Evan's Corner: What It Means to Be Part of a Team

By Evan Coulter

I think “teamwork” is a word that gets thrown around a lot, both in business and in everyday life. Sometimes, it’s just a useless expression. Other times, it’s an aspirational term, but in practice, the sentiment falls short.

When I think of teamwork, my thoughts are that it’s something we’re truly building at UCEC. I believe that a true team has the mentality that “If one fails, we ALL fail.” It can take just one team member to throw a wrench into the best-laid plans, and things can derail quickly after that. How does this happen? Well, sometimes it happens when one team member isn’t performing to expectations.

So, to improve teamwork, what do you do when a team member isn’t performing to expectations that are clearly established? That’s a problem, and in my world, every problem has a solution. Here are a few:

1.       Focus on the positives. There’s always something the underperforming employee does well.

2.       Build your team up, don’t tear them down. We don’t work at Spacely Sprockets; you aren’t going to get fired for one mistake. (You might recall the famous cartoon line, “Jetson, youuuuuuu’re FIRED!”)

3.  Train. Make sure your team members are positioned to be successful by creating relevant and helpful training opportunities.  

4. Manage the negatives. Sure, the supervisors might have to spend a little more time checking one team member’s work, but the end result is better for everyone.

Now, the above tips deal with the individual members of the team. Let’s talk about the TEAM. What happens when TEAM is just a word, not a culture? When that happens, the TEAM lets down the individual! In a true team atmosphere, the TEAM does not let the lower-performing individuals fail. Remember, if one fails, we all fail. That is the culture we are building everyday here at UCEC

Do you want to be a part of our team? We’re always on the hunt for amazing people. Let us hear from you.

Evan is Vice President of Operations at UCEC.