Team spirit in the workplace

Creating a sense of ‘team’ within the workplace is essential in any employee motivation strategy as this is the best way to ensure that a workforce can come together to produce positive results. A team is essentially like an engine, it requires regular maintenance and careful attention to any squeaks, leaks or rattles that arise in order to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible and continues to work hard without stalling. A team can be considered as a series of cogs which need to move in the same direction together, cohesively, for any operation to work at its most effective.

Team building events can be used for staff training and development, or even one-off hits to address a particular issue. They are most effective as part of a wider ongoing motivation and reward programme that will also address issues such as staff retention and morale. These techniques are used extensively in call centre environments where staff are typically organised into teams with performance measures and therefore rewards are focused around those teams.

It is essential to identify underlying issues behind the need for such events in order to get the best return on an investment in team-building incentives. It may be that a workforce could benefit from simple bonding time in a non-work environment or, more commonly, there may be specific aspects of the team dynamic that need addressing such as: communication, trust, delegation, time management, leadership, problem solving or fear. Once this has been identified, guidance from a specialist in employee motivation will enable an organisation to create an effective team-building strategy that will be tailored to meet the specific needs of each department.

Following a successful team-building event, it is imperative that staff continue to maintain the positive relations that have been fostered. A good way of achieving this is to offer incentive rewards which recognise when team-work focused objectives have been achieved. This could be when teams have demonstrated different skill sets, perhaps compromising to overcome barriers such as working from different locations, personality clashes and power struggles, co-ordinating conflicting schedules, and then working together as one unit to achieve a result.

It is important to recognise how every team member has contributed to the success through debriefing and feedback before offering rewards that can be enjoyed by the team collectively. This could be ordering in pizzas for lunch, arranging a social event or just popping down to the pub together to celebrate the success. Whatever the reward, allow the team to select it democratically, further cementing the ideals of working together.

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