Building on our team

Building on our team

Working with on a variety of sites over the years I learned a simple truth. You aren’t the smartest guy in the room, that being said you do have to know who the smartest guy in the room is. The trick…. Depending on the situation that person changes.

Every team member has their strengths and weaknesses. It may be with regards to a particular piece of equipment, it could be their ability to get everyone pulling together, or it could be their understanding of the overall operations of the plant. Then you know who to rely on when things go south. In every team, there’s the go-to guy/gal.

But what if they are unavailable? For any number of reasons, it is always best to make sure we build our teams so that we have the skills for these situations developed within the full team. In my experience, the best way to do this is to make sure we are consistent in how we perform our tasks, a consistent method or a consistent procedure, and a consistent way of documenting our work.

Take troubleshooting for example. Some team members have “a knack” for getting problems solved quickly and correctly. A real asset to any team.

Now how do we expand this troubleshooting skill within our teams? We need to understand how to make sure our full team is consistent at troubleshooting. It’s no real secret our team members have to have confidence in their skills, they have to be analytical in their reasoning, they have to be systematic in their approach, and above all document their progress so that nothing is missed, but also so that another person can help out or pick up if the job is not done at shift change.

When I am presenting our troubleshooting training it is fun to see how everyone thinks, how they process information, to see what their method is. That being said, what about the team members with little or no troubleshooting experience? My goal is to make sure everyone has the skills to be confident, consistent, and effective troubleshooters. Once they have a step-by-step method and start utilizing their new skills. It’s great to see the light come on as it were. All of a sudden, they become quicker and more consistent in meeting their new troubleshooting challenges including documenting their process so that another team member can step in and know exactly where to focus their problem-solving skills.

When we build strong, diverse, confident, teams then everyone becomes the go-to guy/gal. Way less stress, way more fun. No worries about covering vacations or availability. More opportunities to do the training and development for each member of the team. It becomes a positive cycle that benefits everyone.

Just my thoughts...

In Safety,