Effective team building strategies allow teams to realise their goals and perform as a cohesive unit. These strategies include a definitive decision-making process and consistent communication channels.
Start by identifying everyone’s strengths. Find partners whose strengths complement yours and work in partnership.
Research shows that diverse teams perform better than homogenous ones.
1. Build Trust
A successful team must be built on a foundation of trust and collaboration. That means every member must be placed in a role that plays to their strengths and encouraged to work together to achieve common goals. It also requires leadership that is self-aware, recognizing how their behavior and work habits are perceived by others on the team.
It’s also helpful to build relationships among team members by introducing them to each other. This can be as simple as a get-to-know-you game before a staff meeting or planning a social outing such as an employee appreciation event.
It’s also important to communicate clearly with the team and keep them updated on major projects, decisions or any other information that may affect their work. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and reduces the chances of misunderstandings.
2. Focus on Communication
Whether your teammates work remotely or side-by-side in the same office, they must be able to communicate effectively. Team building activities can help foster communication, but so can ensuring that everyone understands the goals of the group and how their individual roles are crucial to achieving those goals.
If your team has new or junior members, consider pairing them with a senior team member who can provide mentoring and training. This creates a win-win for everyone — the junior employee gets support and speeds up their learning curve, while the mentor receives plaudits and goodwill from their boss.
One of the most important things that a manager can do is ensure there’s an open line of communication between employees. It is estimated that seventy percent of the variance in team engagement is determined by the manager.
3. Encourage Collaboration
Team members need to understand that they’re expected to work together on projects and tasks. They should also understand how their individual roles fit into the team’s goals. This clarity can help them avoid spending energy negotiating their roles or protecting turf.
Managers should try to match team members to positions that play to their strengths. This can make each member feel valued and increase their satisfaction with their job. It can also reduce the amount of time they spend doing tasks they don’t enjoy, such as completing expense reports or handling difficult customers.
An effective way to encourage collaboration is through activity-based team building, such as obstacle courses or boot camps that are designed to take employees out of their comfort zones. These activities can also help teams bond through shared experiences.
4. Reward Success
Modern workers expect more than the slap on the back and paycheck for turning in a day’s work. They want inspirational management, flexibility and a team environment that promotes collaboration.
To build a successful team, managers must know what each member brings to the group, as well as their natural strengths and weaknesses. Then, they can put them in a role that plays to those strengths while also improving weaker aspects.
For example, a team that does well at organizing projects might be rewarded with more control over scheduling, while a team that excels at sales might be given an incentive to hit quarterly quotas. Moreover, managers should always give feedback on employee performance and consider suggestions for improvement. This shows that managers value the input of employees, which can boost team morale.
5. Avoid Conflict
Conflict is inevitable, but when left unaddressed it can escalate. A few basic team building strategies can help prevent this from happening.
One way to minimize conflict is through clear communication and transparency. Having team members understand their roles and how they fit into the company’s goals can lead to less friction.
Another way to avoid conflict is by recognizing and respecting personal differences. For example, knowing that some employees are introverted can help managers assign projects that will appeal to them. Personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can also be helpful for evaluating an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
Having a clear delegation of authority statement, an open-door policy and encouraging sound business practices in collaboration, team building and talent management will all contribute to an effective work environment.