Teamwork is essential to an efficient, productive, and growing a business. A combination of tested and innovative methods to build an effective team can help employers assemble, encourage, and strengthen their teams. Coordination and communication within teams ensure high productivity.
Therefore, in today’s work spaces, team building and teamwork are top priorities. While employers are encouraged to be innovative in their strategies, some reliable team building methods can not only be helpful but also avoid mishaps. This is because sustaining a team is tougher than it seems.
Scholarly research on teams reveals that the science behind a successful team emphasizes the need to be mindful. If a team is a wheel, every spoke needs to be polished and moving in sync with each other. Given below are ten team building and team culture strategies that are crucial to flourishing businesses.
Team building efforts
Employers and managers must make sure that teambuilding does not become a boring or monotonous project. If managers lack vision regarding the needs and capabilities of their employees, teams may find it challenging to work in awkward environments. These situations eventually lead to miscommunication and hamper productivity.
A simple solution to this problem? Maximum normalcy and minimum intervention. team building exercises that seem natural and engaging are more effective than invasive ones. For instance, refrain from getting too personal at the outset.
At first, many people in a team might not feel comfortable disclosing personal information. If they feel alienated and/or forced to participate, their interaction levels might decrease. It might eventually lead to a drop in their individual efficiency as well.
Hence, to create an engaging work environment, employers must remain alert about how invasive they really are. Instead, what kind of activities can managers encourage?
Team building activities
Here are some activities that can encourage interaction within a team and create a positive workspace.
Experts suggest that people feel satisfied, happy, and proud when they take part in volunteer work. Their collective joy comes out of helping those in need. In the process, they also get some respite from day-to-day work. A change of scene leads to more informal forms of interaction beyond one’s workspace.
Just like excursions in school, field trips let employees leave their cubicles and get some fresh air! They get away from the confines of their workspace, relax and rejuvenate themselves before resuming their jobs. In the meantime, employers hone their employees’ teamwork by deciding the goal/agenda of a field trip.
In that case, the choice of destination becomes essential. This way, members of a team get acquainted with each other at personal levels, leading to an improved relationship outside the office. This, in turn, improves their will to work collectively.
Group sports activities
In addition to physical fitness, team sports events pave the way for fun-filled interaction between different members of a team. They create unique spaces where teamwork can be honed. In return, managers can also gauge the teamwork abilities and individual expressions of their employees. The choice of sport is essential, as everyone should be able to participate.
Organisers should opt for light sports activities (like skating, golf, or bowling) over those that are likely to cause injuries (like rugby or football). They can also motivate teams to produce better results by rewarding the event winners.
Professional development workshops
Periodical workshops enable employers to update themselves on the latest advancements in their fields. Moreover, they interact with field experts and thus develop new professional relationships. This way, they learn how to create and sustain networks.
Celebrations, meals, and indoor games
Businesses can hold ceremonies on specific days, such as Founder’s Day or socio-culturally relevant occasions. Such festivities can boost team morale. Further, a shared space where everyone can have their meals is the perfect ground for casual conversations. Employers can set fixed lunch and snack hours when employees can dine with their peers.
Such provisions help in building intimate bonds and sustaining a communicative environment. Additionally, a studio where indoor games are kept can serve as a great source of interaction (from Dungeons & Dragons, Monopoly to table tennis).
Intact team structure
Even though the success of a team can trump individual achievements, the best performer is only as good as the entire team that works with her/him. It is not unusual for organisations to have some very able and skilled leaders, around whom the team dynamics evolve. The other members plan and execute their responsibilities according to the requirements of the leader(s).
However, a team is sustained not just with professional work-based relations but also with strong personal relationships. Over time, members of an organisation develop unique forms of coordination and divide their workloads accordingly.
For a team that has accomplished success repeatedly, taking even one person out of the team structure can negatively affect the productivity of the entire team.
Especially when the most valuable members of a team are asked to work with other teams, they might initially fail to fulfill their potentials due to unfamiliar or volatile conditions. Thus, it is imperative to monitor and evaluate an individual’s performance and consistency in different teams before she/he is put into action!
Local teams versus remote teams
Remote teams are relatively new to workspaces, but studies show that they have been consistently performing better than local/on-site teams. Their colossal success owes to ‘task-related’ and ‘socio-emotional’ systems. The processes involved in these systems encourage total participation, along with improved social and professional cohesion.
Since remote team members are not present on-site, they are prone to feeling overworked and underappreciated. To prevent this, employers must make sure that such remote workers feel connected, involved, and believe in their contribution to the success of their company.
Moreover, an organisation that employs remote workers should provide an interactive online platform where the latter can view, access, modify, and develop information pertinent to their work. This is known as project management. Employers must verify such a platform works seamlessly and rectify any technical problems that might hinder the productivity of remote workers.
Finally, managers can ask remote workers to log their daily progress on any suitable virtual platform. This way, everyone can maintain a track of their work and accordingly plan their tasks.
Rules of brainstorming
Every day, new problems arise and demand new solutions. Successful businesses boast about the unique methods regularly conceived by their teams to solve novel problems. The process by which a team churns out new ideas as solutions is known as brainstorming. For this purpose, team members can either hold in-person meetings or interact via online chat programs.
On their part, managers should do the following:
- Refrain from criticism within a group environment. Otherwise, the criticised employees might feel embarrassed and reduce their contributions in such sessions.
- Focus on getting the maximum number of possible ideas/solutions regarding a given problem. Every opinion counts!
- Collate the opinions gathered and develop/modify them. As a result, individual ideas will get refined turn into excellent solutions.
Importance of analytical thinkers
To support those strategists who approach tasks in terms of their long-term implications, every team needs analytical thinkers who focus on the details! These are the people who thoroughly evaluate every step of a project.
They check the validity of every sub-task and decide whether its elemental processes can be enhanced. In doing so, they support and inform their ‘big-picture’ peers who can likewise decide how to redefine their overall strategies.
No to ‘micro-culture.’
Some people within departments and teams tend to bond more than others. While this is only natural, managers must keep tabs on how many intra-departmental -team groupings develop, also known as ‘micro-culture.’
This will enable them to avoid cases of internal conflicts, politics, lobbying, and prevent fractures in team relationships. If a team’s culture and camaraderie do not remain intact, its performance might be severely affected.
Yes to social sensitivity
Like every institution, social sensitivity is a must for businesses that seek to create harmonious work cultures. Within teams, this means that everyone must have an equal voice. When working as part of a team, members should keep aside their sense of individual pride or ego.
Primarily, leaders must ensure that every person gets to place her/his opinion without fear of rejection or criticism. While listening to every employer’s views, leaders can also gauge the individual moods and mindsets of their fellows.
Accordingly, they plan and assign work. In case they think an employee needs personal attention or help, they can even adopt remedial measures.
Trust, respect, and accountability
Team leaders and employers must earn the trust and respect of their employees. In a workspace, true respect comes in when leaders prove themselves to be able and knowledgeable in handling daily work. More importantly, workers can overcome instances of uncertainty at work only by trusting their leaders and their peers. This translates to self-trust as well.
Therefore, team leaders must be trustworthy. As they are accountable for the performances of individual workers, they must come across as strong, calm, and reliable. Such attributes can be easily imbibed by their teams.
Conflicts and misunderstandings are bound to arise in team settings. ‘The more, the merrier’ might not always hold true. Managers should diffuse and resolve disputes primarily by listening to both sides of the story. Then, instead of taking sides, they must seek solutions that can satisfy both sides without being partial to one.
As previously mentioned, brainstorming is an efficient way to go around such conflicts. Instead of considering only two different opinions, leaders can hold open discussions. Who knows, a new path might be found!
This article contains ten methods that are instrumental in build an effective team and sustaining its overall productivity. The importance of team building efforts and specific activities is emphasised, along with a consolidated team structure.
Furthermore, essential methods like brainstorming, analytical thinking, trust and accountability, and conflict resolution are explained. While this is not a thorough list, many researchers claim that the above methods have shown excellent results. Businesses striving for success will do well to keep them in mind!
About the Author
Freya Jacob is a content specialist, worked formally for Brainvire.com. She is also an adept content strategist with expertise in curating meaningful content. In addition, she is also an avid reader who loves to binge a variety of books and informative articles. She can amazingly convert boring content into something engaging.