Your marketing company’s efforts to grow and succeed are either pushed forward or pulled back to the degree that your employees are able to work together as a team. Teamwork is something that everyone talks about, but few seem to know how to achieve it. Sure, people can be complicated, and what works for one organization might not necessarily work for yours. But there are some basic principles of fostering teamwork that seem to apply across the board. Try putting some of these team-building tips into play in your company and see how much of a difference they make.
Create a Team-Focused Culture
It all begins with leadership. As a manager, your actions, your words and your values set the tone in your organization. Everyone else takes their cue from you. So if you want to create a work environment that is more team-focused, that encourages teamwork and that builds in-house relationships, then it all starts with you.
So how can you build your organization’s sense of team identity? There are plenty of tactics and hacks that immediately come to mind. Can you picture an executive with his eyes closed, falling backwards and trusting everyone else to catch him? It sounds a little hokey, and maybe those gimmicks might not be right for your group. But they might get you thinking in the right direction.
Teamwork won’t happen by accident. That doesn’t mean you have to push everybody into it in an artificial way, but you do need to get involved. Start thinking of ways to do this. It might start out in subtle ways—maybe you could simply start using words like team, teamwork, us and our a little more deliberately. It’s a start.
Cross-train Your Employees
Once you begin shifting your mindset to be more inclusive and participatory, another great way to foster a team mentality is to start cross-training your employees. Pushing others out of their familiar roles from time to time can help everyone to see beyond their own cubicle and to get a grasp of the larger picture. This can foster greater appreciation for coworkers, and it can help each individual to make decisions that are not only good for them and their department but for the entire organization as a whole.
Allow Workers to Use Their Strengths
One of the most powerful methods for boosting productivity—especially on a large-scale basis—is to enable people in your organization to focus on their strengths. When people are able to do work that they love, they put a lot more effort into it and are far more productive. They feel happier and achieve a greater sense of satisfaction from their work.
Now, sometimes this might mean that you’ll need to give your team more freedom to explore their career paths within your company. And you might also need to empower them to make decisions without you. That can be scary for you, if you’ve never done it. But if you’ve hired good people, then there’s nothing to fear. You will unleash their potential, and your whole organization will benefit from it.
There are many ways to improve communication in your company, including an overhaul of your current practices in terms of meetings, committees and communications technology. But one of the best ways to improve communication and build your team’s effectiveness can be to utilize group messaging apps. Sure, memos are great, but this isn’t 1985. There are better ways to communicate and share information at the speed of thought, so don’t limit your team to outdated, slower methods. Let them use the technology at their fingertips to eliminate barriers and work together more smoothly.
Reward Excellent Performance at the Group Level
Everybody wants to be appreciated, and one of the best ways to show your appreciation to your employees is to reward them for a job well done. But sometimes your efforts to build people up can actually work against you—and them. Instead of only focusing on individual rewards, try letting your team work together to come up with goals and rewards that they can work toward as a team. This can go a long way to cement their relationships and unify their efforts toward a common goal.
Keep in mind that many of these ideas work best as they are implemented together. Improved communication combined with empowerment and group rewards create a synergistic effect that will raise your whole team to a higher level.