"Synergize" the Talents of Many

Synergy happens when a team of good people support a common mission.  Each person has a role in the group's success.  I am often asked how to handle a person in the office who does not seem to blend well with the rest of the team.

Each person on any team has their own style of working, learning and being motivated.  But everybody wants to do a good job.  If energy is spent on getting the most out of each team member by matching them to a perfect set of responsibilities, the accomplishments of the group can be multiplied.

Sometimes team members get a reputation for not pulling their weight because they are not responsible for tasks that suit their talents.  A friendly insurance processor who is constantly distracted by "friends" who want to say hello will always run behind with paperwork and stay frustrated.  And a receptionist who thrives on keeping up with paperwork will inevitably start taking shortcuts with client greetings when the workload increases.  Is there a way to shift responsibilities so the clients are treated better, the paperwork is processed on time and everybody is happier?  YES

Leaders first determine the vision of the organization, communicate that vision to the team then put them in the best position to excel:

  1. List each position in the office and describe the perfect person for that job.
  2. Look at the person doing that job and evaluate if it seems like a match.  Many times, it is necessary to move someone into another seat.
  3. Once that is done, continue to tweak responsibilities until everyone is doing mostly what they enjoy doing.

A word of caution:  It is critically important that the entire team understands the overall mission of what you are trying to accomplish.  Shifting responsibility from one person to another makes people wonder,  "Was I doing a bad job?"  The task is still worth tackling, just be clear about your objectives.