Submitted by: Majlinda Priku
Team Building in the Workplace
Team building in the workplace is not something that every company considers a high priority. Though high productivity and customer/client satisfaction are always on the minds of executives and managers, the approaches traditionally taken to achieve these ends often ignore the company’s most valuable asset: their workforce.
As the business world becomes ever more competitive, businesses in every economic sector are becoming aware of the need to take advantage of every opportunity to outcompete their rivals and this has come to include team building. By encouraging and even actively promoting team building in the workplace, companies are able to foster more open communication between their staff, build strong work relationships and build morale, with the end result being happier, more productive workers and a healthier corporate culture overall. When employees are respected by their employer and their value to the organization acknowledged, they are far more willing to take the extra steps necessary to achieve beyond the expectations of the company.
How Do You Begin?
There are two important elements to successfully building teams in the workplace: commitment and consistency. Team building isn’t something which can be done with a single activity or corporate retreat – it’s a process, not a destination in itself and as such, team building in the workplace demands a comprehensive strategy aimed at not only developing, but maintaining a team-oriented work environment.
Begin by asking yourself a few questions:
Purpose: Is every member of your team clearly aware their role and of what is expected of them? Does the team share an identifiable purpose or goal to work towards? Do their job descriptions spell out these goals and expectations?
The Big Picture: Does your team know how they integrate into the organization as a whole? Do team members have an understanding of not only their goals as a team, but of the wider goals of the entire company?
Resources: Are there resources which are available to your team right now -and are team members aware of them and how to put them to use? Is your team missing resources which could help them to more efficiently achieve their goals?
Communication: What kind of communication capabilities exist between team members; the team and management and the team and the company itself? Are there open and transparent channels of communication available to the team? Are your team members a part of decision making processes?
Morale: Do the members of your team enjoy their work? What strategies do they use to cope with obstacles to their goals; and how do they deal with failure?
Tips for effective team building in the workplace
Identify common ground: Encourage discussion to find goals which are common to the members of your team. Identify and emphasize common interests, ideas which members share and so on.
What you’re doing here is building common ground as a foundation for the team to come together and put their strengths to work to achieve their common goals. This serves to unify the team and identify skills and talents which could be used to improve company operations.
Value each member of the team: Along with building a rapport with your team, you need to do the same with each member individually. Obviously, you’ll have a different kind of relationship with each member and you’ll need to listen to and talk to each member on their own merits. When you talk to the entire team, you’re speaking to the things they share; but when you speak to team members one on one, you are speaking to what makes them individuals – and acknowledging their individuality, which can lead to great things in the workplace.
Lay the groundwork for small victories first: Build your team’s sense of self-worth by helping them to make some small victories; the more confident they feel in themselves and in the team, the better their morale and productivity – and the more motivated they’ll be to go after bigger goals in the future.
Foster creativity: You should always be open to ideas from your team; have an open door policy for your team, establish idea boxes and above all, encourage them to think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions. Once you show them that you value their ideas and encourage them to think creatively, amazing things can happen.
Build a sense of ownership in the organization: Involve your team in the decision making process, delegate authority to them and give them the encouragement and confidence they need to succeed. This is the real goal of team building in the workplace: creating new leaders in the company and developing teams which can manage themselves.
Quick Tips for Team Building in the Workplace:
1. Always encourage your team!
2. Make keeping their morale and energy up a daily goal!
3. Be there for them when they need you!
4. Communicate openly and honestly with your team, always!
About the Author: Majlinda Priku is an experienced manager, a leader and an expert coach in capacity building,business management and personal development. She is a strong believer and implementer of participatory methodology and is well-known for using capacity building techniques through active stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes, context analysis, SWOT Analysis, visual methods as flow diagrams, fishbone technique etc. She is the owner of
Free tool – Free Team Building Exercises