The process of putting our heads together

I am reminded of an incident that took place about four years ago in my work place. My company had added another product line and as is natural for any new introduction this range of products too had been facing tough time in the market place. The organization had been in the process of building up a fresh and young team to launch the product in the western part of the country under my leadership.

In an ideal world, we’d all have full control of our professional territories and be able to meet the sales target assigned to all of us. But that was not to be, neither the world is ideal nor was the product so perfect that it could get accepted at the first instance. We all had to endure all kinds of ups and downs in the motivational make up of    our team members at the work place. Every thing had been enduring far less than ideal arrangements at work.

Though every one will say that we were   experiencing “new challenges” at our work place but these challenges were also eating into the psyche of many of my field force as in spite of the team’s best efforts and wider market coverage the product was just not getting accepted in the market place.  On the other hand some officials from the top management group, in their anxiety to show better results to the managing director exerted tremendous pressure on each member. It is but a human tendency to promise more than what can actually be delivered and the same mistake had been dome by some of the seniors here too. The result was that the market forces had tried to revolt to the pressures being built up and this led to frustrations at all levels. When we lack the power to control the forces, what do we do– our morale can take a nosedive. Some of my boys had put in their resignation papers expressing their inability to continue with this kind of pressure tactics.

We may even assume that those boys could not face the challenges to cope with the exigencies of the job, might have found their easy way out. But I will say here that it is up to the management to inculcate and develop a secure feeling of being in control of things at the work place for all its members. The retention as also the participation of our team members largely depends a lot on how satisfied we make them feel at work. And also on whether we’re operating in an “atmosphere of mutual discussions and putting our heads together to equip and prepare each member of the team to the challenges of the task assigned. If your team members feel they are consulted and supported by their boss, they know they are cared about and appreciated .they will make efforts to face all kinds of oppositions, find out the ways to overcome the challenges and will make all efforts to help the organization and the entire team   grow professionally.

The pressure tactics eventually led to some of the top heads also losing their positions and the organization brought in another vice president with the assumption he could now exercise enough pressures on the sales team and deliver.   But I must admit that my request to the new incumbent to come down to our place and discuss the expectations and possibilities with each member did make some sense to him. He rose to the occasion. He did immediately come to our place to discuss with the team members their current situation in the market place in their respective territories and as to how could we make inroads further in spite of handicaps of product not being up to the mark and other deficiencies.  The boys needless to say were thrilled to know that we wanted to sort out their difficulty levels and invest time and effort to put our heads to find solution to the common problem. They had noticed the importance of our giving them the patient hearing. That resulted into their accepting the    “ownership” of difficult targets and programs. Things started improving thereafter

Our people tend to feel happier at work when they know they can speak their difficulty levels and get consultancy and advice from other team members when the team puts its head together. Thence from it had been made a corporate habit that we will all in our sphere of work though will work independently but will always discus with each other our difficulty levels in a specific meeting named “ putting our heads together”. This way the entire team  had become a support system for each other. We should, in our life always try to find such support teams with whom we can put our   heads together and help each other to get up  along with  and get going when faced with difficulties and challenges.