Effective teamwork can help any organization reach and sustain success. On a basic level, employees need to feel supported and appreciated for the work they do in order to stay motivated. Both individual and team morale play a role in this – if the team as a whole works well together, each individual employee will be more inclined to contribute to that teamwork.
Big or small, all teams can benefit from hearing the diverse perspectives, ideas, backgrounds and skillsets of their colleagues. No single individual can be expected to solve every challenge they come across or have the exact experience needed to complete a task. Strong teamwork opens up new doors for solving problems and collaborating together in a way that helps your organization thrive.
There are lots of employee team-building ideas, ranging from get-to-know-you meetings to escape rooms, as team-building comes in many different forms. Focus first on how you can act as a role model for your team, then identify fun activities you can do together to bring the team closer, build morale, and encourage collaboration.
Practice open communication
Team building is important at every level of an organization, but it starts at the top.
Communication is an area where it is important for managers to lead by example. Give constructive suggestions, take seriously any concerns that are brought to you, and really listen to your employees. Create a group chat through your office’s messaging service and let it be a safe space to ask questions and feed off of each other’s knowledge. Your communication style will trickle down to the rest of the team and will facilitate seamless collaboration.
Another benefit of emphasizing the importance of communication is that it will lead to fewer miscommunications. Your employees should feel comfortable speaking with one another and should never feel afraid or nervous to approach someone with a question. As much as possible, be clear in your communication and layout your expectations upfront.
Let your employees run with their ideas, but reinforce the fact that they can always turn to you or their colleagues for help. The more your employees feel empowered to put themselves out there, the more they will create incredible things together.
Trust your employees
Trust is a two-way street. Avoid micromanaging your employees, but do give them the tools and resources they need to complete their tasks, along with clearly defined objectives. Your employees will then feel more confident in using creative approaches while trusting that you will be there to support them if they have any questions or concerns.
Ask employees to hold training sessions
Each of your employees has a unique combination of education, experience and perspective – utilize this to the fullest. Whether you are welcoming in new team members or promoting continuing education for your current employees, you can leverage your team’s expertise. If one of your employees has created a new process for your team that increases efficiency, ask them to share their screen to demonstrate how it works. If there are only one or two team members that are familiar with a certain technology, ask them to put together a deck to share with the rest of the team.
Bonus: This is a great way for new team members to meet their colleagues and become comfortable with asking questions.
Team building doesn’t need to take place strictly in the office. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that give back to your community while providing opportunities for collaboration and deepening the sense of teamwork in your employees individually and as a group.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Volunteer at a food bank
Assemble care packages for local domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, or group foster homes, or to send through organizations like Red Cross to aid in disaster
Pick up trash at the beach, in parks, or on hiking trails
Volunteer at an animal shelter
Grow a community garden, either at a community garden site or even at your office if you have space for it
Plant trees in your neighborhood through a local organization
Pro bono work, if that is a possibility in your industry
Write letters to individuals living in residential care facilities
Take a cooking class
Cooking can be a fun, collaborative activity, but it can also become stressful. This is a great opportunity for your employees to work together to find solutions to challenging problems while under pressure. Keep it lighthearted, encourage creative collaboration, and share a great meal afterward to revel in the fruits of your collective labor.
Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP supports your company by supporting your employees. Reach out today at 1-800-543-5080 to learn how an EAP can help boost team morale and collaboration.