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Stronger Teams

How To Build A Stronger Team: A Guide For Employers

The majority of employees work within teams or groups. The relationships colleagues have with each other and with their employer can make a huge difference to the success of a company. If you are an employer, it pays to build strong, collaborative units. In this guide, we’ll outline some effective strategies to create cohesive teams.

Prioritize values and personality traits when recruiting

Recruitment plays an integral role in establishing effective, harmonious teams. If you have vacancies, and you are looking for new members of staff, try to avoid focusing solely on qualifications and experience. Prioritize values and personality traits and search for candidates who have shared values and a desire to work with others. Use interviews to get to know individuals and think about how they will fit in with the existing team. You can use assessments, such as personality tests, or make decisions based on how you interact with different people during the interview process and how you feel individuals will get on with your employees. 

Give everybody a platform to speak

Communication is essential when creating teams and strengthening ties between colleagues and employees and employers. As a team leader, it’s important to give everybody a platform to speak, share suggestions or ideas or raise concerns. Some people are naturally more outspoken and extroverted than others. If you have people who tend to sit back or feel uncomfortable speaking at the same time as others, try to encourage them to share their thoughts by giving them time to talk. It’s beneficial to promote open conversation, which focuses on talking and listening. 

Use peer recognition schemes

Many companies have schemes in place that recognize hard work and achievements, but they are often centered on praise from the top and rewards or positive feedback from employers. Peer recognition can enhance morale and employee well-being and help to create stronger, tighter teams, as it allows employees to show their appreciation of the people they work with and to commend or highlight specific achievements or character traits. It can be hugely rewarding to be singled out by fellow employees who work with you every day and know what you’ve put into a project or job in terms of time, dedication and effort. 

Make an effort outside of the office

The average employee spends around 36 hours per week at work. If you work with the same people day in, day out, it’s crucial to get along with them. It’s unrealistic to expect every employee to be best friends with all their colleagues, but it can be beneficial to try to build positive relationships. As well as encouraging collaboration and cooperation in the office, it’s a great idea to make an effort outside of work. Simple things like going for a drink after work now and again, organizing a meal out to celebrate successes, or taking part in activities as a team, such as a charity run, can make a positive difference. Scheduling events and socializing can also give employees something to look forward to and help to foster friendships. 

Create an inclusive, supportive company culture

Company culture and values are more important to employees than ever. Studies show that people want to work for organizations that align with their values and be part of inclusive, supportive cultures. Creating a positive culture comes from the top. Establish key values, talk about your ethos and make sure your words are backed up by your actions. Every employee should feel valued at work and they should feel comfortable when spending time with colleagues or senior members of staff. If you want to make improvements in this area and actively encourage and champion inclusivity and diversity, it’s an excellent idea to explore training programs and workshops. 

Deal with conflict promptly

Most employers will encounter problems within their team at some point. There are many possible causes of conflict. In most cases, employees resolve arguments or disagreements without the need for intervention, but minor issues can spiral into more complex problems if they are left to fester. Other people might feel the need to get involved, and there could be a split in the office, which creates an unpleasant environment for everyone. If your employees come to you with problems, or there are complaints from other members of staff who are not directly involved, it’s beneficial to deal with conflict promptly. Talk to the individuals at the center of the discussion or argument, determine what the cause of the problem is, encourage open conversation and work with your employees to identify solutions. 

Reward your team

Most of us try harder when there is a reward up for grabs, and we respond positively to good feedback. It can be frustrating and demoralizing to dedicate time and energy to your job and get nothing in return. If you are a business owner and you don’t recognize or reward hard work and commitment, you run the risk of losing talented team members. It’s important to show your employees that you are grateful if they’ve been working overtime or taking on extra work to meet a deadline and to recognize and celebrate achievements. Employees who feel valued and respected are likely to work harder and there’s also a lower risk of them looking for opportunities elsewhere. Examples of ways you can reward your staff include commission and bonuses, gift cards and presents, extra time off, parties, or a team lunch, dinner or day out. You can also encourage progression and development by offering opportunities to undertake training or management and leadership programs. 

Building a strong, cohesive, motivated team increases the chances of achieving business objectives and maintaining high levels of employee morale. If you run a company, and you’re on a mission to take your business to the top, take these tips on board to create a close-knit team. Promote open communication, prioritize values when recruiting new members of staff, introduce a peer recognition scheme and encourage socialization outside of work. Reward your team, create an inclusive culture and address conflict as quickly and effectively as possible. 

 

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