You spend at least 8 hours every day at the office. You work with them, chat with them, eat lunch with them, and more — they’re basically your family away from home. But just like any family, creating an environment where these people actually feel like family takes effort. You need to have a shared sense of purpose that everyone is striving to achieve. If you’re feeling stumped, here are some ways to get started:
Foster Productive Open Dialogue
Part of building a team is being able to communicate effectively with one another. This means that all members of the team need to contribute to achieve success. Evaluating employees’ communication skills first can help you determine areas of weakness that may need training. There is a difference between talking to fill the silence and engaging in meaningful conversation. Productive dialogue involves the give and take of ideas. When dealing with hurt feelings, modifiers need to be added to the conversation. This means that one person states how the other person made them feel without laying blame for the situation.
Establish Rules for Interactions
Just as in a family, there must be rules that lay out ways to have positive interactions with each other. There also needs to be clear avenues for how to address grievances. You want your team to feel as though they’re valued. Everyone has something different that they can contribute to the team. Having ground rules can make these interactions more productive for the entire workplace.
Participate in Team Building Workshops
Team building workshops are a good way to get everyone on board. It’s most effective if you do this by signing up for structured courses. These programs are designed to engage everyone that attends, often involving group activities. The point of the activity is so that your team can learn how to work together to achieve a goal. The instructor can observe the interactions and make suggestions to correct behavioral problems. After the workshop, teams often experience “improved productivity, greater bottom-line results, and more quickly attain organizational goals” (CMOE Corporate Team Building Workshops).
Encourage Active Listening
Active listening is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally, but it can be learned. Those that practice active listening are more likely to be successful at work. This means listening to what the other person is saying before formulating your response. Repeat back what you think you heard. This way there won’t be any misunderstandings. This can lead to a more harmonious workplace and can also foster an environment of respect and trust.
Even the best technology and business models can’t succeed with successful relationships (Forbes). Having good workplace dynamics improves productivity, employee morale, and the quality of work produced. A large part of this involves communication. In order for your team to be successful, pretend you’re a family and work together.
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