For a business to be effective, its employees must strive to work together in harmony so that tasks are completed quickly, efficiently and with the least amount of struggle. One of the best ways to do this is to encourage teamwork in the workplace, but there are many ways to do this. Sadly, some attempts at trying to bring the team together might be met with resistance, hence the importance of planning team-building tasks.
In this post, we’ll be talking about eight effective ways to improve teamwork in your workplace without putting existing relationships at risk or wasting capital.
#1: Does Your Team Need More Teamwork?
First, it’s vital to check if your team really needs to work together better or if they’re just doing fine as they are. What you want to check for is any rifts in the workplace or processes that just aren’t efficient enough for your business needs. For example, if communication between departments is lacking and this is causing your business to slow down, then you may need to improve teamwork between those specific teams to continue growing your business. In short, don’t force teamwork-building activities and strategies unless you need them in your business or else it could lead to more inefficiencies.
#2: Understand the Role of a Leader
Another important thing to consider is the role of a leader in your workplace. Leaders don’t just point things and order people around–it’s a lot more than that. You need to be setting examples for the rest of your employees and you need to lead by showing them how they should be acting. Simply ordering them to do something and then sitting back in your chair isn’t going to be an effective way to lead, so make sure you’re actively participating in the business workflow if you’re in a position of leadership. This advice should also be passed down to other managers and senior members of staff.
#3: Establishing Rules Within Your Company Culture
Company culture is important to develop because it helps to put your entire team on the same page. However, regardless of what kind of atmosphere you’ve formed in your office, you need to establish some kind of rules that act as cornerstones for how your workforce should be interacting. For instance, you could establish a rule that all teams have in-person meetings before big projects just to keep everyone in the loop, or you can encourage people to air their frustrations or disagreements in a calm and collected manner.
#4: Understand the Importance of Communication
Another big concern in any business is the importance of communication. You need to absolutely make sure that you’re communicating openly with the rest of your staff and establishing communication methods that everyone can participate in. For instance, a message board is a fantastic way to leave messages for your employees and for them to reply even if you don’t see each other in the office every day. Online communication options are also a fantastic way to ensure that all of your employees are kept in the loop and able to communicate with each other.
#5: Make Use of Collaboration Tools to Encourage Teamwork
A lot of businesses use non-collaborative tools that slow down the entire work process. For instance, many word processing tools nowadays allow you to edit, comment and make suggestions to a document at the same time, meaning several people can be active and make changes simultaneously. This is far more efficient than passing a document around between several teams. In other words, look for collaborative tools and options to help give your business a boost. Collaborative tools can often be a hindrance especially if your team doesn’t understand how to use them effectively, so make sure you provide enough training to help ease them into the workflow differences.
#6: Use Team-Building Activities When Appropriate
There are many unique and quick team building activities that you can use throughout the day to bring your team together. This could be something simple and healthy such as a morning exercise routine, a round of drinks after work or even eating lunch together. Anything that can create a point of conversation and get your team in the same room is a brilliant way to improve communication and teamwork. For special situations, such as after finishing a large project or celebrating successes with your team, it’s perfectly fine to plan larger team-building activities such as company holidays and fun days out. These are often a mix of fun and interesting activities that will encourage your team to communicate.
#7: Focus on the Strengths of Team Members, Not What They Lack
One of the biggest mistakes that leaders make is that they focus too much on the flaws of team members by highlighting them. People often know what their weaknesses are and it’s never a positive thing to highlight them. Instead, pointing out strengths of employees and taking advantage of them is a more positive way to frame these issues. Every member of your team has their own motivations, passions and strengths, and highlighting these by taking advantage of them and building teams where everyone can contribute to the best of their abilities is a great way to form efficient and productive teams.
#8: Celebrate Together Whenever the Occasion Calls for It
Regardless of what the occasion is, if it’s positive then it calls for a small celebration. It could be a round of drinks after work, a cake for your employees to share or even just some donuts in the morning. Happy employees make productive employees and it’s vital that you do small things that allow them to celebrate and relax, especially after a long period of hard work in the office. You could even have a weekly or monthly ritual for things such as celebrating payday or when your team finishes a project. Take these small victories, celebrate and work on improving the overall atmosphere and mood of your team whenever an opportunity arises.