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Leadership Lessons
Teamwork
Staff Reporter
update on Saturday, January 1, 2011
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Mary Joyce Leung
Partner and head of resource management, BDO

Importance

Teamwork is of utmost importance to BDO since mutual support is one of our core values. As a leading professional services firm, we value a high level of co-operation and see it as a cornerstone in achieving seamless delivery of the multidisciplined support that clients expect. This viewpoint is deeply embedded at all levels and across all business units.  

Team building  

We never believe that good teamwork can be taken for granted. It is important to cultivate the necessary outlook and teach the right approach. That means setting the tone at the top of the organisation and consistently spreading the message.

New recruits hear about team building on their first day and all induction courses use a working group format rather than the traditional classroom style. Group discussions and presentations are encouraged and the team gets recognition, not individuals.

In day-to-day assignments, we regard and reward teamwork as one of the competencies expected of partners and staff. It is also an aspect of our performance assessments and evaluations.  

Activities  

Many firm activities focus on teambuilding, such as weekend camping trips, with staff required to initiate and plan, as well as take part. This is a good way of building team spirit and providing a form of leadership training for management-level staff.

In addition, our social club organises numerous activities, including a team for the Hong Kong marathon, bowling tournaments, and functions to celebrate different festivals, which complement the more serious work-related teambuilding exercises.  

Feedback and results  

We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from colleagues. That encourages us to put more effort into such activities to help make BDO an even more successful firm.


Ricky Wong
Director of HR, InterContinental Hong Kong

Importance

A key part of our group's corporate culture is getting people to "work better together". Therefore, we strive to foster and strengthen team spirit through all of our training and development, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.  

Team building

We want to see everyone in the group co-operating well, with a better understanding of the work done by people in other divisions. This helps to avoid conflict and makes it easier to ensure every team shares the same corporate vision and goals. We also make sure to communicate well about business updates and management direction so [that] all employees are aware of developments. A good understanding of operations and activities across the company allows different teams [to] work towards common goals.  

Activities

For about five years, various colleagues have been providing assistance for the children at Po Leung Kuk. And starting two years ago, we began collaborating with different NGOs on a number of CSR projects. These programmes allow us to offer practical help and are another way to develop team spirit among employees.

As an example, one of our projects has been to build a fence for the organic farm owned by New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, an organisation which provides support for people with mental illnesses. Starting from scratch, we did everything from sourcing the materials to erecting the fence. The volunteers involved were from different teams and backgrounds, but came together to contribute their diverse skills and make the project a big success.  

Feedback and results

Feedback from colleagues is very positive, with about 100 staff joining each activity. Some put forward project ideas, and the initiatives energise and unite people from different departments.

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