There’s something a little like magic in a team that bonds well together, but there are plenty of solid ingredients in this mix, too.
Here are five things every team inherently needs to work well together – and how to go about getting them.
A team identity
Look at any successful sports team in history and think about who they are as a team. Every single one of them has a strong brand – an identity – and something that sets them apart from everyone else.
The same goes for teams in the workplace. Spend some time deciding what’s special about your team, and make it an integral part of your physical workspace and your team culture to cultivate a sense of pride and strong bonds between teammates.
It is a manager’s job to ensure that everyone on the team knows what they are working for at any time. From the small day-to-day tasks, to the quarterly results sheet and the overall future objectives of the company-every team member needs a clear and direct idea of exactly what needs to be done.
This way, each member can see that when a decision is made, it is made for the sake of the goal. It means that if there are ever disagreements or conflicts, the goals are the ultimate objective decider and this helps keeps personal clashes to a minimum.
Common traits or interests
One of the first things we learn in life is that those around you with similar interests or traits are easy friends. This tendency is no different once you get to a workplace. A shared interest in a certain band, a shared home city, or even a fervent love of great coffee can be enough to spark a strong bond between workmates.
Busy work days and work-oriented conversations don’t always leave much room for colleagues to discover their similarities- which is where team building activities come in. During these experiences, colleagues might discover a shared sense of humour, or even a mutual hatred of blue cheese. Different activities will uncover different similarities and differences.
Having individual goals for each team member is as important as setting team goals. This is because each member will likely be on slightly different paths, or simply at different stages on the same career path, and each one will have his or her own goals within the workplace.
It’s a manager’s job to both discover what those goals are, and help to form new ones as the employee gains experience, skills and knowledge during that time. An individual who is working towards their own goals is usually more invested in their role and productive, and it’s likely that other members of the team will also be able to help each other with goal setting.
Modern workplaces aren’t what they used to be. It’s more common these days for employees to work from home, be out on jobs or at meetings, or even work remotely. This simple physical distance can be a challenge for teams, as spending time in the same place is a basic and easy way to help a team bond appropriately.
Whether it’s a new office layout or regular team building activities in person, make the effort to allow your team members to share a physical space now and again to boost their team-play skills, and ultimately, your bottom line.