My current purpose at Elevator is driven by the belief that teams are everything. Now imagine how serious I took the question, “Do teams change people’s lives?”
I asked this question in an effort to find the best way Elevator can improve teams for an individual’s career. So, we sought out research done by top companies about employee satisfaction, increased productivity, and culture growth. It’s no surprise that the most sought after companies care deeply about not only productivity, but also how to maintain the best company culture. In each case, teams were the underlying problem as well as the solution.
Let’s look at one of the most controversial team members: the manager. Google’s Project Oxygen presented their research on “Why Managers Matter,” and their findings are — of no surprise to us at Elevator — about the importance of teams. Behaviors such as being a good coach, empowering the team, and having a clear vision/strategy for the team are just a few of the top characteristics. Each of these traits are more than just desired behaviors in managers — they are values found in any good team player.
The Ideal Team Player is a book that we keep on the shelf here at Elevator. This book comes to a similar conclusion about what behaviors are expected in an ideal team player. A good coach, empowering the team, and interests in other team members is exactly what we see in all the great teams in the world.
Great teams take success seriously, and that means considering the team seriously when it comes to making decisions.
Other companies’ research shows similar trends about where the true power of the individual lies in deciding their career future. The real power is not in the title of the job, but in the teams that help you rise in your career. If you do look for a new job, you depend on your old team for your references. If a new project is coming your way, it’s your team that will help you succeed in accomplishing it.
If you’re looking to drive your career, look no further than improving and creating success for your team.
Before you think about all the people that you can put in one team, think instead about the few colleagues you want to work with again. Think about the people who know you the best and can provide solid evidence of your worth. After all, who better than your colleagues to help explain your accomplishments and your process? It’s not a far jump to realize that the direction of your career is not in your next job, but your work and relationships in your current team. It’s no wonder — when you do make the next career change — the company looks at your accomplished colleagues in the past. They want to bring your best colleagues back together again.
Companies use referral programs that tap into your previous teams to find the same value they see in you. Guess what has the highest satisfaction and success when changing companies? Referrals are at the top of every company and recruiter’s mind, because they know that a past team member is the most likely to have exactly what they want.
So if you’re looking to take hold of your career, build your team. Work on projects. Take your team to the next level. By enlisting the same behavior Google strives for in managers, you’ll see huge changes in your team. By recognizing the importance and power of your team, you will have the confidence and ability to make real changes in your company. Finally, by empowering your team, you move up together. Most importantly, you start taking hold of your own career.