You’ve got some great employees with a high level of individual skills, but they’re just not working well together. Collaborative working is vital to a successful business, and employees need to feel like a real team to be productive. Here are five tips to encourage team working in your office.
1) Identify and resolve existing issues
If there’s a problem among team members you need to sort this out before implementing any other plans. If someone is holding a grudge against another person it will be impossible for them to work well together until this is resolved. Possible problems may include one team member not meeting deadlines, disagreements about how to proceed with a project or a personality clash. It’s important to address any problems within the team as soon as possible. If an issue persists for a long time it may be more difficult to resolve, and resentment may build up within the team. You may need to mediate between disgruntled employees and set clear guidelines for how to move forward in a proactive way.
2) Improve communication
Teams who don’t communicate with each other can’t function properly. You can encourage open communication by having regular meetings to discuss progress and give feedback. When leading a team meeting, make sure you include everyone and give individuals the opportunity to express their opinion openly. If employees feel like they are being listened to, communication will improve.
3) Create incentive programmes
You can encourage employees to work collaboratively by rewarding whole teams for a good performance. Implementing recognition programmes for meeting targets can foster a great team spirit. You can give out rewards, such as cash, vouchers or a bottle of wine. Using the company intranet to praise teams for their hard work will also make people feel appreciated. Just saying “thank you” and showing employees that you appreciate what they do makes a big difference to team morale.
4) Encourage social interaction
When employees get to know each other outside the office, they are more likely to work better together in the workplace. You can encourage this by taking the whole team out to lunch or arranging social activities, such as going to the pub together after work. For more in depth team building, an away day at an outdoor pursuits centre can be a great way for employees to relax and learn how to work well together. Activities such as raft building or negotiating a high ropes course can build trust – and you can all have a laugh!
5) Create the right workplace environment
Having an open and well thought out office space definitely makes a difference to team working. If individuals are all working in separate cubicles they may feel shut off and isolated from colleagues. By having an open office, people can see each other and are more likely to talk to one another, which promotes a friendly and relaxed environment. You can also encourage more social interaction by having a break room with sofas, where people can get away from their desks and have an informal catch up.
Having a successful team where people work well together will make your company more productive and can also reduce staff turnover. If employees get on well with their colleagues and value their team, they’re more likely to be happy at work – and less likely to leave.