Team Building Def
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As we continue our “Team” series, let's look at the most important team-building activity of them all – introducing new people to you!
This is arguably one of the hardest tasks in business, which is why it is often left up to chance or luck. More times than not, introductions either fail or only last a few minutes before there are no more pleasant conversations to be had.
By setting up some time with friends or colleagues for something other than a work meeting, you can use this opportunity to showcase who you are as a person and what you care about.
This article will talk you through how to make the best of these opportunities when they do come around. We'll go into detail on what types of people may need an introduction, and tips on how to play matchmaker and create your own fun experiences.
2) Make team members feel appreciated
As a leader, you will spend a lot of time making decisions that affect your team. You will also have to deal with different opinions about those decisions.
Making sure each member of your team feels appreciated is an integral part of ensuring they stay engaged and work hard for you.
Team members who feel valued and acknowledged make healthier work environments. If someone does not feel well-appreciated, it can hurt their productivity, engagement, and willingness to put in extra effort for the organization.
Give them compliments, acknowledge good achievements, and ask if there’s anything they would like to bring to your attention. These should be genuine, thought-out gestures that mean something to you as a person.
The best way to ensure that employees get the credit they deserve is by promoting self-awareness and teamwork. Find out what people are doing well and give them recognition for it!
In addition to boosting employee morale, this creates strong bonds between individuals and the organization.
3) Make it clear what is expected
As mentioned before, team-building activities can be expensive or free depending on how your organization defines them. If you work for an educational institution, then attending a sporting event is a great way to spend money as students will pay to watch you! For business, hosting a movie night or taking a group vacation are examples of cost-effective team-building experiences.
For both groups, making it clear what everyone needs to bring and what people should do during the activity is very important. This removes confusion and helps keep things organized.
For the movie night, people needed to bring their snacks and drinks which were provided by the organizers. People could also choose to contribute towards the costs if they wanted more advanced equipment like better headphones or bigger-sized screen phones.
It is good to know who covers what so that there is no awkward conversation about who paid for what. For the dinner party, buying food and having someone else prepare it is easier than finding something delicious yourself and then trying to find a cookware set up to have enough space for all the dishes.
Making sure each person has what they need ahead of time reduces stress and aids in successful teamwork. Everyone should feel comfortable and able to use the resources available to them without being asked repeatedly.”
Improving communication and teamwork skills is one of the biggest benefits of doing team-building exercises. Having these done at work is even greater since you will be working with others constantly.
4) Make it clear what is rewarded
As mentioned before, team building is creating an environment where people feel motivated to work together towards a common goal. This can be done through praise and acknowledgement of good job performances, as well as financial rewards for the effort put in.
It’s important to make sure that these reward systems are clearly understood so that they don’t create a sense of entitlement. For example, if someone works hard, then why should they get credit for their efforts?
By having transparent reward systems, you will keep morale high in the workplace. And without strong morale, your company won’t retain its top talent!
As a leader, making sure that your employees understand how their jobs fit into the bigger picture and how their responsibilities relate to others is one of the most effective ways to boost teamwork.
5) Make it clear what is expected of team members
As a leader, you’ll need to make it very clear what each member of your team should be doing and when they should do it. This will create consistency across the organization, which creates an environment in which everyone feels comfortable.
As a manager, there are times when someone may feel like their contribution isn’t being noticed or appreciated. If this happens, try talking to them about how they can help the rest of the team achieve its goals.
By giving more attention to others’ tasks, you’ll give them a feeling that they’re important to the company. You’ll also promote teamwork as people outside of the department will see the effort these individuals put into the project and get inspired by it.
If anyone feels overwhelmed or undervalued at work, talk to them about ways they can improve their performance so that they feel better about themselves and the workplace.
6) Make it clear what is expected of the team
As mentioned earlier, team building can mean many things to many people. Some feel that spending time together with no plans is not team building. Others may consider going out for pizza as team building. But we’re talking about something different here.
Team building as defined by MDP in this article means investing in each other’s growth and development. It includes activities like meeting for drinks or lunch once a week, coming to work at the same time every day, and asking around about how someone else on your team is doing.
This doesn’t just happen naturally though. You have to make it happen.
As a leader, you will spend a lot of time making decisions. Sometimes these will benefit only you, but more often than not they are intended to help others succeed too. When this happens, you should take note and reward them, but also ensure that they know who their allies are and what they can depend on them for.
If you don’t, then they could be left wondering why they were given an opportunity when everything indicates that they won’t get anything done if you’re around. This wouldn’t set well with anyone.
7) Be honest and straightforward
As mentioned before, team building is not just about having fun together, it is also about understanding each other and creating trust. Being honest and direct will help you achieve that.
As an organizer of a group activity, you may be faced with challenging situations. You may need to tell someone that they are doing something that cannot work or does not feel right. Or you may have to inform people that their behaviour has made it impossible to continue working together.
By being clear and open, you will allow for proper discussion and solutions.
If needed, you can always use effective communication tools like meeting in person, using video chat, texting, and voice messages to get through. Avoid hiding information, as this could create resentment down the line.
8) Be consistent
Consistency is one of the biggest factors in building trust within groups of people. If you are always there when your colleagues say they will be, then they feel comfortable coming to you for help or advice at any time.
If you keep saying you’ll do something, then do it! Don’t make promises you won’t keep – this way not only will people lose confidence in you, but also in themselves as to whether or not they can rely on you.
Once again, if you say you’re going to meet someone for lunch today, don’t miss it! Even if you have an important call that needs attending, just promise yourself that you’ll put things off until tomorrow and stay strong.
On a similar note, remember that everything you tell others about yourself is seen as true unless you give a reason why it isn’t.
9) Make it clear what is expected of team members
As mentioned earlier, team-building exercises should be focused on bringing out the best in people. This includes giving them adequate notice to prepare for their roles, as well as expectations around how they will perform those roles.
It also means being honest about what you expect from them- not just telling them what they need to know but being very direct and open with them.
This can sometimes mean having difficult conversations, which some may avoid at all costs. However, if there’s no communication and understanding between individuals then teamwork will never work effectively.