There is power in well-developed synergy. It is one thing to get a group of talented individuals, but it is another different issue if you are encouraging them to work well as a team. Teamwork offers a host of benefits not otherwise present in a very individualist scenario. It includes more ideas, brainstorming power, consistent flow of energy for work and a very happy working environment. If you have teamwork in your office, it will produce a ripple effect that will have more and more people drawn to working with and joining your team. On the other hand, a poorly managed team involves hostility, low employee turnout and various problems that affect work productivity. Here are the steps to building teamwork in the office:
- Have team building activities outside the office. Excursions, field trips and beach outings are good ways to break through the initial personal barriers and establish friendship. Releasing inhibitions makes everyone in the team open for interplay or exchange of ideas. This will also help you get to know your team well.
- Properly discuss the group goals. Discuss group goals through e-mail blasts, announcements, and regular meetings that will update the team of where they are and where they are headed. This will help them peg their goals on the group's main aim.
- Communicate frequently. This can never be under emphasized. Proper communication is needed so that no individual feels by-passed or left out of the whole team effort. Make sure that you are able to foster good communication between the team members. A good design of office cubicle layouts may help strike the balance between personal privacy and interpersonal approachability.
- Divide the work accordingly. Make sure that everyone gets a fair share of the workload pie to avoid resentments and other scruples that steal the team's capacity to maximize their strengths.
- Value each link and commend team's efforts with a reward strategy. Each link in your team must be valued. In case targets are reached, commend the whole team, not just key individuals, to downplay competition and promote synergistic action.
- Keep the job descriptions clear. Problems occur when one member of the team does more or less than what is rightfully his job. You can avoid this if you keep the job descriptions clear. If possible, have a flowchart diagram handy to remind your team members of where they are and what their role is in the big picture.
- Consider personality types. Clashing personality types and working styles, including cultural differences, also affect the ability to promote or build teamwork. Make sure you are able to have your members take a personality test at least once, and have them get acquainted with how to deal with each other's personality profile. A good test includes Myer Briggs Typology.
- Empower each member of the team. Each member must not just feel like part of a team, but cherished as an individual still. Enhance and encourage your team members for their unique talents and have them serve others in the team with that talent to further promote a spirit of service and good will.
- Have occasional ice breakers. Excursions are not always available. Mini-excursions in the form of snack sessions and other ice breakers in the middle of the work day can help build teamwork.