Team “WORK”: Three Things to Get Started on Creating Your Own Awesome Team

by guest blogger Tracy Knofla
High Impact Training


10 Minutes to a Great Team!
Build your Team in Under a Minute a Day
Fast, Fast, Fast, Ways to Build a Team

Titles like these nearly scream from business-book shelves across the country. It makes you wonder, “If it only takes a minute, why aren’t my employees working as a team?”  

This is the question that a lively group of human resources professionals pondered recently during a Chamber program sponsored by the Human Resource Council. This fun and engaging workshop entitled Team “Work” was presented by Chamber member, Tracy Knofla, of  High Impact Training.

Tracy knows that there’s no fast way to create a team. Creating an outstanding team requires both intention and attention over a period of time so that employees will trust the process.

Many employers believe that providing matching t-shirts or watching employees help each other over a wall on a ropes course will make them into a team. However, it’s what happens after you give them the shirt, and after they’ve climbed the wall that really matters.

The very first question she asked those in attendance was:

“Do your employees really need to work as a team?”

In some industries employees really don’t need to work as a team. For instance, a sales department with employees working on commission doesn’t really need to work as a team. They should be cordial, but basically they work for themselves, in accordance with the mission of the company. Trying to get them to work as a team will likely be unsuccessful.

If your employees really do need to work as a team, that is, their jobs are inter-dependent, it is important for you to be intentional in creating an atmosphere where teamwork can thrive.

During the workshop, participants brainstormed over 100 elements that make teams successful. They were shocked at how many factors go into creating an effective team.

Their top elements are listed here:

dedication ~ trust ~ positivity ~ nonjudgmental ~ diversity ~ creativity ~ support ~ cooperation ~ communication ~ respect ~ fun ~ empathy ~ honesty ~ listening ~ clear goals ~ recognition ~  integrity ~ passion ~ accountability ~ leadership

Creating an environment in which any one of these could flourish will take more than a minute. Taken all together, you can see the “work” that goes into creating and maintain strong and effective teams. While it will take some work, here are three things to get you started creating your own awesome team:

1.     Train supervisors to coach their employee-teams. Many supervisors ascend to their position with little training on managing people. Often just a little bit of training can make a big difference.

2.     Make sure that every employee knows their job, the expectations you have of them, and how their position contributes to the overall success of the company.

3.    Create an environment of collaboration and cooperation throughout the organization. Praise and reward team behaviors.

The acronym TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More. While this statement is really true, it’s like everything else worth doing – hard work!


Fueling Economic Growth: Leadership for Executives

blog_forward-leadership_2016-002 Local leadership is one of the biggest factors for the success of communities. It is critical for the economic success of the region and state. A leader’s job is not to solve every problem alone, but to inspire those he or she leads to find solutions.

“Every city has strong, caring leaders working on numerous committees and initiatives to fuel their local economic growth,” says Jim Clinton, author of The Coming Jobs War. “The feat these leaders have to pull off is doubling their entrepreneurial energy by aligning all their local forces.”

That’s where the Greater New Haven Chamber’s Forward Leadership comes in.

Administered by the Chamber, Forward Leadership is a six-month program that accelerates leadership growth by giving managers the tools to meet the challenges of today’s evolving business landscape.

This program is beneficial for those who seek to enhance their management skills and individual performance. It is ideal for anyone with current mid-level to senior-level management responsibilities or for people expecting to take on leadership roles.

Participants engage in team-building, motivation, diversity awareness, goal-setting, negotiation, and decision-making skills.

The Forward Leadership program is sponsored by the Regional Water Authority. Classes begin in October. To learn more, contact

Connecticut Closer to Mileage Tax Pilot as State Receives Federal Grant


The Chamber is calling on the state Department of Transportation, Governor Malloy and lawmakers to put a stop to the state’s $300,000 investment in studying and implementing a pilot program for a ‘Mileage Tax’ to tax motorists for every mile they drive.

On August 30, Connecticut was awarded a federal grant to launch a pilot mileage tax program so long as the state invests a matching $300,000. The pilot will look at a variety of options to raise revenue, including on-board vehicle technologies to charge drivers based on miles traveled.

Connecticut is among a group of Northeastern states to receive the grant after an application was filed by the state of Delaware on behalf of the I-95 Corridor Collation Members.

Contact your legislators now and tell them to STOP the mileage tax pilot.

Union Station’s Parking Plan

DOT 2.jpg

We hear often from the business community that an aging transportation infrastructure is a hindrance on our economy.

Last week, James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and several members of the CTDOT design and project management team met with the Chamber’s Economic Development and Governmental Affairs Committee to share details on the proposed plan to expand New Haven’s Union Station parking garage.

The project, which is slated to be completed in 2018, will add approximately 1,000 parking spots, a new bus depot to improve bus and taxi flow, and integrate a bike-friendly hub and possible retail space.  The Commissioner has pegged the cost of the expansion at $40 million to $60 million, with funding coming from the state.

The CTDOT is currently working with city planners and designers to make the Union Station expansion meet the needs of Connecticut’s residents and commuters more effectively. The design is not fully decided. Some city leaders have disagreed with parts of the plan. There are  differences from what the City and the State want, and although everyone is working to reach agreement, it may not happen. More from WTNH’s News 8 here.

We are encouraged by the progress being made in New Haven to modernize the Union Station parking garage. By investing in our transportation system, Connecticut can be put on a more stable path toward future economic growth.

Let us know what you think.

Help us Reach our GOAL!


On Monday, July 25, The Greater New Haven Chamber will host the Annual Gladys and John Soto Scholarship Golf Classic at the New Haven Country Club in Hamden, Connecticut.

Through the generous support of the golfers and the Sotos, this event benefits the Foundation of the Greater New Haven Chamber’s GOAL Scholarship Fund.

The GOAL Scholarship is given to New Haven-area students interested in pursuing a college degree in business. Last summer, The Foundation raised $9,200 for GOAL and awarded scholarships to six undergraduates in the region.

We’d like to top that and hope you’ll help us reach our goal by making an online donation.  Here, you can read more about each of this year’s scholarship recipients and even select which scholarship recipient you’d like your donation to go to.

100% of your donation goes directly to the scholarship recipients, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductible.

For player registration or to learn more about the Gladys and John Soto Scholarship Golf Classic, please contact Jenna Kozodoy at 203-782-4342. To make a tax-deductible donation to the GOAL Scholarship program, please visit

10 Tips for Tracking Your Marketing Efforts

10TIPS_blog by Will Melton, president of Xponent21, Inc.

I’m often amazed when I begin working with a new client to find that they have no real means of measuring how successful their investments in marketing have been.

Considering that, on average, companies spend over 10% of their budget on marketing, it would make basic business sense that a company has a firm understanding of how well its investment was performing.

So why do so many small businesses fail to effectively measure their marketing? Having spent eight years at the helm of a small, non-marketing business, I was guilty of the same failing. The main metric we used to understand the effectiveness of our marketing was to compare marketing spending to monthly or quarterly profits or losses, or we just used anecdotal evidence. The real reason was that we didn’t know a better way to measure.

In hindsight, I realize how silly this was. With so many moving parts to an overall marketing strategy not closely tracking the results of individual ad investments made it difficult to truly understand what worked and what didn’t. We likely ended up spending more on things that didn’t work and perhaps even got rid of investments that were performing well. I am still responsible for the marketing at that company and we’ve shaped up our ship on the measuring front.

Fortunately for you, there are many solutions available at a low cost to help you measure your marketing effectiveness. Having a plan to measure your marketing comes at the top of the list. Continue reading