By Lydia Vargo
“Teamwork” is a buzzword in the corporate world, but it still has tangible effects on your bottom line. In fact, organizations with better teamwork have employees who are more engaged — no matter the demographics, workplace or work status.
But building a team — especially in a remote environment — can often feel easier said than done. While meme Slack channels and Zoom happy hours can boost bonding and morale, it is imperative that you create a framework for stronger collaboration and overall teamwork to ensure long-term success.
Follow these four tips to encourage more communication, collaboration and teamwork at your workplace.
1. Build Camaraderie With Healthy Competition
Who doesn’t love a good game? When you gamify certain aspects of the workplace, like setting sales targets or customer ticket resolution targets, you can create a team-oriented environment.
Consider this: One research study shows 25% of employees break under the pressure of competition, while another 50% benefits from it. Although competition creates an air of excitement at work, you have to approach it carefully. The last thing you want to do is demoralize your team or make anyone feel insecure.
The key is to understand the makeup of your team before implementing gamified work or competition. A simple anonymous survey can help you determine if your team would benefit from a friendly competition or if it would be unwelcome.
2. Create A Culture Of Support
If anyone on your team has ever said “That’s not my job,” you might have a problem with support at your organization. Unsupported employees can feel resentful at work, and that’s the last thing you need!
If you want employees to support each other, you need to support them first. Most people respond better to positive reinforcement rather than negative punishment. If you want to see a change in behavior then creating a supportive culture is critical.
Some key ways to do this are by:
• Investing in their talents with regular check-ins and paid training.
• Defining their individual goals in a clear, quantifiable way.
• Prioritizing what matters most instead of micromanaging.
• Acknowledging or rewarding them for their efforts.
• Being available to your team with regular one-on-ones or casual chats.
3. Share Goals As A Team
It’s hard to work as a team if you don’t share goals. You want to create quantifiable goals that you can measure and review as a team. Work with your team to create a shared vision for the future. This could include key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:
• Total sales.
• Unified Goals.
• New deals closed.
• Deadlines met.
• Improved customer satisfaction.
• Funding milestones met.
It is important to ensure that no understood goals work against each other, which will make it impossible for your team to get results. For example, you should never task your team with cutting your web development budget if improving the customer experience and UI is simultaneously requested.
You’ll want to track individual progress on goals, however, the purpose of team goals is to measure your performance as a collective. When you have that kind of tracking in place, it’s easier for your team to hold each other accountable for their shared goals
Whatever the goal, make sure your team is there to support each other with their shared goals.
4. Encourage Personal Drive And Accountability
A motivated team doesn’t leave any room for micromanagement. While it’s important to understand your performance on a team level, each individual in the team needs to perform at their best, too.
For this reason, you need to encourage personal drive and accountability with every employee. As a leader, it is your job to create a culture of empowerment to drive responsibility, respect and accountability on an individual basis.
How does one do that?
• By setting clear expectations for each employee, including their daily responsibilities, deadlines and KPIs.
• Providing continuous feedback to those on your team, both on a formal and informal basis.
• Publicly praising employees for their great work.
• Trusting your team to get the work done.
• Focusing on solving problems, not placing blame.
If you feel like your teamwork is on life-support, it’s best to start managing at the individual level. When the individual players are performing at a higher level, your team will quickly follow suit.
The Bottom Line
Without a team-oriented culture in place, you risk pitting employees against each other and sabotaging your own success. Teamwork is one of the best ways to move your business forward. No matter the size of your business, you need to ensure that all team members are working in sync for overall growth. Follow these four best practices to go beyond ordinary team-building and establish a workplace that you can be proud of.
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Priority Management is a worldwide training company with 55 offices in 15 countries. We have successfully trained more than two million graduates in Priority workshops. Our programs help companies and people be more effective and manage their workflow in and out of the office by providing tools, processes and discipline. Simply put – A Better Way To Work! Clients range from Fortune 500 companies, small-to-medium businesses and government/military employees.
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