No man (or woman) is an island. This old philosophical treatise highlights the fact that all of us depend on a sense and reality of community to truly flourish. Likewise, healthy teamwork is the foundation of success for any organization. The MSP business is no different. The success of your operations depends on solid teamwork. But what are the foundations of great teamwork? Here they are:
Every member of the team needs to feel confident in the abilities of their teammates. Knowing that they can depend on their colleagues to deliver frees up energy and focus they can deploy more usefully on getting their own work down, rather than worrying about whether the team’s results are going to be hamstrung by the failure of one person.
Being able to communicate, and even more importantly, feeling free to communicate is a prerequisite to healthy teamwork. Management must be able to ensure a safe, successful two-way channel of communication between themselves and their teams. Members of the team need to be able to voice concerns, ask questions, request help, and volunteer their own ideas and contributions without worrying that they’ll be seen as difficult, weak, inept, or worst of all, stupid.
The overall effectiveness of your team depends on a holistic recipe in which each prerequisite strength or skill supports the other required ingredients. Trust is a great example of this. Not only does every member of your MSP business team need to feel they can trust their colleagues to perform, but they need to feel confident that everyone is working together. Nothing destroys a team faster than the sense of bitterness or distrust that can arise when politics is seen (rightly or wrongly) to be interfering with the team or its members.
Equality and Fairness
Not everyone in a team will always be on the same level, but it is vital for all members of a team to feel everyone is being treated fairly. If one team member is above others, the rest of the team needs to feel that this relative position has been earned. Even more importantly, that position must not be abused. It is also helpful for team members to see that it could be possible for them to achieve such a position and that it could happen based on merit, at the right time, and it in the right way.
Building and managing great teams is more than an MSP business science. There is a lot of artistry involved. That means emotional quotient (EQ) is as important as IQ. By focusing on the foundations– competence, communication, trust, and equality and fairness– in both the overall team and within each individual, you can help to foster real human and business growth.