How to Build Team Rapport
Building a solid rapport with your coworkers, managers, or employees is a fantastic foundation for a productive work environment. Good team dynamics are crucial to any workplace: they create an atmosphere of trust, support, and collaboration conducive to success.
But discussing team rapport is easy — actually establishing it isn’t.
Where do you start? What techniques can you try to strengthen bonds between colleagues and bring out the best in one another? And what difference does it make?
In this post, we’ll explore how to build a team rapport and the benefits you can expect to see over time.
What Are the Benefits of Building Team Rapport?
Building rapport demands commitment from everyone. Some team members may have more time on their hands to invest in it than others. But being busy is no excuse to let relationships with coworkers fall by the wayside.
Here are four key reasons why you should make an effort to build team rapport:
1. Boost Engagement in the Workplace
Engagement is paramount in any successful, collaborative office, whether employees work remotely, in-house, or a combination of both.
Gallup’s comprehensive State of the American Manager report reveals that only:
- 30% of employees feel engaged at work
- 35% of managers feel engaged at work
Why does this matter? Because research shows that engagement brings out the best in workers:
- Teams with high engagement achieve 21% better profitability.
- Employees are 4.6x more likely to work at their best when they feel recognized.
- Disengaged workers cost businesses in the United States more than $500 billion per year.
Businesses miss out on opportunities to build more productive, dedicated teams that generate more revenue by overlooking engagement. And more employees and managers would likely feel more engaged at work if they had better team rapport.
2. Increase Employee Loyalty and Reduce Staff Turnover
Team rapport boosts engagement, which can incentivize workers to stay with a business. In turn, this reduces staff turnover in the long term, especially when combined with other loyalty-enhancing practices.
- Implement reward systems that give employees tangible rewards for achieving specific goals (e.g., gift cards, food hampers)
- Gather feedback using a dedicated tool like TINYpulse Engage
- Offering performance-based bonuses
3. Create a Happier Work Environment
Workers who have a tighter bond with colleagues, managers, and employees are more likely to be enthusiastic about their work. This bond creates a more comfortable, welcoming environment in which staff can feel like a valuable member of the team and (hopefully) actively look forward to working each day.
They can be more honest about their thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and ideas than they could in a team with a weaker bond. This can help to create a more harmonious, collaborative team.
4. Make It Easier to Provide Constructive Feedback
Establishing a good team rapport makes for an atmosphere in which managers and coworkers can give or receive feedback honestly.
People will be more willing to take constructive criticism when they trust the person providing it and understand that their only aim is to encourage improvement. Feedback can be much harder to take when it comes from a manager or coworker with unclear motives or a lack of sensitivity.
And feedback can also increase engagement in the workplace: more than 80% of employees appreciate feedback (positive and negative), and 43% of highly engaged workers receive feedback once per week or more. TINYpulse Coach enables employees to consistently share feedback with managers each week in a simple, structured way.
6 Tips to Build Team Rapport
Want to build team rapport? Follow these six simple tips to get off to a strong start:
1. Reveal Your Human Side to Make Others Feel Comfortable
We’re all human. We all have thoughts, feelings, fears, passions, and interests. We all want to feel like we matter and that others respect us.
But some people can lose sight of this in the workplace. The drive for success may create environments in which employees and managers forget that they’re part of a team working towards common goals.
Managers, in particular, should make an effort to show their human side. Some employees may have an “us versus them” mentality and assume that all management team members are out to get them. This mindset can create a sense of unease and reduce the chances of successful collaboration.
Good communication between workers at all levels, from the most inexperienced newcomer to C-suite execs, can build a more open environment. You may feel more relaxed and willing to engage with others on a human level.
2. Listen to What Others Say and Empathize With Them
Active listening is vital in an office with good team rapport. How is this different from “normal” listening?
You provide the speaker with your complete attention rather than simply nodding now and then to signify you’re listening while your mind wanders. Focus on the words they say, their facial expressions, their tone of voice, their mannerisms. Try to understand what they’re telling you and recognize how you should respond.
Active listening can make for richer, more engaging conversations. We all know the frustration of speaking to someone when they don’t care about what you’re saying. A lack of active listening can lead to poor communication in the workplace, harm relationships between coworkers, and leave some team members reluctant to open up.
3. Praise the Work of Others Publicly and Privately
According to Gallup, lack of recognition is one of the most popular reasons workers leave a company.
What types of recognition matter most to workers in the United States?
Gallup’s research shows that people want:
- Public acknowledgment of achievements via a certificate, award, or shoutout (such as through Cheers for Peers from TINYpulse)
- Private recognition from a boss, coworker, or client
- Promotion or extra responsibility as a sign of trust
- Positive feedback through reviews or evaluations
- Monetary rewards including a pay rise or cash prize
- A sense of personal satisfaction or pride
Through one of the above methods, praising team members can increase workers’ engagement, self-worth, and overall sense of value. Even a quick email to thank an employee or manager for a job well done can positively impact an individual’s morale. Remote workers may appreciate a message or call from a manager to offer positive feedback too.
4. Show a Genuine Interest in Others and Ask the Right Questions
There’s more to being part of a team than work. Much, much more.
One of the most important things you can do to build team rapport is to show an interest in coworkers beyond their professional capabilities and achievements. Use spare time at the start of the day or meetings to ask about their plans for the weekend or if they can recommend a great place to eat that evening.
Even a minor question can break the ice and encourage others to open up. You could discover that you and one or more coworkers share similar tastes in food, movies, or video games. This dialogue may help you understand one another better and communicate in a more open, constructive way.
5. Help Others Understand How You Work at Your Best
We all have our preferred way to work. Perhaps you like to communicate by email, or instant messaging but find video calls an unwelcome distraction. Or you love to collaborate with coworkers and solve problems together sooner instead of trying to reach the same conclusion independently.
Be honest with team members about how you work best, whether you’re in the office, work remotely, or switch between the two. For example, create a list of preferences for each team member, detailing their ideal contact methods and times when they may be unavailable or particularly busy (due to family obligations or interdepartmental meetings).
People will know how to cater to your preferences (within reason) and help you operate in your ideal manner. And be just as respectful of others’ favorite work methods to ensure good team rapport.
6. Establish Equally Important Values to Create Common Goals
One significant aspect of good business leadership is setting out the company’s values. What matters to the people running the company? What impact are you all trying to make on the world when you step into the office or sign in each morning?
Help employees and managers understand what the business’s purpose is in clear terms. Ensure they know why their work matters and what results they help to achieve by completing tasks.
Establishing common goals can help to unify your team and contribute to a strong rapport.
Strong team rapport can increase worker engagement, boost loyalty, and create a happier team overall. You can cultivate a good connection by showing your human side, listening more, offering recognition, showing a genuine interest in others, helping colleagues work with you in your preferred way, and settling on shared goals.
Proper communication is fundamental to each of the six tips discussed above. And that’s where TINYpulse comes in.
TINYpulse streamlines your internal communication through a user-friendly platform, uniting employees and management teams. Grow trust and nurture a culture of accountability with complete transparency. Gather employee feedback to identify common issues and understand what changes you can make to create a happier, more productive environment with a stronger team rapport.
Want to know more about how TINYpulse can revolutionize your team communications? Book your free demo today!