Belonging to a team, in the broadest sense, results in being a part of something larger than yourself. Team members understand the mission or objectives of your organization. In a team-oriented environment, you contribute to the overall organization by doing your job well and helping others to do their jobs well.
Getting a team to work efficiently requires focus on team building. Even though everyone may belong to a different department, they all work together to achieve the common goal of the organization. The bigger picture drives your actions. Many compaies use team building as the major key for business success.
If your team-morale isn’t living up to your expectations, this checklist may help you better understand why. Successful team building calls for attention to each of the following:
- Common Vision
A common vision for all team members is essential for team building and organizational success. Spend time visioning as a team – determine what you want to create and where you want your company to go.
This visioning time should also enable you to celebrate your current successes!
How clear is your vision? Do all team members hold the same vision?
- Clear Expectations and Common Goals
Ensure that your goals are understood and supported by all team members.
All team members need to understand how their efforts are contributing to the larger objectives.
Do all team members know how their role supports your larger goals? Is everyone clear on what those goals are?
- Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities
One of the biggest challenges companies face in building teamwork is the lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities. Crystal clear roles can help in supporting and working toward the end goals of your corporation.
Do your team members understand their purpose on the team?
Do they understand how the strategy of using teams will help your company attain its communicated business goals?
Team members should want to participate on the team, and feel that the end goal is a priority.
Are members committed to accomplishing the team mission and expected outcomes? Members of your staff should feel like their service is valuable to the company and to their own careers.
- Use Engaging Exercises!
Team building within a company can be challenging, but with the right twist can be a lot of fun as well. Ensure that all the participating employees are engaged and challenged.
If you want to take team building seriously, think about bringing in an experienced team building “coach” and run an official program. Work with your team building coach to determine what types of activities or exercises would work best for your team members.
- Take a Step Out of the Office
You can easily reduce these distractions by relocating to somewhere other than the office for your session. What type of environment would your staff best benefit from? Some companies host in “corporate” settings while others venture into nature.
- Create an Action Plan
Create an action plan to make team building part of your everyday work or life.
Ensure that when designing your team-building program you create connections to the day-to-day life of your employees. This way, participants can “bring the learning home.”
Research whether individual, team or group coaching will work best for your company style.
What can be done to help stay on track with this action plan? Some examples may be staff meetings, check-ins, monthly coaching weekends, or team retreats.
- Get to Know the Rest of the Team
To assure you maximize performance and results, you must make the time to get to know your team and provide opportunities for your team to know you and each other.
Fully knowing your team means that you have invested the time to understand how they think and what motivates them to excel beyond what you expect of them.
- Always Celebrate a Success
When you work hard, you want feedback on your final project. This goes beyond acknowledgment – it’s about taking a step-back and reflecting on what you have accomplished.
Take the time to give your teammates the proper praises they have earned and deserve. Too many leaders take for granted the hard work of their employees because they don’t believe that one should be rewarded for “doing their job.”
Everyone wants to feel they are making a difference. Be a thoughtful leader and assure your team that you are paying attention to their efforts. Genuine respect and recognition go a long way towards building loyalty and trust. It even motivates people to put in a little extra the next time!
- Don’t Cut the Chit-Chat!
If you are someone who goes into an office each day, make sure you extend yourself beyond the walls of your cubicle or office space. If you are a supervisor that only takes meetings in your office, try changing that habit. Getting out of your space and walking around helps you to know all the members on your team.
When working remotely, you don’t have a chance to make small talk with a neighbor in the next cubicle or discuss weekend plans by the coffeemaker. It’s that kind of personal chit-chat, however, that helps employees relate to each other. Remote teams must build time for small talk into group meetings. Try to spend a couple minutes at the start of each meeting conversing on personal topics. Even better, use a video conferencing system like Skype or Facetime and ask 1-2 questions about their week.
Team building in the workplace significantly contributes toward employee motivation and building trust among employees, which helps with productivity. Use these tools to help with common team building exercises for communication, success and improved team performance.
For More Information about team building in your workplace, call HR Strategy Group at 410.505.8723 or find us on the web at http://www.hrstrategygroup.com.
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