides felt this advance work was absolutely critical to build the trust necessary to make the company-wide training events meaningful.
On the day of training, after participants watched the Teamwork in Crisis video, the discussion turned to the unique situations at each plant. Facilitators wrote their own training plan around real-world facts. Plant management and production leaders recognized and admitted that a problem existed, showing that management had bought in to breaking down walls.
And most important: In order to facilitate open discussion, managers were asked to leave the room so front-line employees could be honest about their assessments of product quality and productivity, including their own.
Facilitators took notes, brought the problems, ideas and solutions back to plant managers, who in turn went to the shop floor to begin implementing ideas they were able to. The physical results from training were fast and obvious. Improvements, cooperation and communication flourished, and team members felt that their ideas were heard and acted upon.
Most important, team morale improved immeasurably and pride of workmanship became standard operating procedure. From a defective material rate averaging around 6 percent a day, defects shrank to under 2 percent – a number that has been sustained for the past six years!
The company reports that Teamwork in Crisis was partly responsible for the company’s own miracle turnaround. A company spokesman says: “Training videos provide a dimension to our learning events that we would otherwise have not had. The many films we have purchased over the years have provided inspiration, laughter (and some tears), and improvement to our everyday work lives.”
Watch a free full length preview of Teamwork in Crisis: