Managing your staff is a fine balance of setting boundaries and creating a participatory teamwork environment.

“Teamwork” turns into “me work” if employees don’t work well together, even if they are the best and brightest in their field.

A Teamwork Top-Down Approach

Successful leaders set the stage. A well-equipped workforce is vital. Jobs don’t get done without the right tools. Worse yet, you’re left with unhappy, griping employees.

Lead like you parent. I believe leading a team is much like the way I raise my children. Teach right from wrong. Set the expectations. Encourage problem solving. I’ll show my way and encourage you to find your way.

Rapidly changing job skills result in a continually learning workforce. Are your employees able to find ways to learn without waiting for you to teach them? As a manager, you should employ a time-tested approach of enabling your newest employees to be self-sufficient by stressing learning through peers and practice.

Through a top-down approach, the manager presents the culture. It’s the employees who reinforce the culture.

A Teamwork Bottom-Up Approach

You can prevent employees who worry more about themselves than your overall business goals according to NCURA. In fact, employees not concerned about overall business operations don’t work well together. Infighting and drama on the job is waste of personal and professional time for your staff and a detriment to your company.

Because today’s job skills are constantly in flux, a leader must transform a culture of resistance into one of accountability for game-changing results.

While there’s value to listening to your employees’ opinions on improvement, cut the hidden conflict, venting, and gossip by challenging your staff to step-up.

Turn “we can’t” into “we can” by asking your employees to reflect on their daily contribution. When employees are not shifting blame, they’re able to focus on tangible goals and inspire collaboration and innovation throughout the workplace.

Personal and organizational accountability lead to a happy workforce who work together… as a team.