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Effective Teams: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Effective Teams: Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts

Compucom - Karen Rice, CHROKaren Rice •  Chief Human Resources Officer 

As a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), I am keenly aware that part of my purview is ensuring remote work processes promote productivity and employee collaboration because teams that work well together can only benefit a business. And these benefits often include better employee engagement, sharper problem-solving, and overall business resilience.

Recently, I was interviewed by HRTech Edge about Compucom, remote work, and our workplace technology. I told them that a key practice for us is to “establish clear and effective communication channels to ensure employees can easily connect and collaborate with their colleagues and managers. This includes leveraging email, instant messaging platforms, video conferences, and project management software. Encourage regular check-ins and provide guidelines on response times to maintain a sense of connectivity and prompt communications.”

Walking the Walk – What Makes an Effective Team?

Like many companies today, Compucom offers remote and hybrid work models to retain and attract the best talent. Knowing that our strength is in our people, we understand that teams can be even greater than the sum of their parts, so we actively seek to promote a work environment that fosters teamwork.

And while it's hard to define what makes the "perfect team", there are certain characteristics that successful teams often share. In 2012, long before remote and hybrid work became the norm, Google undertook an initiative called Project Aristotle. Over a 2-year period, they studied 180 internal teams, identifying five keys to their success and effectiveness:

  1. Psychological safety: Can team members speak their minds?
  2. Dependability: Are team members able to count on each other?
  3. Structure and clarity: Does each member know the part they play?
  4. Meaning: Does the work bring personal satisfaction?
  5. Impact: How does the team’s work benefit the company? 

All five hinge on effective communication, which can be tricky to achieve in today's typical workforce, where team members may rarely or never see each other in person. This is where the right technology and technology partner is crucial.

To get distributed employees working closely and effectively, businesses need an optimized combination of video conferencing, project management tools, team messaging, and file sharing and editing. But it's not as simple as just purchasing the right products (although Compucom can help you with procurement, too).

Managed Services – Our Own Best Customer

What I love about working at Compucom is that we practice what we preach. As a managed service provider (MSP), we rely on our solutions, services, and expertise just like our customers.

When it comes to cloud collaboration and communication, we use our direct internal experiences to inform how we deliver our services. Here are just a few areas where being our own best customer has benefitted our customers:

  • Collaboration security: With experience in governance, security, and data protection across multiple sectors and various customers, we understand how to be proactive and responsive when it comes to protecting your company's collaboration data.
  • Cloud migration and consolidation: Migrating to the cloud involves specialized knowledge, and it’s best done by an experienced, certified team rather than stretching an existing internal IT team that may already be overburdened. Our subject matter experts (SMEs) will advise you whether using multiple tools to get the right capabilities to suit your workforce will work better for you or whether it’s best to consolidate to avoid inefficiencies, higher costs, and security risks.
  • Backup and recovery: We strongly encourage backup and disaster recovery plans to include your collaboration data to protect you against data loss and downtime.

These areas are often not top of mind when companies seek to drive employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction, but they are essential to the overall experience you want to deliver to keep your teams as effective and productive as possible.

Great Teams. Shared Values.

The best way to build effective teams and to understand people different from ourselves is to communicate well, and this is something we emphasize for all Compucom employees. As an IT services company, we know that leveraging technology to help our employees work together will help us build and maintain strong, collaborative teams that serve our customers well. It’s what we do.