A. Elliott http://www.insigniacomms.com 2m 591
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Unless you work from home or run a one man company, most of your working life will involve working as part of a team. Modern businesses now recognise the importance of team work and the ways in which team building exercises contribute to that team work. This article offers some tips for how you can start improving your company’s team building efforts.
Making Things Clear
If you want staff members to understand the importance of working as part of a team and of team building then you need to make it clear what you expect from them. If you want different departments to collaborate on certain projects then you need to let them know exactly what that might entail.
Run a ‘questions and answers’ session where team members can ask about certain aspects of working as part of a team and what that means for their personal job description.
Write Down Team Objectives
Develop a set of objectives suitable for your particular business and get staff members to work towards those objectives. Group collaboration on projects helps individuals to understand the value of working together. When any group is given a clear set of written objectives it is much easier for them to see what is needed from them as a team.
Have an occasional day when the staff takes over from the management and the management become the team. Each group will learn to work together in different situations under a variety of circumstances because they can each understand where the other is coming from. Dress down Friday was introduced into many companies some years back as a way of making everyone feel more at home with their bosses and workmates.
Organise a Team Building Day
A growing number of organisations now run team building days where managers and business owners can take staff on a day out where they will be involved in a number of games and objectives aimed at being part of a team. Sometimes a change of scenery with different individuals running things can clarify issues that some team members might have found troublesome.
Involving the Team
Many workers still feel that they are faced with a ‘them and us’ mentality, especially when it comes to drafting policies and procedure documents for the workplace. Try to lessen the ‘them and us’ culture by engaging staff members in the decision making process. Sometimes workers have insights into a workable set of policies and procedures that might have escaped management’s eyes.
If you generally hold staff meetings in the board room, try varying the experience by holding those meetings somewhere else. Take a trip to the local park or meet at the local cafe and see how a change of scenery affects people’s attitudes to the meetings. Give everyone a chance to say what they think about certain actions or procedures; people are more likely to open up outside of the workplace than in it.
Think about things that you could do on a weekly basis that are not directly work related but that will encourage people to think and act as a team. You might choose this time for a training exercise or for a team lunch, whatever suits your notion of building a good team.
A. Elliott writes small business advice and tips on a regular basis. She has worked for a number of small companies and uses her personal experiences to help give advice. She works with insigniacomms.com, specialists in communications consultancy in the UK.