Effective Teamwork in a GMP Laboratory Environment

Three years ago, the executive management of Whitehouse Laboratories implemented a major reorganization plan. Over the previous ten years, the company had experienced many areas of growth to include expansion in actual laboratory space, expansion in service offerings as well as corresponding expansion in total number of employees. The company had gotten to a point where the various areas of client service needed to be more organized and focused in order that clients were working with personnel that were experts in specific service areas. At the same time, it was imperative to management that clients still be able to feel the corporate directive of first class, personal customer service. In many documented cases of reorganization in the corporate setting, the growth factor leads to client abandonment and alienation. Management needed to devise an organization wide solution to prevent this. This is where the concept of TEAM WORK became imperative.

Whitehouse Labs is now organized into four distinct business units based upon key service offerings: Container & Container Leak Testing, Raw Materials, Packaging and Technical Services. Each unit is headed by a Director who leads an analytical team with expertise in that specific area of service. The key to company-wide success, and to insuring that clients are still afforded a high level of personal service, is team work. A special consultant with a unique expertise in development of corporate team work was contracted and runs formal training sessions for multiple levels of employees to include the Business Unit Director Team and subsequently for each separate business unit team. The placed on the “team” approach has highlighted the following benefits.

In essence, teamwork involves different people and different groups across the company working together to maximize their efficiency and reach a common goal. With our teams organized around key service areas, team members are able to deliver a high level of confidence and experience in specific areas. This also leads to increased efficiency within departments, financial savings as less time is needed to consult and research unique requests and improved morale as employees play a more significant role in the company’s operation.

In addition, Team Work allows employees to take greater responsibility for decision making and also allows team members to control more of the work process. This can lead to improved morale as employees gain more authority and ownership over the projects they are working on. The extra responsibility can lead to a more rewarding work environment and lower turnover. Working on a team also gives employees a greater sense of belonging and of recognition, which helps them take more pride in their work, and their company. As well, we now have a greater number of employees forming key relationships with clients – in essence we are delivering an even higher level of client service and the client benefits from having more Team Members working on the frontlines on their behalf. If one person is not available for an urgent client need, someone on the Whitehouse Lab’s team is prepared to step in.

We have also seen first-hand how teamwork has enabled our operation to be more flexible. By bringing employees from different parts of a project together into one team, problems or bottlenecks can sometimes be ironed out more easily. As problems arise in one area, the entire team can deal with them and the work can proceed much faster. This is especially true when we are working on projects that cross different service areas. Multiple team members from different business units are working side by side on behalf of the client.

Of course the key to Team Work remains strong leadership and communication. The Whitehouse “TEAMS” meeting on a regular weekly schedule with some sections holding daily team meetings. Issue that can sometimes fester and cripple an organization are averted through the proactive meeting approach insuring concerns do not turn into problems.

As an organization, our goals remain firm – Deliver Quality Testing Services to our Regulated Clients in a Timely and Cost Effective Manner. We hope that the team work we are performing behind the scenes is helping us to meet or exceed client expectations. If for some reason they are not, please be sure to let one of our Team Members know.