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Bill Lee
Bill Lee is owner and CEO of Scott Rice Office Interiors, LLC, a company created in 1934, then known as Bauman's. Scott Rice is a Steelcase dealer and an Office Furniture USA franchise owner. Scott Rice provides office furniture, modular carpet, panel systems and related installation and moving services to businesses and organizations throughout central Kansas. Bill acquired Scott Rice in December 2003 after serving as general manager for the three previous years. He has a broad background in sales/sales management and held general management positions in four different companies over the last 25 years. Bill has managed businesses in several different arenas to include office products, paper converting, specialty advertising and now office furniture. He has been involved in three business turnarounds during his management career. Bill grew up in Southeast Kansas and graduated from Kansas University. He served as an Army infantry officer in Vietnam and considers this experience as his best learning experience related to people management. Bill has always felt that managing toward superior service performance is the key to success in any organization and he made that a top priority at Scott Rice from the very beginning.
Office Environment
1969-12-31 18:00:00
Teaming in the workplace?
ANSWER: Simply stated, teamwork is the process that workgroup members utilize to achieve their common objectives.  This sounds simple enough.  Developing and implementing workplace procedures and communications process is not that difficult.  Then why is it that some of our employees are at odds with each other, resulting in lost productivity?  That is the subject of this article.The ultimate goal of every employee, whether in marketing or operations, should be to “completely satisfy” their customers – others might say it is to “exceed customer expectations.”  In any event, we want our customers to be happy with our products and services and to get repeat business.One test of effective teamwork occurs when customers don’t get what they expect or what they have contracted for.  The customer doesn’t care about “why”; they just want the problem to be fixed.  When addressing the problem, there is a tendency for team members to lay blame or finger point when dealing with customers and their own team members.  These conversations usually take place behind the back of the “guilty party” rather than to their face.  The natural reaction of the “guilty party” is the feeling of being “back stabbed” and a breakdown of trust.  This “behind the back” approach happens for a number of reasons: a) the “guilty party” is not approachable; b) the “messenger” may be too timid or c) management creates an environment where there is no room for errors, thus, encouraging the problem to be kept “under the table.”   The key here is that team members and management must take responsibility, first with solving the customer problem, and secondly, with determining the causes and coming up with solutions that will correct the problem in the future.  If teamwork is to be preserved members have to avoid name calling, blaming and finger pointing.  Furthermore, management must create the environment in which a certain number of mistakes are acceptable so long as improvement is taking place. Team members must understand how their behavior can undermine teamwork.  Arrogance is especially destructive in a team environment.  A team member that acts in a way that conveys that their position is more important than the rest will be resented and create ill will.  The “all take and no give” individual should not be placed in a team oriented environment.  On the other hand, showing appreciation for fellow team members is a great form of peer recognition, reinforces good work ethic and builds trust.  There are several other factors to consider.  Team members that don’t pull their weight will find themselves on the outside looking in.  This is also true for employees with poor attendance records and those that don’t follow procedures.A final suggestion is for management and group leaders to identify teams with common goals and assess their team effectiveness.  Make sure team members really understand their common goals.  Check to see if they understand their role.  Are some team members miscast?  Is training appropriate?  Is there a recognition program?  Management must include team development as an element in their planning process to optimize productivity and customer satisfaction.
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