How to improve teamwork in the workplace

Collaboration and teamwork are important characteristics of a successful business, and there is a range of measures that can galvanise your people. Developing a sense of teamwork doesn’t have to rely on formal measures. It can come down to making small changes in your workplace that allow a sense of teamwork to develop organically.

Some business leaders can be unsure how to improve teamwork, but some simple strategies can be very effective to help your employees find common bonds.

Teamwork hinges on shared goals

It can be hard to encourage everyone to work together as a team if they don’t know what they are working towards.

Your employees need to know the goals that your company is working towards. And you need to be quite specific about how everyone contributes to reaching those goals. By understanding how everyone’s efforts are interdependent, it is a lot easier for your staff to develop a spirit of teamwork.

Reward great teamwork

Individual achievements are often recognised in the workplace. However, it is just as valuable to reward team efforts as this can encourage employees to go out of their way to support each other.

It may not be necessary to reward your entire team. A small group, or even a pair of workers, who have delivered excellent results should be acknowledged for their brilliant example of teamwork and celebrated as a source of inspiration for co-workers.

Encourage social get-togethers

There is no shortage of formal team-building events that businesses can pay to arrange. The problem is that these can be costly, and forcing people to participate is not always an effective way of creating a true team spirit. Instead, try encouraging something as simple as regular get-togethers.

A celebration of each staff member’s birthday during morning break, or a lunchtime picnic to acknowledge a job well done, lets your people to get to know one another on an informal basis. And it can build bonds that can carry over into the work environment.

Have a clear system for resolving conflict

Conflicts can easily arise in workplaces especially during busy periods when everyone is under pressure. Left unresolved, conflicts can damage morale, reduce productivity – and in the worst case, lead to loss of valuable staff members.

This highlights the need to have a system in place to resolve workplace conflict. Knowing how to manage conflict will prevent team spirit from being eroded, and small problems won’t be allowed to escalate into major issues that could impact the broader team.

Unite over a common cause

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives allow businesses to give back to their communities while also reinforcing the organisation’s goals and values among employees. CSR activities can also be an effective means of team bonding as they let employees discover first-hand how they can make a difference together.

Speak to your staff about the sorts of causes they are passionate about, find a common ground that appeals to everyone, and investigate the CSR activities available to your business that can let you unite as a team to make the world a better place.

Building teamwork doesn’t happen overnight but once the bonds between your employees have been creating, your organisation will reap the rewards of a happier, more productive workplace where people want to stay for the long term.

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