Good teams are hard to put together and even harder to maintain, and it all starts at the top. Good managers know that for their teams to work well together a corporate culture needs to be created that fosters cooperation and teamwork as its foundation.
Special events are a necessary part of maintaining a sense of team spirit in corporations, but often it’s the everyday attitudes of employees and management that sets the standard for the culture in an office.
We’ve put together a list of the top five ways to promote teamwork in the office every day.
At every opportunity, managers should stress to employees the importance of working together towards a common goal. If the boss is always talking about the team and the benefits of working together, then that attitude trickles down to everyone else.
Teamwork should make its way into any literature about corporate culture as well, and should be made a part of any employee handbooks and corporate mission statements.
Lead by Example
Managers need to incorporate team building strategies into their management style. Everyone on a team should be asked for their opinion – don’t just rely on the loudest voices.
It’s also important to let different people take the reins for different projects. Change employee’s responsibilities to keep things fresh and to get a better idea of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.
If a team was responsible for a project, then managers should recognise the team when speaking to superiors or to subordinates about it.
Employees know when a manager is taking credit for the team’s hard work, and nobody likes it. Hard work should be recognized at every level.
Practice Makes Perfect
Team building exercises should be encouraged at every opportunity. Use ice breaking activities at the beginning of meetings to help people interact with each other and get past any initial awkwardness.
Small team building moments can be scheduled during the week to bring people together. 10 or 15 minutes is all you need to give employees a needed break from the hard work they’re doing while reinforcing teamwork among coworkers.
Give Teams Important Tasks
Team building isn’t all icebreakers and games, real work still needs to get done around the office. This work is where all of the time spent team building pays off.
Make sure teams have serious goals or tasks to accomplish, not just planning an event or party (although those things are important).
Real issues should be addressed, and results should have a visible impact. Let teams know that what they’re doing is important to the business.
Reward Team Successes
When a team accomplishes their goal(s), make sure that their success is recognized and rewarded. Celebrate their achievement in the office and let everyone know about it.
Past team’s accomplishments can be used as motivation for future projects while at the same time continuing to celebrate that success (“Remember when the Products Team shipped 40 units in a week?”).
Make sure employees know that their work is appreciated, but also make sure they know that it was because of the work of the team as a whole, not any one individual.
By creating and fostering a corporate culture of teamwork, maintaining that culture, and rewarding successes, your employees will enjoy their jobs and their coworkers more, and they will take pride in and responsibility for the good work they do every day.