We’ve learned a thing or two over the years running team building events for our clients. Each group arrives with their own set of objectives, sometimes it’s to iron out issues between team members, sometimes it’s to invigorate the whole team and sometimes it’s just to have a really great time and enjoy themselves (which, by the way, definitely still results in a stronger team back in the office!)
Whatever the objectives are, we see great results and it’s really very satisfying! When the event is over and you’re back in the office, the effort to create a strong, cohesive team is ongoing.
How do you do this, especially when nowadays at least some team members work remotely? Successful teams don’t just happen by chance: usually there is a strategy in place ensuring individuals are working towards a shared vision of a common goal.
The key fundamentally lies in knowing that each member of your team plays a specific role and each individual is a cog in the larger mechanism of your business. You need every person to work in a way which is harmonious with the other members.
All much easier said than done. Here’s some ideas and tips for building effective teams:
Build trust and respect
Give each team member a chance to share their voice and their ideas, fostering a supportive environment and encouraging each person’s strengths to shine. If each individual’s skills are identified and valued by other team members as well as team leaders, imagine the potential increase in productivity. People need to feel safe to contribute and share, as well as challenged to better themselves.
This really is the simplest of ideas but can work wonders for general morale, atmosphere and breaking down barriers in the workplace, especially if you have a large number of employees. Simply have a designated time slot once a week where all employees must stop work for 15 minutes, congregate in the office foyer (or other communal space), choose their doughnut of choice and chat to someone else over a cuppa. You can add further rules, such as:
- You must speak to somebody different every week
- No work-talk
- You must mix with people from all levels of seniority.
For this 15 minutes once a week, the office heirachy goes out the window.This really is a great leveller and will become a weekly event that employees look forward to.
Taking time to understanding each individual’s skills and strengths makes a huge difference. A good manager will assign tasks accordingly and offer opportunities to develop key areas of weakness. With this approach, roles can shift somewhat once a team is in place and skill sets and thinking styles have come to the fore. Adopting this style of fluidity can really help get the most out of each employee.
Clear communication and direction
Rather than creating a step-by-step plan to complete a particular project, it is often better to clearly visualise a desired outcome which can be communicated to the team. By starting at the end point, you can work backwards, allowing team members some degree of flexibility to decide the best way of getting there and thus working to their strengths. Give people as clear a vision as possible about what needs to be accomplished and what will be considered a successful outcome and why. Repeatedly returning to your team objectives and goals will keep everyone on the same page.
Trust and Transparency:
Get these nailed and you are winning.
What are your top tips? Leave us a comment and let us know what you would add.
Talk to us about organising a team away day for your team on 01732 529511