From healthcare to communications to the service sector, the working world is made up of close-knit teams. But fostering a strong sense of teamwork isn’t as easy as switching to an open-office floor plan. In fact, this overrated corporate trend of the 2010s is quickly phasing out. Instead, try these simple, effective, and modern strategies for team building.
Cancel Those Standing Meetings
If you have a meeting on your calendar with a generic name, such as “Team Updates” or “Morning Standup,” this one’s for you. Instead of keeping a recurring meeting on everyone’s calendar, try only scheduling meetings that have specific, clear objectives. When your team isn’t overwhelmed with constant meetings, they’re fresher and more creative for brainstorms or project planning sessions. If your goal is to simply foster camaraderie, try a weekly team lunch or a monthly off-site event.
Say Goodbye to Email
Though corporations once considered email the best communication tool, today’s forward-thinking executives are starting to see the inbox as a drain on time and creativity. Project management tools, such as Slack, Asana, Microsoft Teams, and Basecamp, have changed the game. Now, team members can collaborate in real-time and continue the conversation after hours, whenever inspiration strikes. Everything is stored within the project, so there’s no need to forward old messages to bring a new team member up to speed.
Create Documents Easily
Whether your team is crafting a proposal, a client presentation, or a white paper, nothing kills the momentum faster than back-and-forth revisions. PDF documents are notoriously difficult to work with. Instead of typing your notes into an email or leaving comments on the PDF that may be missed, equip your team to convert PDF to Word. Then, each reviewer can make precise changes in Word and resave the file as a PDF to finalize them. This saves your team time at every step in the process.
Shared Goals, Shared Rewards
Everyone at your company contributes to your success in a unique way. Maybe your online marketing team brought in a lead 6 months ago, and now they’re your top client. Make sure the marketing staff is aware of how their efforts paid off and contributed to your bottom line. A public kudos board in the break room or on your project management tool is a great way to make your employees feel seen and valued. Beyond these morale boosters, also provide personal feedback in the form of annual or bi-annual performance reviews. Ask your team for feedback on you, as a boss, too.
Cultivate a Culture of Autonomy
In poll after poll, today’s workers say they’re looking for a flexible environment that promotes work-life balance. As long as your team is getting the job done, avoid the urge to hover over their shoulders (literally or virtually). When your team sees that you trust them, they open up to you and they trust one another more.
All these tips have one thing in common: they promote mutual respect among everyone on your team. When you invest in your people and listen to their feedback, you see less finger-pointing and more collaboration across your entire organization.
For even more ideas specific to your region, visit your local chamber of commerce.