Successful team-building is an essential feature of a well-functioning organisation. Classic team-building exercises in the workplace such as workshops are still a great way to . However, there are many more ways to more cohesively bond your team members together based on understanding the behavioural traits that lead to effective team building.
Building an effective team is like developing any relationship, it requires practice. As the aforementioned classical team-building exercises are a one off event, they aren’t as effective at developing and maintaining truly effective teams compared to other activities. Here are my top 4 tips for improving team building:
1. The team that runs together, stays together
Organising a social running team for your workplace is a great way to build up your team. Not only will this encourage socialising and bonding within your team, the exercise will be good for the health and well-being of your employees.
Exercise has been shown to be particularly effective in reducing the incidence of lifestyle associated diseases such as diabetes heart disease and cancer but also will improve the mental health of your employees. This improved well-being will be compounded with the effect of the social stimulus to improve employee engagement.
2. Make office lunch time a social event
A study looking at independent risk factors for mortality showed social isolation to be one of the highest causes of mortality even compared with smoking. Therefore it cannot be underestimated how beneficial improving the social quotient of your employees will be.
Socialising is important. Not only will improving the social atmosphere of the team improve the “team spirit”, but also makes employees feel closer to the coworkers and to collaborate more effectively at work.
3. Celebrate office parties more frequently than Christmas
Similarly, the importance of the social atmosphere at work should be demonstrated to be a priority in the workplace culture. Only celebrating once a year at Christmas time is not sufficient will only appear to be a token celebration and will not make your employees feel that you actually care about providing a social environment. You may feel that caring about the social life of your employees is somewhat frivolous, but it cannot be understated how effective a social environment is in enabling your employees to work effectively as a team. The office celebrations that you organise do not need to be an excuse to drink and get drunk. An event as simple as an office weekend picnic or lunchtime barbecue is sufficient to encourage socialisation between your employees. This type of collaborative exercise is important to build the social aspects of a team, not just the solely work placed purposes.
4. Acknowledge good work, reward effort
Not only should you express gratitude for the work of employees, but gratitude should in turn encourage employees to express gratitude for the work of their colleagues. To do this, organize company meetings where employees are encouraged to call out others achievements. Even acknowledging the hard work of people in a daily standup should be enough to acknowledge the hard work of everyone.
All of these activities have one thing in common: regularity. In team building, this is the most important thing to consider. Creating a social environment for cohesive team-building is not a one-stop shop. Providing regular opportunities and regular encouragement of socialisation at work, gives the best chance of developing an effectively collaborative team and maximising productivity.