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Team Building in the Workplace  

Traditionally, team building in the workplace has not been a top-priority for organizations. While the attention was focused on increasing productivity or serving clients, the tendency was to neglect the most valuable asset; the human asset, employees.

However, with the organizational environment becoming more and more demanding and competitive the need for team building has become appearant and imperative. Team building in the workplace is  vital as it  enables better communication, better relationships and ultimately increases productivity. Valued, respected, motivated employees commit themselves to go the extra mile to meet and exceed organizational expectations. 

Where to start?

The key to successful team building in the workplace is the two Cs approach: Consistency and Commitment. Team building is not a simple one time activity or an event just before the holidays. It is is a process that requires an integrated, holistic plan in order to develop and maintain healthy teams and healthy organizations.

Start with some basis questions:
  • Purpose: Does your team has a clear purpose of existence? Does it have clear realistic goals? Is everyone in the team aware of expectations, plans and their roles to make it happen? Is there any ambiguity in their job descriptions and their responsibilities?
  • Big Picture: Is your team aware of where they fit in the organization? Do they have a shared a vision and a shared purpose of functioning?
  •  Resources: What resources are currently available to your team? Do they know how to access and use them? What other tools are they missing? 
  • Communication: What communication systems are in place? Is there a two-way communication between the manager and team members? How do team members communicate with one another? Is there openness and transparency? How are the decisions being made? 
  • Enthusiasm: Are your team members excited about they do?  How do they deal with hurdles and failure? Do they smile?

Action Plan Action for Sustainable Team Building in the Workplace:

Create shared grounds: Facilitate the creation of goals and objectives that all team members share. Through the facilitation process identify and elevate common interests, talents, ideas etc.
This way you are facilitating a shared path that leverages everyone's talents and strengths. It  makes everyone part of the solution and it makes the team function as a unified,  well-oiled group. By exploring and elevating common grounds you are also creating a resource-base of expertise and  talent  for your agency.

Value the individual: On top of  facilitating a healthy relationship with your team as a whole, you also need to build relationships with the individual team members. The relationship with each of them will be customized and different, but always equal. That involves you talking and listening and coaching everyone differently, based on their skills, needs and possibilities. And remember by addressing the team as a group you are addressing commonalities, but by addressing the individual you are addressing the extraordinary in people, the unique talents and gifts. This gives amazing results.

Orchestrate small wins: Managing  a few small wins for your team members  increases their sense of worth and self-esteem. As they perform successfully they become more confident and more skillful. This feeds positivity and brings more success.

Nurture creativity: By stimulating your employees creativity you are opening the door to amazing innovative ideas, plans, visions etc. De-formalize the process. Don't just brainstorm a meeting to seek diversity of thoughts and solutions. Grow it, spread it, allow everyone to share their thoughts and ideas as often as they wish. Don't just seek diversity, seek uniqeness. Trigger their inspiration. Set-up idea boxes, give out idea note pads etc. Recognize the value of their input.

Make them owners:  Make decisions with them, plan with them, visualize the future with them.  Transfer leadership to them, empower them. This is the ultimate stage of a successful team building process; building self-managed teams, building leaders. Click here to learn more on how to empower your employees.

Quick Tips for Team Building in the Worplace:

  • Always root for your team!
  • Keep boosting their morale and energy! 
  • Be there for them!
  • Be honest with them!

Related Articles

Employee Empowerment

Team building strategies

Free Team Building Activities

More Resources:

Team building is so important that many MBA and masters degree in organizational leadership programs have incorporated team building education into their programs.

                              Team Building in the Workplace > Team Building Skills

Outstanding Leaders consider themselves a work in progress
 Dr Franklin C. Ashby 

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