If you could identify one thing that made a leader great, what would it be? The team that stands behind them. Hiring the right people and motivating them to give their best when they work together is one of the most important aspects of leadership. According to Kenny Trinh CEO of Netbooknews, teamwork is crucial for any company to succeed. He says,
"Behind every great product or service is a great team, teamwork at the workplace has been demonstrated to increase efficiency, improve communication, expedite idea generation, distribute workload, and establish a culture in which each employee feels a sense of belonging and empowerment. Great teams work together to accomplish great results."
Modern leadership is characterized by an important feature: remote workers. Teamwork is still essential. However, under the conditions that today’s job market imposes, it’s not easy to bring everyone into a team vibe.
Here is the most important tip for you:
Accept the challenge of developing team spirit with enthusiasm.
Oh, that’s not enough? Here are 15 tips that actually work:
1. Engage Everyone through Team Building Games
How about a football game between your team and another department’s team? Outdoor activities, such as raft building and kayaking, are also really fun.
Are you up for a more intellectual team building game? You can choose Created Economy, a game that inspires your team to create a mini-aspect of society. They will be forced to work together to solve the challenges and learn how others work. Osama Khabab CEO of MotionCue Studios uses team-building games with his employees. He says,
"We focus on team building activities that span over different intervals around the calendar. The idea is to help facilitate or rather build a comfortable environment for our team members not only towards the organization but amongst themselves as well."
2. Inspiration Instead of Motivation!
Motivation is a force from the outside. Inspiration is a force from within. When your team members are inspired, they feel an inner urge to do better. They are not doing it for someone else. They are doing it because they feel like it.
How do you inspire? Delegate the tasks properly. Be an example of the type of worker you want everyone to be. Create a calm workplace that makes them glad they are working for you.
3. Engage them in Virtual Brainstorming
This is especially useful for remote teams, but in-office teams will also benefit from it. Choose a tool that promotes effective online collaboration. When getting together in person is not an option, virtual brainstorming will bring everyone together and get the ideas flowing.
Basecamp is one good choice for virtual. Give them prompts and tell them to collaborate inside the tool, so they can give you uniformed suggestions.
4. Get Better at Conflict Management
An idea-clash point is a natural occurrence when people are trying to collaborate, but retain their individuality at the same time. A leader or HR manager has to act as soon as possible in such a situation.
Invite everyone to share their ideas and opinions without arguing. As a leader, you mustn’t pick sides. However, you do need to provide instructions that will lead to a proper resolution of the conflict. Decide on the best possible solution and help them get there.
5. Value All Accomplishments
Your team just completed an important project? Invite everyone for a night at the pub on the company’s expense. If it’s a really big thing, throw a fancy cocktail where everyone can bring their plus one.
Do something special for them, so they will understand how much you value their efforts as a team. At such events, the bond within the group becomes stronger.
6. Share the Calendar
Every team has deadlines and progressive goals to achieve. Don’t forget to share the calendar with every member, so they will stay on track with the plan. In the calendar, you should outline all meetings and deadlines, and set reminders. That will keep everyone on the same page.
7. Start a Blog
If Richard Branson has time for blogging, what’s your excuse?
You can use the blog to give employee recognition. Pick the worker of the month, feature them on the blog, and give them a small bonus. Make sure everyone gets their chance to be featured. Don’t stop there. Share important industry insights and posts that trigger discussions within the team.
If you really lack time, energy, and skills for blogging, you can get help from a writing service like Essay Geeks. You’ll hire professional writers, who will follow your instructions to develop a blog that serves as a team-building tool.
8. Encourage Email Communication
Send a group email message with a prompt or question. This should be your weekly practice. Ask them to respond with reply all, so everyone can be part of the discussion. Gregory Golinski from YourParkingSpace recommends the following,
"To build effective teams, communicate with your team members all the time. Don't spend a whole day without sending messages or calling your colleagues. Keep all lines of communication open."
The themes may be personal. For example, ask them where they see themselves in five years. They can also be just for fun –Did you see last night’s episode of Game of Thrones? What was it like?
With this approach, you’ll maintain that positive vibe you’re after.
9. Develop a Performance-Driven Culture
You can turn performance into an organizational culture. When you’re giving instructions or motivational speeches, shift from I to we. It’s not I who’s doing and accomplishing things. It’s us. “This is what we need to make happen” is much different than “This is what I want to make happen.” When you make performance a team thing, you’ll inspire everyone to do better.
10. Use an Employee Management Platform
A professional employee management platform will measure everyone’s performance. It will inspire the workers to work more, but it will also push them to be more collaborative. Officevibe is a nice example of such a platform.
However, if a platform is not your thing there is nothing wrong with having performance review meetings to check-in on your employees. Michael Lowe CEO of Carpassionate uses review meetings to check on his employees. He says,
"We ensure that our workforce has monthly constructive review meetings - without management present - to air out issues and make any suggestions on how they can make the working life culture and if they want to - productivity better. There are no recriminations on whatever they discuss and it shows them that they have a voice and that we do listen to, if not always action, their requests."
11. Show Them How
A great leader is always an example for employees. They are hardworking, committed, and always on time. They are informed and never stop learning. Instead of giving instructions and waiting for the work to be done, they work together with the team.
12. Make Everyone’s Role as Straightforward as Possible
Each member of the team needs a formal role that’s suitable to their skills and career goals. When you clarify the roles of everyone in the team, you’ll minimize the possibility of conflicts arising from people getting in each other’s way.
13. Deal with the Energy Vampires
Some people are like vampires that give everyone the bite of negativity. They create a hefty vibe and no one wants to be around them.
If you have the flexibility to choose your own team, don’t include these individuals in it, no matter how skilled they are. If you inherit the team members, you’ll just have to talk to the energy vampire and encourage them to transition towards a more positive state of collaboration.
14. Encourage Everyone’s Self-Development
Would your employees like to be part of an online learning program that helps them boost their skills and gives them a certificate? Needless to say, the company will cover the expenses. You shouldn’t force them to learn; that should be on a voluntary basis.
With this move, you’re giving each team member the opportunity to grow within the company. When you see a great improvement in someone, you’ll clearly give them the promotion they deserve.
15. Harness the Power of Social Media
A great social media team is a great team within any organization. Get everyone connected on social media, but make sure that doesn’t make them feel supervised. This strategy should help you inspire the bond of friendship.
Invite everyone to join a private Facebook group, where you’ll share jokes, tips, and industry-related online resources. Michael Alexis CEO of TeamBuilding.com uses slack to get his employees to form a relationship. He says,
"We do remote team building via Slack through something we like to call Mr. Rogers Calls-- because you are getting to know your virtual neighbors. At the beginning and end of each week, Slack automatically pairs colleagues off for a 30-minute video call. These calls are paid work time and the only rule is that you aren’t allowed to discuss work or projects. Similar to the icebreakers, these calls allow team members to develop more meaningful friendships as they explore interests and commonalities outside of the office."
No matter how efficient your team is, you can always inspire them to get better. As a leader, you’re responsible for the level of collaboration within the team. The above-listed tips will help you improve it!
Chris Richardson is a journalist, editor, and a blogger. He loves to write, learn new things, and meet new outgoing people. Chris is also fond of traveling, sports, and playing the guitar. Follow him on Facebook and Google+.