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A Shop Owner's Checklist for Creating Team Spirit

Elite Worldwide Inc.

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By Bob Cooper

Regardless of whether you have one or twenty employees, your productivity and profits will both go up if all your employees work together as a team. If you feel that’s not the case in your shop, or if you would like to ensure that you are covering all the bases, I hope that this checklist can help. 

    Hire the right people 
At Elite we look for people that have the right attitude, the right aptitude and the right ethics. I am sure you will agree that in order to cultivate a team spirit, everyone on your team will need to have these three traits. Not only should you have discussions with your key employees about your hiring intentions, but you need to have them involved in the interviewing and decision-making process as well. They will be working with the new hire every day, so if nothing else, you owe them the opportunity to give their input.

    Educate every new hire on the things that are most important
During their orientation, you need to educate them on the goals of your company, your Mission Statement, and the culture of your company.  Ideally you’ll not only have a Mission Statement, but you will have the new hire memorize it as well (Not familiar with Mission Statements? See ours on the Elite site). 

    View your entire organization as a family rather than a company 
Simply put, you should recognize the birthdays of all of your employees, their family happenings, etc. The more you can instill a feeling of family in your employees, the stronger your shop’s team spirit will be.

    Have regularly scheduled team meetings 
In addition to reviewing your policies, procedures, etc., at your meetings, you need to review your mission and culture as well. This constant reminder will help foster the common cause teamwork you are looking for.
  
    Provide ongoing education 
In addition to job-related education, you need to provide your employees with ongoing education that fosters your culture and team spirit. At Elite, every new-hire is required to read How to Win Friends and Influence People, and as a team we read (and review) books like John Maxwell’s Ethics 101 and Attitude 101.

    Perform regularly scheduled employee reviews 
These reviews not only provide you with the opportunity to praise each employee for their team efforts, but you can ask them for their suggestions on how to further improve the team spirit within your company. If you’ve hired the right people, you can rest assured they will provide you with the answers you are looking for.

    Create team incentives 
Although every employee needs to be compensated for their own productivity, you need to have team incentives in place. In addition to incentives for overall shop productivity, you should consider incentives for 5-star reviews that reflect their team efforts.

    Do away with hierarchies  
I feel that in today’s world we no longer need hierarchies, which is why no one works “for” me at Elite; everyone works “with” me as a team. This does not mean everyone isn’t accountable, because they are. It just means that I view everyone in our family at Elite as being incredibly important to our mission. I have found over the years that when people know that you care about them, and when they realize just how much you value their role and contributions, they will then move mountains for you.

Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite, a company that strives to help shop owners reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry at the same time. The company offers coaching and training from the industry’s top shop owners, service advisor training, peer groups, along with sales, marketing and shop management courses. You can learn more about Elite by visiting www.EliteWorldwide.com.



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