Best Practices in HR

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Rachel Stones
  January 1, 1970

Creating More Cohesive Teams

People work better together when they get to know their team members on a deeper level. When you establish a deeper connection, you build trust and improve communication as you learn how to approach each team member with feedback and ideas.

Every team is different. Depending on team size, you can determine how much time can be devoted to strengthening internal relationships.

Consider these 3 ideas you can implement with your team:

Change Your Approach to 1:1s

If you have a relatively small team, having team member one-on-ones can have a big impact. Having dedicated time to openly share what they are working on or what they might be struggling with can help employees develop a deeper connection. Knowing they have a leader who is willing to listen helps to foster dedication and loyalty. Team members will more often help encourage and motivate each other to work hard towards their goals when there is synergy in the workplace.

What does this look like? 

Have each team member pick one other person each month to have a 30-minute 1:1 conversation to start building these connections. This approach would allow each team member to have a one-on-one with two co-workers each month; a total of 1 hour per month built into their schedule for team building.

Create Connections with Intentional Team Chats

You likely already have a platform where all of your team members communicate. You can take your team chats a step further by posing a culture question or a getting to know you type question where everyone can continue learning more about each other. This approach works great when many team members are working virtually and don’t have that in-person interaction on a regular basis. Sparking conversations like this allows employees to have an additional way to create connections, find things in common, or discover points of interest shared with other team members.

What does this look like?

Consider involving your team by asking for question suggestions. Remain consistent in your efforts to spark team building chats that are fitting for the workplace.

Commit to Team Building

As a leader, you are often putting out fires all day, every day, and it’s easy to push off meetings that aren’t deemed “critical.” When you schedule a team meeting or chat and consistently follow through, it sets a standard of importance and helps team members build stronger loyalty to the team and the company. It’s helpful to dedicate time for team meetings, and again, this can be to your discretion as to when they happen- but it’s beneficial to align something around team-building once per quarter. Preparing your team in advance and making it your own will feel most authentic.

What does this look like?

Commit to not rescheduling a team-building meeting more than once. Experiment with what will work best for you and your team, and consider allowing your team to have input on content and subject matter. You’ll be impressed to see how your team-building meetings evolve.

The goal is to have an autonomous functioning team, so you, as a leader, feel confident in your team’s abilities when you are working on other tasks and projects. When you have stronger relationships with your direct reports, built with sincere intentions, they will feel more confident in moving forward with a clear understanding of what you expect of them. Creating a cohesive team will help employees feel comfortable reaching out with questions and feedback, so nothing ends up as a bottleneck in your operations.

This post is by guest contributor Nicole Harrop, Women’s Leadership + Career Coach. Learn more about Nicole at www.nicholeharrop.com.

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