A common saying, attributed initially to American clergyman John Maxwell, says, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” If you can get your team working together, they can foster a culture of empowerment and hard work in which good ideas are generated quickly, and the workload is shared equitably. But getting multiple people on the same page isn’t easy. Here are some tips to help you encourage teamwork throughout your organization.
You can’t just throw a bunch of diverse people together and expect them to form a team. Use group activities, such as escape rooms, painting classes, or catered lunches to help break the ice. Once people get to know each other outside of the formal work environment, they’ll feel more comfortable listening, sharing, and collaborating with each other.
Too often, bosses treat teams as homogenous entities rather than groups of individuals. Every person on your team has unique interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Capitalize on this individuality by striving to give each team member responsibilities that truly suit them. Or allow the group to delegate individual responsibilities.
Teams get bogged down if the lines of communication don’t remain open. Schedule regular review meetings, and encourage teams and subcommittees to meet often. Solicit feedback and help teams come up with solutions to interpersonal difficulties.
The best ideas only surface when people are comfortable with taking risks. Even failures can be valuable learning opportunities. Put some guardrails in place, and then empower your employees to take creative risks. Reward collaboration, and don’t punish workers for ideas that don’t work out as planned.
Every goal should have actionable milestones along the way. Celebrate each milestone that the team achieves, and consider giving individual contributors a small reward such as a gift card.
No matter how talented your team members are, they still need the basic tools for success. From meeting space to budget to equipment, well-equipped and supported teams have the opportunity to shine.
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