Happy Employees, Happy Workplace: Team Building Tips
Productivity of a business is directly related to the happiness of its employees, in fact studies have shown productivity going up by 12% when employee happiness becomes an important part of the workplace.
A lot of workplace happiness comes from team and business culture. If employees aren’t left feeling isolated or cut off from making social ties, they are naturally happier. Having set times for team building may seem like a chance to keep work from getting done, but in fact it can actually boost productivity and, therefore, the success of the workplace.
The team dynamic itself has obviously changed over the past century. 100 years ago, during the reign of the industrial revolution, productivity was based on how much of something you could get finished in the shortest amount of time. Everyone had the same skills and did the same tasks, repeating them over and over until the product was finished. It got to the point that a worker, part of a team on a line, would become immune to problems and issues going on, their responsiveness almost non-existent.
In a team, like a human body, every person has their own function that makes them equally important to the whole, but their main goal is to keep the body alive. That body is your workplace. Here’s another interesting way to look at it. Dave Gray, an author and business networking expert, thinks a team should be referred to as an organism. He says, “An organism strives over time to realize its goals in the world. As conditions in the environment change, an organism responds by adjusting its behaviour to improve its performance. In other words, it learns.” This would be amazing if every team worked like this, and it’s possible to get there with your own team.
Other than the well known Google’s amazing way of creating culture in the workplace, other organizations are making culture a priority as well. Zappos, a popular shoe shopping website, is gaining popularity for their workplace culture. Actually, they hire on culture fit just as much, or more, than on skills. After your first few weeks at Zappo, they offer you $3000 to leave, hoping that you’ll prove your love for the brand and the team by staying. It works. You can learn more about Zappos culture.
With the incoming generation of millennials, it’s time for a change from traditional methods. Millennials are more likely to leave their job if they’re unhappy than to stay because of a high salary or benefits. Plus, of course, happy workers makes a happy workplace.
Do you feel like your workplace could have a little more team convergence and happiness? Here some tips we find work wonders for our team:
Create a common vision that your entire team is passionate about and make sure they understand what this vision is. Take the time to think it out properly. When you’re finished, print your vision out on a poster and put it somewhere where employees see it daily.
Ensure that your team knows their responsibilities and their worth to the business. Nothing can make employees feel less motivated than when they feel like they’re unimportant to the team as a whole. Have regular team meetings, but also have individual meetings where each member can voice their concerns and ask questions about their roles privately.
Get to know your team and their individual strengths. You know who they are on paper and you’ve had a few small talk filled conversations, but who exactly are they? What are their fears and aspirations? Get to know them personally, come down to their level, and they’ll feel comfortable coming to you.
Build relationships within the team. Having an open space for the team to converge, brainstorm, and bounce ideas off each other is a great way to get the creative juices blending. It’s also important to take the office outside and give your team the chance to speak socially without their work taking precedent. Trivia night, a baseball game, or an art class are all great ideas to get the team talking and getting to know each other.
Create a contingency plan and procedure the team must follow when there’s a disagreement between members. This will mutually resolve issues quickly without creating sides and tenseness among the team.
Try other methods of brainstorming and team building methods. Dave Gray has created a few methods called XPLANE. They’re different strategies that “help you clarify and navigate complexity to accelerate results and create meaningful impact.”
What methods does your workplace use to motivate team trust and collaboration?
Kimberley Falk - Multimedia Writer