Great team spirit can be challenging to create, but it’s something that every company wishes to develop to succeed. Every employee would prefer to be part of a great team environment rather than one full of meaningless conflicts or unpleasant behavior. But how do successful organizations build a strong team spirit?
Build from the top
While productive and harmonious relationships between employees can develop at a grassroots level, no organization should leave team building to chance. A company’s leaders play a critical role in fostering good team spirit. You should expect good leadership to be clear about the company’s core values, setting an example, and upholding what the company stands for. In turn, leaders must also hold each employee to the same standards.
For instance, if fairness and respect are among your company values, a leader can’t be seen tolerating incidents of dishonesty among employees, or take no action when a worker reports that they have been harassed or disrespected by colleagues or supervisors. Good leaders set the tone for everyone else to follow, and actively develop open lines of communication that narrow the perceived distance to authority, making it easier for each employee to both speak up and comply with directives, as needed.
Get everyone involved
All companies want to hire the right people – that’s why would-be employees must go through an application process and interview. Ideally, you want to work with a team made up of like-minded individuals who all work hard and have diverse skill sets that complement one another. Yet that’s rarely the case; colleagues can have disagreements, while some workers seem to prefer less involvement or socializing than others.
The great news is that relationships can be improved, and shared experience is a significant factor in building team spirit. If you don’t have a dream team from the outset, that shouldn’t prevent you from participating in upcoming activities or taking the initiative to involve more colleagues in projects. Suppose you were assigned to come up with a graphic design to be printed on custom workwear so that your team can show unity at a company event; it may be your responsibility, but if you gather input from everyone at the office, the final uniform will be a true team creation which everybody can be proud of.
Foster more interactions
Good leadership and open communication between each member of the team are essential to building team spirit, but the actual workplace can also exert a significant influence on how people interact each day. The rigid structure of the office cubicle does little to encourage interaction or collaboration, so an office layout with areas that can accommodate informal huddles or discussions will help. Green spaces outside are another example of common areas that are conducive to hanging out in a less formal setting.
If your company supports remote working or is mostly comprised of employees with remote working arrangements, being separated both by distance and irregular schedules can make it hard to create a collaborative environment. Without imposing on the remote workers to report frequently to the office, you can overcome this challenge by taking training together, as an example. This encourages people to be more open with each other and interact more frequently.
Using these tips, you can begin to embody more of the qualities of a good leader and encourage your organization to build a stronger team spirit.