Building a great team requires great leadership. If you notice your team is not as productive as usual, they seem burnt out, they have a lack of motivation, or they seem distracted, then it is time to step up and implement some team building strategies. There are many team building strategies out there, but I would like to share four that I believe can help out every team leader.
Have Clear Expectations
At the beginning of every week, our marketing team has a meeting to establish our goals for the week. We meet again at the end of the week to review those goals and see how we did during the week. This is a great way to make your expectations clear to your team and get their feedback. Studies have shown that a lack of clear performance expectations is one of the main reasons employees are not productive at work. With that said, having weekly meetings with your team should become an ongoing thing. This way, you can find out exactly how your employees are feeling and if they have any questions or concerns that they would like to express to you. Other than managers setting goals with their teams, the whole management team should be transparent with all employees and communicate their expectations to all employees before each quarter, and they also should schedule performance evaluation at the end.
Encourage and Facilitate Communication
Just like managers should be transparent with their employees, employees should be transparent with their managers. Sometimes employees might not be happy at work or have something bothering them but are too scared to communicate that to their superiors. It is a good idea to have an open door policy and encourage your employees to pay you a visit whenever they have time. Have a conversation with them, joke around, give them advice, or whatever it may be, just make them feel welcome. Sometimes, when working in a team, issues between employees may happen. Maybe someone is not doing their part, or someone is wanting to take control over a certain project and not include the rest of their team; whatever the case may be, employees should feel good about speaking up and confronting that person. If by any reason that employee doesn’t listen, then the employees should be able to go to their manager and talk about the situation in order to come up with a solution. We’ve all heard the phrase “There is no ‘i’ in ‘team”, and that is true even in the workplace. Employees should understand that when working in a team, they need to be open to other people’s suggestions and opinions.
Have Regular Brainstorming Sessions
This is a great way to practice the previous section, communication. During brainstorming sessions, people can throw out ideas, suggestions, concerns, and opinions. All employees should feel free to do this, without having the fear of their peers judging them. Everyone should be open to everyone else’s input, as well as others’ criticism, as long as it is constructive. At first having a “moderator” is probably a good idea, especially if there are new people joining a team. The moderator should be a supervisor or even a manager, and they should explain to the whole group how they expect the brainstorming session to go. You will start to notice that over time, your team will become more united and in turn, more productive. By having everyone’s input, your team will come up with great ideas and solutions for situations the department may be facing.
Take Advantage of the Onboarding Process
If you are planning on, or are in the process of, hiring someone to join your department, then you’ve probably already reviewed all the candidates. Once you have selected the candidate whom you believe will be the best addition to your team, you will have to onboard them properly. This is a great time to share your goals and expectations with your new employee. The onboarding process is when employees learn the most about the company, their coworkers, and their managers. If you are using an onboarding software, then you know that this process will not take long and will be seamless. A good onboarding software such as Dominion’s will allow you to delegate tasks to your new hire. Normally these tasks are tasks such as setting up direct deposit, completing important forms, or other tasks like that. But why not take advantage of this feature and include tasks that will help that new hire get to know their team? You can include tasks such as learning something interesting about their coworkers, for example. The onboarding process is when employees get their first impression of what they are getting themselves into, so make sure you share as much information with them as you can, but also make it fun and be creative with the features your onboarding software has.
Like I mentioned before, it takes great leadership skills to build a great team. By having a great team, you are creating a better culture, and therefore, a better workforce. Are you a great leader? Check out this infographic for tips to help you improve your leadership skills.