Does it sometimes feel like your team members are operating on different wavelengths?
Depending on your business, industry, or company infrastructure, the success of your business may be largely dependent on your team’s ability to communicate and cooperate as a unit.
With the stakes being so high, it’s vital that you build team culture and foster an environment where everyone feels comfortable and productive working together.
So, whether you’re the CEO of a major corporation or the manager of a key department, there are a handful of ways in which you can invest in team culture within your office environment.
Let’s check them out!
1. Make Sure All Roles Are Defined
While you might assume that creating defined roles and conveying them to your team might make some individuals feel more or less important than others, it typically has a much different impact.
Instead, you provide clarity to the entire team, giving individuals the confidence to communicate with other team members when there are tasks or issues that clearly extend past their own duties.
2. Emphasize Team Goals Over Individual Performance
One of the best ways to achieve this is to incorporate a weekly meeting, where members are congratulated for collective achievements and briefed on team goals for the upcoming week.
Not only will this keep members motivated to keep working as a unit but it will also keep everyone on the same page as you move forward.
3. Implement Collaboration Tools
Today, there are a bevy of collaboration tools you can implement at the office — ones that encourage employee interaction, yet still increase productivity.
These range from project management tools that help align efforts to video conferencing tools that help encourage face-to-face communication!
4. Reward Exceptional Teamwork When It Happens
Maybe it’s time to replace your traditional employee-of-the-month-type award with milestones and rewards that center around teamwork.
One of the best ways to motivate the individual while also celebrating team goals, however, is to emphasize team accomplishments during individual reviews. This rewards the individual while also attributing credit to all parties who played a part in your business’s successes.
Also, remember to acknowledge your team members regularly for their efforts. As performance-enhancing cultures yield more than a 6x increase in revenue growth, there should be plenty of praise, recognition, and compensation going around!
5. Address Failure as a Team
Just as teams are to taste success together, teams should also experience failure together.
When an individual on the team makes a mistake or drops the ball, address the failure within the group; and rather than pointing to the individual as the source of the problem, communicate the different ways in which everyone could have contributed to a better overall result.
6. Don’t Micro-Manage
While you might be tempted to intervene from time to time, remember that teamwork is something that needs to occur organically.
Giving each team member ample space to lead, problem-solve, communicate, and produce is vital to the overall success of your team. Don’t get in the way!
7. Introduce Team-Building Events and Exercises
Sure, team-building exercises can be cheesy at times; but there’s still plenty of value in gathering everyone together in a more relaxed environment.
Particularly if you’ve recently assembled a new team or if you’re looking to work a few new hires into the fold, getting everyone together in a not-so-stressful environment can promote unity and maybe even a little lighthearted banter!
Not to mention, it’s a great escape from the conventional office setting!
8. Plan Social Gatherings
While team-building events and exercises are fantastic ways to force individuals to work together, let’s face it — your team members are fully aware of what’s going on.
Sometimes, you need everyone to get together for reasons other than trying to kick-start or shortcut cooperation. These types of gatherings can be equally as effective as team-building exercises, as team chemistry and morale is fostered in a more natural setting.
9. Make the Right Hires
The unfortunate reality is that not everyone is a team player.
If you hire the person with the ego, the tunnel vision, or the abrasive personality — while that individual might very well have the best resume to ever come across your desk — the fit may be detrimental to what you and your team are trying to build.
If you value teamwork above individual performances, it’s best to avoid these types of hires. Not only does it help you steer clear of potential disruptions but it also demonstrates to your team the type of person you want working within the organization.
Don’t forget that team culture is not only important to you and your business but also to other team members. One survey shows that more than one-third of U.S. workers wouldn’t accept an otherwise “perfect job” if the company culture was off.