Even if it was once a well-oiled machine, a team can stumble under the weight of excessive workloads, personal conflict, and poor management. Resentment festers as their needs are neglected, and these negative feelings can turn a team into an uncoordinated shadow of itself.
As team leader, it’s your responsibility to identify and address any issues before they affect the success of your team. As you develop a plan to keep the individual members on staff supported and motivated, consider the following tips to improve teamwork in the office.
1. Formerly Recognize Individual’s Contributions
There is no ‘I’ in team, but your team is made up of individuals who play different roles to ensure the group succeeds. If their efforts aren’t appreciated properly, their motivation will wane. Celebrate the members who make up your team by formerly recognizing the part they play in each project.
Remember actions speak louder than words. In addition to complimenting them on a job well done, implement a reward system that benefits the whole team whenever specific goals are reached. Don’t limit these incentives to larger projects. Scatter these rewards throughout a project to keep everyone motivated from start to finish.
2. Encourage Effective Communication at All Levels
As per your request. I saw your email to Stacey. As previously stated. We shouldn’t make a habit of relying on this overused corporate jargon. Highly-politicized, insincere, and passive-aggressive, many of the words that make up office-speak can lead to miscommunication and resentment.
As team leader, you must lead by example. Try to eliminate these buzzwords from your lexicon and ensure any communications are positive, compassionate, and, most importantly, straightforward.
You should also encourage the members of your team to speak up, ask questions, and suggest alternatives. Create a culture of tolerance that lets your team feel comfortable about speaking their mind.
The benefits are two-fold. Not only will they feel as though their professional opinions matter, but you’ll also benefit from any improvements they decide to share.
3. Create a Distinctive Team Identity
Distinguish yourself from other parts of the office by creating a distinctive team identity. A nickname (beyond just the department you work in) and a team uniform go a long way to creating a sense of belonging. You may not be able to tweak the office dress code, or wear a jersey like your favorite MLB team, but you can provide a uniform for the gadgets your team uses daily.
Let’s say you all were provided with a work iPhone 6s at the start of your project. You can equip each of your team in identical iPhone 6s skins in company colors or textures. Whether you choose a singular true color or an exclusive dbrand texture, this “uniform” can help foster solidarity with the team. It doesn’t hurt that the best iPhone 6s skins are also scratch-free and grime-resistant.
Your efforts help to level the playing field. Everyone on the team, regardless of the role they play or their seniority, will have the same look. Though a simple addition to the phone itself, these skins can create a sense of equality that proves no individual is more important than the next.
4. Encourage Life-Work Balance
When the finish line is in sight, everybody’s willing to put in overtime to reach their goal, but never confuse these momentary pushes as the new normal. No one should feel as though they need to sacrifice their personal life for their professional one to flourish.
Don’t assume your team knows where to draw the line. Make it clear what you expect out of each of them, and confirm they aren’t making common mistakes that disturb the life-work balance. Check in regularly to ensure workload is dispersed equally so no team member feels overwhelmed by the workload.
Encourage social activities when there isn’t a tight deadline adding strain to your team. Though fun and relaxing, these social events do a lot of heavy lifting. As people get more comfortable with one another outside of the confines of the office, they’ll build a sense of camaraderie that creates a supportive work environment. Put together, these little outings can go a long way to preserving the teamwork in your office.