All managers struggle with team building and the process of team development. But one thing is for sure: If you want to take your team’s performance to the next level, you too have to be ready to grow as a person and as a professional as well.
You have to grow as a manager so your team will grow with you. You have to lead, inspire, and motivate your employees so they can chart their paths on the corporate ladder, to leverage their success and strengths to achieve your company’s overall goals and objectives.
Remember, a team is much more than the sum of its parts. With teamwork and collaboration, a team can achieve unimaginable goals.
With that in mind, here are five strategies you can apply to enhance teamwork, cooperation, communication, and collaboration in your company.
Strategies for team building
1-Hold regular corporate retreats
Work with no play makes employees dull, unmotivated, and socially distant. It increases burnout and causes employees to leave their jobs prematurely.
Everything doesn’t have to be solely centered around deadlines, output, productivity, and profits. It should also be centered around people’s well-being, both physical and mental.
Let’s take a break sometimes and allow your team members to have fun. Go on a group vacation and just bond and be merry.
This is for having fun and leaving office worries behind. No strings attached, nothing related to work.
You can participate in group games, sporting events, philanthropic endeavors, community development activities, and anything that can be done by a group of friends.
Let your subordinates see the human, fun, and personal side of you and other managers, so they don’t always see you as “the boss”.
That will facilitate interoffice relationships, builds trust and understanding, and builds a family out of what would ordinarily be a bunch of colleagues.
Without some fun, employees burn out much faster and lose interest in what they are doing before the project is done.
If you demand excellence and hard work from your employees, you should be prepared to pamper them occasionally and give their minds and body a rest.
Happy employees are more dedicated and more productive and ready to face new challenges. They collaborate more often and help colleagues when they face difficult issues.
Team building is much easier and less stressful when people have fun and are not under stress.
2-Nurture leaders, not workers
Leaders are motivated, focused, and committed to every project they handle. They don’t just report to work because they need a paycheck at the end of each month.
They come to work with goals in their mind; wanting to make a difference in their projects, departments, organization, industry, and the world as a whole.
They aren’t just “the boss” by title, but they know how to lead and to take charge of every project they are in.
You don’t need to push them around to get results. Leaders are facilitators too. They help other colleagues manage their time and company resources more effectively.
They are always ready to share their expertise for the benefit of other team members.
They understand that as much as they could have a better scope or comprehension of a task at hand, their solution might not always be the only way.
That helps them gather and accommodate varied opinions even when they have their reservations. Leaders are never afraid to step in when called into action.
Leaders aren’t hired. They are nurtured. Focus on nurturing young recruits so that they can become leaders in their small capacity.
If you have an extensive background in managing projects, make sure to mentor a potential future project manager for future projects.
3-Encourage collaboration and not just communication
Frequent communication is a necessity in any team. It is the tool that helps team members share ideas, overcome obstacles, pass instructions amongst themselves, and resolve conflicts. It eliminates duplicity in a team and enhances collaboration.
But it does not end there, successful teams excel in collaboration. This means sharing knowledge and the freedom to ask questions and give answers without fear.
So, ensure that employees have regular in-person meetings and brainstorming sessions. Create an agenda for each meeting and make sure the meeting stays focused on the topic on hand.
Create break rooms at the workplace where workers from different departments meet for social chats.
Invest in email and other virtual communication tools to enable remote teams to collaborate effectively.
Train them to use zip files when sharing big files via email, storing files in the cloud, and syncing documents across remotely-located devices for easier team collaboration.
4-Help members understand their role and mission
Members of your team applied for the job because they had general ideas of what their roles entail.
But the general is never enough. You need to give each member an in-depth understanding of the company vision, team goals, and the role they play in realizing the vision.
Ensure that every recruit or employee understands how their role fits into the success of the team and company.
Help each employee to align their career goals with the team’s overall goals. When everyone knows what they are expected to do, you prevent duplicity of roles and create a cohesive team in which everyone respects each other’s contributions.
Give credit when credit is due. Nothing kills motivation more than when good work is not rewarded.
When someone does an amazing job, announce it to the whole team and the organization. Celebrate it and make a big deal of it.
Small rewards are a good way to make your best performers feel appreciated and recognized.
5-Develop strong conflict resolution mechanisms
It is wishful thinking to assume that all workers will work in harmony despite their diverse cultural and professional backgrounds, different ambitions, generational gaps, contrasting personalities, as well as religious and gender preferences.
There will always be a couple of employees who can’t seem to like each other and work together no matter how hard you try to build a cohesive team.
If you have employees who do not get along with anybody or most of the team, fire them.
These people because of their destructive behavior destroy team cohesiveness and make team building impossible.
That is why you need to work with the human resources department in resolving personal issues as they arise. Create an avenue through which employees can air out grievances and sort out their differences without fear of persecution.
Teamwork is a prerequisite for greater creativity, productivity, and effectiveness. It is a platform where individual talents collaborate to produce exceptionally high-quality final products.
Team building is fundamental in creating and nurturing teamwork and enhancing collaboration within your team.
And since you need to make the best products for the market to get that elusive competitive advantage, you have to do everything in your power to ensure that your team members are informed and all on the same page no matter what.
One last thing, using the right tools help make team building and collaboration easier and more successful.
When choosing tools to manage your projects make sure they have the proper facilities for collaboration, communication, and document sharing.
This is more critical now than ever before. Due to the Corona pandemic, remote work is becoming the norm and your team needs to be ready to work in the remote environment.
If your management and collaboration tools do not support remote work, then your team will be at a huge disadvantage compared to others who use the right tools.
Let us know if you have any tips to share regarding team building and remote work. Leave a comment below and Dan will answer your questions or suggestions.
This article on strategies for team building was written by sienna Johns for the Collaboration Corner with editorial correction and additions done by Dan Smilganic.