Teamwork is an important part of many workplaces, but businesses often have a hard time building teams that work effectively together to achieve their goals. The number of people and specific employees you choose are both important considerations, but I’ve found that those choices are just the beginning. You have to then take action to foster comfort, communication and teamwork between those employees. If you’re building a team in your office, follow these steps to promote teamwork between the individuals you choose:
1. Focusing on the individual
One of the first steps of building a great team is focusing on each person who will be a part of it. Each individual should have clear roles, responsibilities and expectations laid out up front. Everyone must know how they fit into the team as a whole and who’s in charge. Clearly defined roles will help prevent disputes and misunderstandings, and will give meetings some structure. Individuals should also be given credit if they rise to a challenge or meet an objective on their own. Everyone should feel they play an important role in helping the team succeed.
2. Fostering close relationships
Break out your business invitations, because the second step of fostering productive and effective teamwork is helping individuals build relationships and trust each other. These relationships are crucial because they ensure everyone will be comfortable speaking their minds, being creative and airing concerns – all of which are important for the team to run smoothly. There are a number of ways you can foster these relationships, including using icebreakers during meetings and taking part in team-building activities at the office.
But one of the best ways for teams to become closer is through outings and gatherings outside the office. When people have the opportunity to relax with each other and talk outside of the workplace, they feel more comfortable collaborating and communicating in the office.
3. Setting team goals
It’s not just individuals who should have their goals laid out, it’s the team as a whole. Everyone should be a part of setting goals for the whole group and even deciding how each person fits into that goal. For instance, a sales team might set a sales goal together, and then break that objective down into different responsibilities for each person. Often, these team expectations are laid out up front by a manager. If so, the team should discuss together the exact outcomes that are expected of them and how they plan to move forward to accomplish them.
4. Celebrating team successes
Celebrating great teamwork and accomplishments is almost as important a part of fostering great teamwork as building the team in the first place. It will solidify the team’s bond and will let them know that what they’re doing currently is working. If you notice a team is doing particularly well at something or has met an objective, send out business thank you cards or offer praise in some other way to show them appreciation.