The post is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.
There’s nothing better than when coworkers can work through problems and projects harmoniously, but to achieve a level of balance like that it often takes time, as well as the dedicated guidance of those in leadership positions.
Unfortunately, many workplaces have to contend with a lack of communication, trust, and morale. And all of these things play a significant role in how quickly teamwork flourishes in a working environment.
But it’s not that employees don’t desire workplace teamwork, it’s just that ways to do it naturally tend to escape management. The right way to encourage teamwork is to create purposeful conditions to encourage teamwork to develop. Here’s why it’s important to promote efficient workplace synergy.
Why It’s Important To Have Teamwork
- It makes it easier for coworkers to feel comfortable communicating, thus encouraging people to speak up about fresh, innovative ideas. When there’s no teamwork, employees may feel shy or insecure, and creative new ideas may fly under the radar.
- You’re likelier to problem-solve much quicker and more efficiently, because instead of a competitive tension surrounding your team, you’ll have coworkers who embrace each other’s strengths and use that tot he collective’s advantage.
- Employees will feel like there’s a sense of camaraderie in the workplace, which will lead to higher job satisfaction, and provide a safe space where everyone feels hears, and recognized for the value they bring to the table each and every day.
- When you teach people how to work together, it also teaches them to be more independent. When you foster an environment that highlights what people’s strengths and weaknesses are, employees will learn how to best contribute to projects on their own.
- Teamwork helps everyone figure out how to best use their skills so that they complement each other, so this is bound to make it so that teams are much more productive in less time.
- Teamwork also create a bit of healthy competition, and not necessarily among a team, but the team itself may feel inclined to work harder, better, and faster in order to surpass competitors, which as someone in a leadership position, is always an important goal.
Tips To Improve Teamwork
You can’t immediately blame those at the bottom of the corporate ladder for not getting it together quickly enough. If there’s an issue at the bottom, there’s likely an issue at the top. If you’re a leader, make sure you’re living up to your title and lead your team by example, because grassroots employees will be looking to their management for guidance.
Good communication is the key to good relationships, but not just romantic ones. Your workplace will thrive off of dedicated time to communicate ideas, brainstorms, or even request feedback. While employees won’t agree with each other every time, they’ll at least have specific period where they’ll be able to work through those differences.
When people think of team-building, they think of having to go on purposeless retreats where there might not be any real effort to get everyone to learn to work together, not unless you count a s’mores assembly line. These exercises can be short, sweet, and address specific challenges your team is facing so that they learn how to get through it together in the future.
Rules don’t have to suddenly make everything super serious and strict; rather, they’re just meant set measures that will help your team stay on track, and ensure their overall productivity. Establish rules that provide guidance on when and how often the team will meet, being honest about their concerns, and respecting out-of-office boundaries like no calling when people are not on the clock.
Give Employees A True Purpose
Your employees need to know what they’re working toward, and why they’re putting in all this effort. Having a clear purpose will help everyone have a definitive path toward your final goal, while keeping everyone motivated along the way.
It can be very discouraging for employees to go above and beyond, and then not be recognized for their wonderful work. When employees are rewarded and recognized, they will have overall great job satisfaction, and be more motivated to continue doing their best every day. This is also true for teams, because if each team member is empowered, they are likely to want to strengthen their bond. Some ways you can recognize your team members for their hard work, are:
- Vacation days
- Telling them in-person!
- Company-wide emails
Upgrade Your Office
Your office space should be conducive to teamwork, by making everyone accessible to one another, as well as equipping the space with modern tools that allow for effective communication. This includes updated conference rooms, and any other spaces that should be equipped for working on group projects. Cubicles are a thing of the past and tend to create distance, and make people feel alienated.
Team building can happen even when you’re not working, in fact, when you can relax and take a break from the pressure of work together, it can actually cause increased a higher level of productivity. Take your team out for coffee, or lunch. Any time you can get together outside of a formal work environment, is the perfect chance to bond and improve interpersonal communication.
Highlight Your Employees’ Strengths
While being honest about the areas in which your employees need a little improvement is acceptable, focusing on their strengths is really where you’ll motivate them to shine. The bottom line is, everyone is different and we all have things we need to work on, but highlighting what someone is good at will encourage them to work harder, and feel better about the value they contribute to the team.
Embrace Different Points Of View
When you put a bunch of people together from different backgrounds and potentially different belief systems, things can get a little tricky. People are bound to have disagreements, but the important thing is what happens when one comes along. Help your teammates accept that others will do or say things you disagree with, but as long as no one is getting hurt, they should take it in stride and try and use those disagreements to encourage teammates to work together.
If you’re particularly struggling with not feeling included at work, or like you don’t fit in, BetterHelp has a library of resources on how to improve your mood at work.
Celebrate When You Hit A Milestone
The most important thing you can do to boost synergy among your team is, of course to celebrate a victory! You’ve all worked so hard to get this done, even if you’re not all the way there yet, and you deserve to celebrate. Have a fun meeting or go outside the office to have lunch or drinks.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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