How Working Together Stopped Our Organization From Shutting Down

April 14, 2017
Sherley Alaba
Two pairs of hands clasped together.

There are times in life when you think that hope has died and you’re left with nothing apart from going further down the path of doom.

Although this is a rather gloomy perspective on life, people go through tough situations and cannot always remain strong. Being alone during difficulty can be a huge setback for any person, but having a team with you, who understands your problem and relates to it, can help a lot. This is what I had the opportunity of experiencing: a group of people coming together to make the impossible possible.

The Start of Something New
My friend had recently opened a new company, and we were all excited for him. I agreed to work for him and to help make his business a success. So four friends and I set out on our adventure with Joshua, the CEO who had true leadership qualities. We found an office and made sure that there was enough room to fit our employees. The best part was when our business name plaque was put up outside our office door.

We started off well, as Joshua had acquired some clients through the previous clients he had worked with and also with the marketing manager and me working hard to promote our business to everyone we could reach. We got clients and hired more people. We expanded our venture to a staff of 35.

The Worst Happens
Things took a turn for the worse when a few months later, we couldn’t get more clients, and the clients that we did close were not paying enough to sustain the amount of people we had.

Two months later, the situation was such that the salaries started getting late, and as the days passed by, we were struggling to find more businesses that could use our talents.

Our employees started getting panicked with our deteriorating situation. Joshua decided that we would be straight with our staff and not hide our condition. We would keep everyone updated if there were issues going on relating to payment and their work. This was the only way to maintain their trust. And despite the situation being so bad, we still managed to keep some happiness around through honesty and caring.

Our Personal Efforts for Employees
The best thing we could do was keep appreciating our employees’ work and provide them with a comfortable environment where they did not feel fearful of layoffs and where they would be free to discuss any issues with our management.

Among myself and the four others with whom Joshua had started his company, we paid the staff as much as we could while waving our own salaries for the work that we were doing. This was the least we could do for our friend Joshua, who had given us the opportunity to develop in our careers. We opened up about all this to our coworkers, which increased their trust, and they worked hard to prove their loyalty to the company.

There was one instance when the child of one of our colleagues had to have an emergency bone surgery operation. The child had been in a bike accident, where he'd fallen down on the very edge of a footpath and all his weight landed on one arm. The bone broke in the middle, instead of being misplaced from the joint. The boy was fine after the surgery, but there were numerous medical bills that the family's insurance refused to cover, so we and our office employees did everything we could to help our colleague pay those bills.

The Good Times
Things started to get better within three months. However, during that time, we sadly lost nine great employees from our strength of 35, as they could not cope with their salaries being delayed.

Yet our hard work of bringing in new clients finally paid off, and now we were not just closing small businesses—we were shaking hands with big names.

But this did not mean that all was well. We spent tireless nights within the confines of the office to fulfill our targets with a smaller workforce than we needed. Every time our teams stayed late, we apologized to them, thanked them for their help, and provided them with dinner and everything we could to improve the situation. We worked together as a family and strove for the betterment of the whole place.

Finally, we started delivering not just quality work, but work that was making a mark in our industry. This made us proud. Not only did that become our stepping stone to gather more clients, it restored our hope. None of us had believed a few months before that we would be able to pull this off, but our team made it possible.

From then on, I had no doubt that we had the capacity to leave a lasting impression on the world by sticking together. Three years down the road, we now have 70 employees and a very solid clientele. Some of our original team members left for greener pastures during the height of the difficulty, but we will always be thankful for the service that they provided.

What we learned through our struggle boils down to this:

Success in an organization is all about teamwork and caring for your employees. Without their trust and dedication, no organization can progress.

#Success is about #teamwork & caring for your staff. Without it, no organization can progress.

How does teamwork work for you in your organization?

This has been an account of a situation that inspired me when I was losing hope. The names in this article have been changed to protect everyone’s privacy.

About the Author
Sherley Alaba is a writer and translator, always interested in ways to help individuals (especially youth and women) reach their full creative potential. Her focus has been on writing, producing, and editing stories on business, finance, interesting personalities, entrepreneurs, culture, the environment, gastronomy, lifestyle, and social issues. Check out her article on How We Pulled Dad Out of Depression.

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