Team building, team culture and collaboration are essential factors in all our lives. When you think about it, an effective team is crucial for success. Whether we are talking about a sports team, a retail team, a management team, a band, or a crew, working together is the difference between success and failure.
Team building can happen at any level in an organisation, not just limited to the executive ranks. Most people have jobs requiring them to work as part of a larger group or team. There is no reason why they shouldn’t take advantage of opportunities to focus on team building.
Team building isn’t just about fun activities like paintballing on company time – although, during my time at Flight Centre, we encouraged that kind of thing, in fact, it was a significant part of the culture!
It’s about creating a community where everyone knows each other better beyond their job title or support function. This helps create stronger relationships among team members regardless of if they’re across parts of the organisation or at different levels within one department – meaning less competition between peers and more collaboration which ultimately leads to increased productivity and better outcomes.
The great resignation or the great disconnection?
In all the headlines around the numbers of people leaving their jobs, there’s an underlying message about the why. Disconnection is increasingly showing up as part of the problem. Gallup data showed it’s less an industry, role or pay issue than it is a workplace issue. This disconnect between what the C-Suite thinks is happening and the experience of frontline employees is particularly acute in the tightest part of the labour market: younger people starting their careers. The sense of belonging that comes with being part of a team is hugely important to the millennial cohort.
What is a team?
Simply, it is a group working toward accomplishing a common mission or specific objective. Sometimes teams are created for short periods to complete a project, for example. Other teams work together for years, with members coming and going over time.
What makes a great team?
Many sports teams have superstar players, which can lead to great results. Still, in the world of work, a great team recognises the abilities and contributions of each individual. Research backs it up, finding that ‘working within a bonded team of colleagues helps develop interactive routines that harness the unique talents of each team member.’ In other words, the more a team works together, the more each individual can perform at the top of their game.
People can work well together and get great results when they understand each other.
The structure that supports great teams is the environment. I spend time with my clients working on their environment, which is about how people feel when they come to work and is only as good as the business leaders. Leaders create the environment and provide the conditions for teams to thrive.
An environment that supports teamwork and results puts a focus on the following:
1. A common vision
2. Building and valuing relationships
3. Harnessing connection
4. Creating ownership
5. Valuing and appreciating people (all of them).
Daily opportunities boost team bonding – even five minutes of catching up on weekend events can bring the team closer together. Take the time to communicate with your teams and clarify the goals and how individuals can contribute.
Increasingly the customer experience is the employee experience. Creating a great employee experience should be a goal for any future-focused business.