You’ve diligently hired a team of well-qualified employees and trained them to adequately perform their jobs. Everything should be great, right?
Putting together a group of people does not necessarily create a team, and a cohesive team is necessary for any small business to operate and creates a positive work environment, where employees want to be day-in and day-out.
It’s up to the business owner to ensure that employees come together, create a sense of team spirit and operate as one. Human resource websites are full of tips and ideas for what to do, but they all seemingly agree on one thing: use team-building techniques that are enjoyable and effective.
Here are some other ideas that experts and other business owners report as being most effective:
• Volunteer: Participating in a community activity builds communication skills among your employees and gives them an opportunity to give back and work on something together that gives them meaning. A local non-profit organization can help you get started on a project.
• Get moving: Physical activities can be fun and improve your employees’ health. Focus on participation, not competition, and select activities that can be physically accessible to a wide range of people such as hiking, bicycling, canoeing or even attending a sporting event.
• Take trips: Give your employees a chance to learn something new without making them feel like it’s a waste of time. This includes trips to other businesses to learn about new products, services or the industry, as well as training opportunities through professional
conferences or trade shows.
• Eat together: Provide a shared lunch time once a month or host a dinner outing to give employees time to eat together and talk.
• Delegate: Ensure that you give your employees tasks that make them feel useful and show you don’t think you need to do everything. Assign different groups of employees to work together on various projects to boost more interaction across the team.
• Celebrate: Reward your employees for a job well done. There are hundreds of ways to show an employee that you appreciate what he or she does for your company. Use these celebrations to inspire and motivate other employees to work harder.
• Communicate: Hold weekly or monthly meetings to give your employees a chance to voice any issues that may have arisen at work. This will give the team a chance to respond and correct the situation or potential problem before it becomes a threat to the company.
• Have fun: Order pizza if employees need to stay late. Bring in a foosball table. Create a small space — or a larger one depending on the office layout — and furnish it with comfortable seating where employees can take a break and hang out.
Experts also warn that all employees are different, so keep that in mind when developing team-building activities. Also, be mindful of cliques that form among groups of employees that could cause resentment or impede the mission of the business and its growth. ♦