The secret behind any successful business is a strong team of dedicated employees. Your business is nothing without the hard work of your team driving you forward. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your employees are happy. A good relationship between your employees is essential. While you can’t force everyone to be friends, you can make sure that everyone is treated with respect and your workplace is inclusive. Your team need to feel comfortable around each other in order to speak up in meetings.
With that being said, some of the traditional methods of team building – those dreaded activity days, for example – actually alienate some of your more reserved team members and make them feel uncomfortable. Hardly effective at building a cohesive team! If you are looking for more effective and unconventional ways to build a strong team, take a look at our three alternative methods.
Get together outside of the office
It doesn’t matter how hard you try to create a relaxed work environment, your workspace is always going to be constricted to certain behavioural standards that must be upheld. Your employees need to be quiet, productive and focused. On top of this, there are hierarchies within the business; your boss is always your superior. In these conditions, it can be hard for team building to take place. For effective team bonding, you need to remove all of these constrictions and level the playing field, so to speak. You’ll find that a lot of team bonding actually takes place out of the office, and a well-earned night out or celebration can allow everyone to blow off steam and get to know each other as people rather than job titles. Events such as Annual General Meetings, Christmas parties and other social events are the key to creating a close knit team who are comfortable around one another. If your company is lacking a social element, you are missing out on fantastic team building opportunities. You should also take a look at better team building activity days. Skip the awkward team activities and instead opt for something more fun, creative and accessible to all, like a team building cooking class.
Encourage flexible working
As a business leader, it’s important your team understand you care about their well-being. They should understand it’s your intention that they don’t let stress follow them home. That’s why it’s a good idea to trust your employees with flexible working arrangements. Offer unlimited mental health days, flexible working hours and opportunities to work from home on days when your employees simply can’t face the office. This isn’t about letting your team work whenever they want, it’s about taking into account that your employees have lives and responsibilities away from the office. This act of generosity and respect to your employees will show that you care for your team, and you’ll find that in repayment your team will respect you more, be happier in their jobs and therefore work harder and be more committed to their roles. A happy team is a productive team.
Build up some friendly rivalry
Nothing brings a team together more than a rival. If your company has multiple teams and departments, you can bring some extra motivation to your workers by encouraging some light rivalry. You can reward the ‘team of the month’ for their hard work and excellent results with an extra holiday day or a meal out, courtesy of you. This will not only encourage your employees to work hard, it will promote a bit of teamwork and rivalry that will make your office more playful and fun.