Teams are the main building blocks of a company and an organisation can’t reach its full potential without having great teams in place. Teams and employees make your workplace culture what it is and one of the key elements within a workplace is the workforce. A team which has the right attitude can exceed far beyond expectations and it is these teams which have the power to make or break a company.
However, building these teams involves a process which turns a group of employees into a well-functioning and cohesive team – and this doesn’t just happen overnight. Building a fine-tuned team for your company takes time and dedication.
You need to build these teams in order to create well-functioning relationships and unfortunately, a lot of workplaces suffer from poor communication, which in turn leads to un-engaged teams. The key to building successful teams of employees is by giving them the conditions in which they can develop and grow their professional and personal lives, which is why team building activities are so important.
The role of leaders
Many team building activities require the role of a leader and, as a manager, it is important that you watch how your employees adapt to this. Take notice of those who step forward and contribute to becoming a leader and note the employees who stand back and would rather focus on the task in hand. In team building activities, each member plays a pivotal role, so letting your employees use their own strengths to the advantage of the team is vital.
In some teams, you can get those who appear unmotivated or uninterested and it is when you are faced with this behaviour that you need to question their commitment to the team you want to build. When it comes to establishing a fine-tuned team, you need a good leader. A good leader should motivate other team members and help them achieve their full potential and encourage them to grow. Bad leaders demoralise their team members, which leads to decreased productivity levels and this is damaging for your bottom line.
Develop problem-solving attitudes
Team building activities present different ways in which a procedure can be carried out, processed and planned, so encouraging your team to work on their problem-solving skills will only work out for the best in the long run. Many team building exercises encourage team members to think about using different perspectives and create different ideas in order to reach solutions. Cohesive teams without a standalone star are far more powerful than having one or two talented people. A lot of companies promote a workplace culture which is the opposite and by doing so experience many consequences.
Communicate in every way
Good communication lies at the heart of great teamwork and team building activities encourage communication between team members. Teams who communicate well will be happy to share ideas, ask for feedback and encourage others, so try to choose an activity which encourages this naturally. Good communication doesn’t mean that team members will always agree on everything, but they will be able to communicate through their differences in order to settle on a beneficial solution which enables them to move forward as a team.
If you want to enable good communication during team building activities, then you need to set the guidelines for what the company considers to be acceptable within the workplace.
- Be Clear: Encourage teams to set the tone amongst themselves. Should they contact one another out of hours? How often should the team get together for group discussions?
- Listen: Good communication is as much about listening as it is speaking. Make sure that team members are listening to one another and considering one another’s thoughts before offering their input.
- Updates: When would you expect to hear from other managers? It is important that you encourage informal meetings and get-togethers. The members of your team shouldn’t have to wait for weeks to get new information or for a catch-up. Good communication should mean that your team is comfortable with communicating with one another as and when they need to.
No more hesitation
Well-balanced teams should be free of hesitation and, if team members can’t communicate freely, then it shouldn’t be called a team. The best teams are ones where all team members are able to freely contribute and let their hair down and team building activities allow employees to do this. Within team building activities, it is important to encourage team members to be less hesitant as you want this to transfer into the office.
When it comes to making important decisions, it means that your team members should be as un-hesitant as possible so that they don’t regret or overthink their decision. Team building activities enable employees to remove the barriers to communicate freely with other coworkers and when it comes to making decisions, those who don’t encounter hesitation are much more likely to be open with other coworkers.
Recognise and reward
Employees who are recognised are satisfied employees and often perform far better at work. After carrying out team building exercises, it is important to reward your team or individual employees if you saw any behaviour which was outstanding. Moving forward, you can build a happier and stronger team by recognising key members who do well and contribute to the team to the best of their ability. Often, monetary rewards are welcome but this doesn’t always need to be the case. Instead, you could send out team or company-wide emails recognising those individuals, offer in-person thanks and recognition, gift extra holiday days and give out promotions.
If your team continues to do well, then you could even arrange for a quarterly party or evening out, complete with a nice meal. This is a great way to boost the motivation of the team and gives them an event to look forward to, especially if it is after a busy period at work. You could arrange for in-office entertainment, professional makeup and hair artists to come in and help your team get ready for an evening out or arrange for a fun activity for the whole team to enjoy.
Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for many different business publications. With a range of knowledge in the business and insurance sector, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field and writes on topics from specialist cleaning for businesses, employee wellbeing and commercial property. You can connect with her on Twitter @NatWilson976.