As he worked on drafting the Articles of Confederation, which would serve as the first Constitution for the new United States of America, Benjamin Franklin noted that “it is difficult to get 13 clocks to chime at the same time.” Your organization isn’t a brand new nation, but it can be just as tough to get your team members working together. Here are a few tips for team building.
Set Goals and Milestones
You can’t expect everyone to be on the same page if they don’t understand the overall plan. Set companywide and team-based goals, and use visuals to show your employees how everything fits together in a cohesive whole. Break down large goals into milestones, and celebrate reaching each milestone.
Strive to create a safe, nonjudgmental forum for team members to share ideas. Empower them to take risks, even if they fail. Encourage them to think outside the box and give all ideas serious consideration.
Practice Active Team Building
Whether you host virtual dance parties for remote workers or buy pizzas for everyone at your worksite, proactive team building will help employees feel more comfortable at work. Choose diversions that encourage everyone to relax and get to know each other. You should be there as well, participating in activities even if you’re not good at them and showing that while you are serious about work, you don’t take yourself too seriously.
Use the Same Tools
Especially if some of your team members are working remotely, it’s extremely important that everyone has access to the same tools. Otherwise, you may have splinter groups develop as different parts of your teamwork in tools that others don’t use. You may also lose a lot of productivity if team members are constantly converting documents back and forth between different versions.
No matter how open you keep the lines of communication, your employees will notice if their suggestions never go anywhere. Involve team members in deciding which proposals to move forward. Make it fun rather than hyper-competitive, and be sure not to play favorites.
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