The importance of building a positive team spirit in the work place cannot be understated, so it is no surprise that it is something that most businesses strive for.
Of course, not all of them manage to achieve the positive, harmonious, creative, and collaborative environment they crave. Most people who have been in the workforce for a reasonable amount of time can attest to have worked for at least one company where the atmosphere was quite the opposite, and can all agree that it’s not a nice place to be.
So what can companies do to encourage and develop good team spirit in the work place, and what do they stand to gain by doing so?
Benefits for the organisation
By fostering positive team spirit, individuals within that team are far more likely to want to help and support each other when it comes to completing tasks or solving problems. In a workplace bereft of team spirit, individuals are more likely to only fulfil the duties within the parameters of their role. You’ll rarely (if ever) hear the words “that’s not my job” uttered in a work place that has strong team spirit.
This collaborative culture also helps to build a knowledge pool, which improves the skillset of all staff and lessens the impact when individuals are off sick or on annual leave.
If you are part of a team that gets along well and is kicking goals the last thing you would want to do is derail that, so being part of a positive happy team encourages employees to take more personal responsibility, as they don’t want to let their colleagues down. This can inspire individuals to achieve more in their role, knowing they have the support of the whole organisation behind them. From the employers perspective, the happier your employers are, the less likely they are to want to leave, and given how difficult it can be to find a retain quality staff, as well as the expense of recruitment and training process, this is hugely beneficial.
So how is positive culture and high staff moral achieved?
While it does take effort and commitment, it is not all that difficult to accomplish, and the outcomes you end up with by doing it properly make it worthwhile. Firstly, always communicate openly and honestly with your staff. A lack of transparency undermines trust and can lead to anxiety, doubt, and even resentment – all of which are detrimental to your hopes of creating a positive culture.
Spread enthusiasm and positivity as it is infectious. Use (appropriate!) humour to lighten the mood and take a personal interest in your colleagues, so they know they are valued as people as well as employees. Avoid being negative and discourage others from negative talk. It only takes one bad influence to ruin the atmosphere for everyone else, so the importance of identifying staff with a can-do attitude during the recruitment process is essential in helping to avoid having those types of personalities within your organisation.
Make sure everyone, from the CEO to the cleaner, is valued and is free to voice their opinion or suggestions as to how things can be improved. Afford the same level of courtesy and respect to everyone, regardless of their status within the company.
Activities are a great way to encourage teamwork and build morale, as they enable staff to get to know one another better and gain a better understanding of each other’s interests and ambitions. Some can even be beneficial to their health such as starting a sports team. This also contributes positively to their overall wellbeing, and can lead to fewer sick days being taken.
Companies should invest money in celebrating events throughout the year and treating their staff, as the benefits they will receive in return will always far outweigh the initial outlay.
Supporting a cause is another great way to create a good team spirit, particularly if you allow staff to take some time out from their regular duties to volunteer for a cause, as it creates a feel good factor knowing that they are doing something positive for someone less fortunate than they are.
Remember, creating a great culture within an organisation starts from the top, but if the willingness is there from the company hierarchy, it will quickly pervade throughout the entire workforce, creating a warm, welcoming and happy environment that everyone will be delighted to be a part of – and better still will share positive feedback with the wider market place. This can help attract new staff and like-minded clients.