Almost every business out there has invested in team-building activities to make sure their employees gel. While these are great tools, they tend to be occasional and may not always have a long-term impact.
After all, you spend most of your time at work. The day-to-day activities of the workplace are most important to how any business runs. Whether a group of people work well together is determined on this basis. And as a reminder, companies can foster teamwork in a variety of ways that don’t involve hiking or an off-site trip. It’s important to find ways for your group of diverse personalities to become a cohesive unit.
1. Collective decision-making
One of the best ways to encourage teamwork is to ensure that everyone is invested in the company’s success. By gaining buy-in from employees, you’ll be sure that they’re all on the same page when it comes to goals and strategy. They’re more likely to take ownership of their own decisions rather than a decision that’s merely passed down to them.
To do this, you’ll need a system for employees to brainstorm and evaluate ideas, ask questions, and formulate decisions. This is certainly more difficult than the top-down process of decision-making, in which leaders tell employees what they need to do. However, this less hierarchical format will increase teamwork and buy-in. At the end of the process, make sure that the way forward is clearly communicated to the whole team.
By allowing employees the freedom to work how and when they want, they’re more likely to devise creative solutions to problems. You also create an atmosphere of trust and loyalty by not micromanaging performance.
A flexible setting also means employees are less likely to be stressed, which decreases tension between team members. By recognizing everyone’s human limitations, you allow each member of your team to thrive.
3. Team recognition
Often individual employees are recognized for going above and beyond. This is the way we’ve been trained to think of recognition our whole lives. From most-valuable-player awards to valedictorians, the truly exceptional are the ones lauded for their performance.
Instead, consider having more events that celebrate the entire team. This decreases intra-office competition and gives a nod to the idea that the company will succeed only if everyone is working together. It also satisfies the desire to celebrate accomplishments, giving employees something to work toward.
4. Resolving conflicts
Keep an eye out for potential problems among team members. These are likely to increase when an important deadline is coming up. Hold employees accountable for accomplishing their work and keep lines of communication open.
One major problem supervisors need to address is lack of colleague follow-through. This was a major concern for 35% of employees, according to our Employee Engagement Report. By keeping employees accountable, you’ll lessen friction over work not being completed in a timely fashion.
5. Collaboration Spaces
The physical workplace can be a huge asset to creating a team-oriented environment. Add meeting tables with whiteboards to encourage brainstorming. Make break rooms so that employees chat with each other throughout the day.
These kinds of informal interactions often lead to some of the best ideas. And they’ll help forge bonds between employees. After all, we’ve found that peers are the biggest driver of workplace retention.
You’ve put in the hard work of hiring good people with the right skills. Now it’s time to find ways to make them a team that will help build your company’s long-term success.
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