I have been working extensively with a remodeling company in the Tampa Bay region for the past couple of years. Through the years I have seen it grow and become a top company in the area. However, despite the massive growth, one key problem has lingered and continued to get worse and worse. That problem being teamwork.
In a standard high volume remodeling company you have many different parts of an organization. You have your sales team, installation team, production team, marketing team, and an inbound lead team. The difficulty with all of these teams is they typically employ very unique and different personality types. It is not common for someone on the installation side to become a sales rep or vice versa. That is understandable but what makes it worse and what ultimately can hurt an organization is when between teams there is an exuberant amount of friction.
When everyone wants to pass the buck of blame on another department and has no appreciation for the other teams efforts, that is a problem. You end up with a constant negative viewpoint swirling around. For a successful environment to happen, positivity can be the life blood whereas negativity can be a detriment. For some companies, I have seen them eliminate this by creating an environment where opposing teams have zero communication with others. However, I really don't feel like that is the right answer. Simply becoming ignorant of another teams existence may work in the short term but in a long term business plan, I fail to see that as a lasting plan.
Separate Parts, Equal Measure
The truth is in my mind that no business finds its success solely from one department. Each department plays a vital role contributing to the success. If the marketing team does not bring in leads, you have a call center sitting around. If the call center does not set appointments, your sales reps don't make you money. If the production team does not order materials, the installers have no homes to visit.
But we must get out of the mindset that I can't do my job because that team is screwing up. Throwing someone else or the company as a whole under the bus does not make you look good. It makes you look weak and makes the company look dysfunctional.
Even if its completely true that a part of the company is failing to hold up its end of the bargain, attacking that weak spot is never the solution. It simply hurts you and everyone involved.
It is vital that all teams work together harmoniously even if there is friction. This can be a real challenge. It can be so easy to pass the blame and say, "not my circus, not my monkey." Being separate from a specific department does not take you off the hook.
The solution: Humility. In order for teamwork to be achieved in this situation, humility is a vital trait each team lead and member should cultivate. Being humble enough to say, "we need help to improve this issue." Being humble enough to see the need to fix something. Or, from the outside it takes humility to praise another teams efforts and realize not everything is perfect. It takes humility to see the struggles and offer help willingly.
In order to foster a team atmosphere properly, all members of each department need to be willing to accept and offer help. Every time you hear some start to throw another member under the bus, be quick to step in and flip the script. Turn negativity into positivity and watch your organization grow more cohesively. Positivity is just as contagious as negativity.