The workplace departments are like football teams in the field. Achieving of goals and objectives is all teamwork. Just like strikers, midfielders and defenders and goalkeepers in the football teams, every team member in your department has a specific role to play in the ultimate attainment of departmental goals. This means that without teamwork you will have everyone pulling in their own direction and you will end up with strife, conflict and confusion in the team instead of hitting your goals.
As a manager, your greatest aspiration should be building a great team and fostering a strong team spirit within your department members since this will guarantee unity in goal pursuit, keen focus on what’s important and a harmony in your department. Teamwork and team spirit are not aspects that can be achieved overnight. They require constant work and commitment. So how do you achieve this? The tips below may shed some light.
Encourage Open Communication in the Team
Communication is key in any relationship. People sometimes differ in opinion and ideals in relation to different concepts. Such differences have the potential of planting seeds of discord or even conflict in a team. As the manager, encourage regular and open communication in your team. Make it easy for people to approach you with concerns, ideas and issues, and work on your listening skills. Communication is the glue that keeps the team connected and on the same page.
Identify Common Goals and Objectives
It is very important for a team to pull in the same direction. There is no use of harmony and like-mindedness if the team doesn’t know what they are working towards. It is important that communicate in good time what the team is working towards for that particular time (week, month, or quarter). Ensure every member of your team understands the role they need to play and how it feeds into the ultimate goal.
Involve the Team in the Planning Stages
People respond better to initiatives they feel a sense of belonging or ownership towards. It is your responsibility as a manager to provide direction and ultimate goal. Then involve the team in the ‘how’ to get there. You will be surprised by the constructive feedback you will get and the ideas you didn’t even consider before. Once you agree on the process and modalities, hitting the targets will not be a problem.
Encourage Equal Contribution
Tasks in departments require equal input from all involved. If someone in your department feels overwhelmed and think others in the department do not do as much, they are likely to become resentful. Find a way to recognise members who put in more than others and make them feel appreciated, while at the same time be keen to ensure they don’t take on more than they can actually manage. Also, encourage others to take up more tasks and grow in capacity. As the manager, you are responsible for the division of tasks. Make sure it is fair, and encourage collaboration.
Collate the Strengths
Once you ensure that you have the right people in the team, make it a point to understand them. Study their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for growth. Speak to them and ensure that they are self-aware too. After this, use this knowledge to pair team members for tasks they are likely to perform optimally basing on their strengths. This will ensure that apart from improved performance, you will have a happy team because everyone will be doing a task that is supported best by their individual strength.
Provide Regular Feedback on Progress
Regular feedback is like the much-needed oiling and service to a machine in a manufacturing plant. It keeps the morale going and enthusiasm high. No one wants to sit in a mid-year or annual review meeting and be reminded of mistakes they made early in the year. People prefer to get feedback on the go. It doesn’t have to be a ceremony where you invite the individual to a boardroom with the hr present. It can be done on a weekly basis where you have a short stand-up meeting with each of your team members and go through the happenings of the week and chart a way for the next week. This way, your team will always be on the right track and everyone will be sure of what is expected of them.
Building winning teams takes time and commitment. However, when you begin to see and feel a change in the overall attitude, team spirit comes alive and targets get knocked off the list easily, you will know it was worth it.
Do you have a team building idea or story? Share with us in comments.