An organization cannot be a desirable workplace if the employees don’t bond with one another. Only great leaders understand that in order for the organization to thrive, they need to maintain a culture where everyone has a feeling of connection with the others.
Studies have shown that employees having active social relations in the workplace perform much better than the ones who don’t. Having a trustful bond with their colleagues in the company make them emotionally secure, happy and confident. This gives a feeling of being able to depend on one another in times of need, which is the basic essence of teamwork. Whereas the employees that do not have a connection with the others stay nervous and always on guard. This anxiety makes them unconfident, homesick and less effective.
Rather than focus on workplace relations, it has always been a common practice to contain them. It is understandable why a leader should prohibit his/her employees from socializing instead of focusing on work. But it isn’t always necessary and the employees are well aware of their tasks and deadlines. Receiving a popup on the screen saying “can we please maintain the decorum of the office” after a casual conversation across the desk during work hours will do nothing but hamper their rhythm of work. You can easily identify this problem in your organization by just taking a walk across their cubicles. If your presence interrupts their conversations and startles them, you have a problem as your employees are scared and uncomfortable around you.
In the absence of open conversations, employees will not be comfortable enough to talk to each other about any issues they might be facing. This will only create tension and depression as those issues remain unresolved.
Here are 7 tips to generate team spirit in your employees
1. Group Meetings
When you have something important to say that your team needs to hear, say that in a group meeting. Approaching people in a group expresses credibility of the topic. Do it in a very clear and informative way, so that everybody understands it. Do not use any technical jargon while you speak and make good use of body language.
Organize lunch and learn sessions every week to talk about non-work stuff and encourage them to share and present their views. This creates a sense of belongingness towards colleagues and lets them know that you care about their growth and development.
2. Appreciate their efforts
When an employee’s efforts are recognized and appreciated by the boss, nothing else can be a better motivator than that. Showing some gratitude does no harm and it makes them feel much more satisfied with their jobs, knowing that they are good at it.
If an employee performs better than what you expected of him, appreciate and compliment his efforts in front of his peers in the workplace. This will also send a message to the other employees about the quality of work that you expect from them.
3. Don’t be too strict with discipline
Do not get too serious about the number of minutes wasted by an employee in gossips at work hours. Focus on completion of work, rather than the hours mounted to it. All those off-topic across the desk conversations make your workplace comfortable and your employees confident.
Indulge in off-topic conversations and initiate them yourself to create a casual tone in the workplace. Give a warning and use your authority only when it comes to incompletion of tasks or ineffectiveness at work. They will automatically alter their behavior in order to provide what’s needed. Nobody is going to small talk about the cricket match that took place last night when he or she has pending tasks awaiting completion by the boss.
The delegation of work and authority has proven to be far more effective of a method to encourage your workforce than anything else. It establishes trust and responsibility to get something delivered on time. Change team leaders every once in a while and delegate proper authority to the person you chose to lead the team. This also prepares them for future opportunities and give your employees a taste of responsibility that you carry every day.
5. Cross-Departmental Communication
One of the most important challenges faced by organizations is the miscommunication between different departments. This is due to the chain of communication policy in companies. Different departments should be able to communicate freely without any barriers. Mistakes are made when a department makes a decision without enough information on how it might affect other departments. For example, consider an employee from sales that came across some problem relating to the manufacturing department. Now because the company has a strict policy when it comes to the chain of communication, the employee is reluctant to go through the appropriate channel that might take a few days. So he decides to bury the issue and ditch that complaint, which ultimately came back as a lawsuit.
6. Office Parties and Trips
There’s something about the work environment that limits the flow of communication from one person to the other regardless of restriction from authority. Your employees need to socialize out of the working culture in order to be completely open with each other. Organize office parties and trips to encourage off-work relations between them. A casual office camping trip will create a bond between your employees that a month at work could not.
Celebrate birthdays and achievements. Organize a “bring your child to work day”. Simple exercises like these relieve stress and make them feel at home.
7. Encourage feedback
Sharing opinions about each other generates an exemplary team spirit. Provide your employees with the opportunity to do so. Introduce regular performance feedbacks, so everybody understands their position.
Furthermore, they should be able to address any grievances without fear. Employees often fear persecution for voicing their concerns. Make the feedback/reporting process completely anonymous. Employee Your Safe Hub in your organization to protect your employees. It’s an anonymous reporting and feedback tool for organizations of all shapes and sizes.