Your Working Environment Has a Big Impact On Group Dynamics.
Like the fingers of a hand, staff members are far more powerful when they work together. This isn’t to say they should all be doing the same thing! Creating teamwork in the workplace does not require hand-holding, and excessive praise. Instead, it should be built on trust and respect as every role completes their respective part in accomplishing shared goals.
Though this seems obvious, building teamwork in the workplace is an often elusive goal. Your staff may feel lost, perform tasks in ways that don’t work effectively with the methods of the rest of your team, or even harbor hostility to other team members.
To avoid these problems and keep everyone on track, it’s important to create the right environment for teamwork to flourish.
9 TIPS TO FOSTER TEAMWORK IN THE WORKPLACE
1. BE SENSITIVE TO WORKERS’ SOCIAL NEEDS
Choose activities that are safe and fun for all of your team members, and avoid scenarios that cause undue discomfort. Everyone should leave team functions feeling good about both the experience and the idea of working together.
2. MAKE SURE EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING
Think of yourself as the coach of a professional sports team. Everyone on a sports team has a specific role and a clear set of responsibilities. Not only that, all team members know what all of the other people on the team are supposed to do. When applied to teamwork in the workplace, this shared understanding results in a cohesive, efficient, and effective team dynamic.
3. AVOID MICRO-MANAGING
While a lack of managerial direction is a bad thing, it is also possible to go too far in the other direction. Assign roles and goals to your team, but don’t be too picky about the exact “hows” of performing each job. Otherwise, you may end up with people who act as individual, robot-like units instead of a team.
4. SET EASILY-MEASURABLE GOALS
Measurable goals, such as increasing sales by a specific percentage, keep everyone on the same page and eliminate morale-busting subjectivity. Create a new set of goals for each month or quarter to keep your team on their toes.
5. REWARD TEAMWORK
Entire teams and individual members should be rewarded when efficient teamwork gets the job done. Giving everyone a direct incentive to master their required skills will create motivation beyond their job description.
6. ESTABLISH COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS AND POLICIES
Teamwork relies on effective communication. Establishing methods of communication and information sharing will enforce business standards and ensure that every team member is on the same page.
7. ESTABLISH RELIABLE LEADERSHIP
Designate a team leader who is encouraging, helpful, and willing to roll up his or her sleeves. Your team leader should be a naturally inclined team player who has the capacity to remain part of the team without becoming a domineering boss.
8. SET UP PROPER WORKSPACES AND CONFERENCE AREAS
While most know that the cubicle is one of the least conducive places for teamwork, that doesn’t mean that all office space should be open, either. Consider designating a conference room for team discussions, but also provide individual work areas. These separate areas will allow individual team members to work with uninterrupted concentration.
9. FOCUS ON STRENGTHS
All too often, bosses single out individuals and pick at them if a team isn’t working out. This only succeeds in alienating your team, potentially leading to in-fighting or the departure of a necessary team member. Change your strategy to one that focuses on each person’s strengths. Assign roles that play to those strengths and watch your team soar.
TO SUM UP
These are some of the biggest ways you can improve the effectiveness of teamwork in the workplace. To learn more team building, and the exciting activities that promote it, please contact us. We’ll be glad to tell you more about our programs and help your office sustain meaningful changes.