We most commonly think of teams in the context of sporting events. We watch the players run, hit, skate, or shoot, all within the prescribed timeline of a game or period, and at the end of the game, someone wins, and someone loses. A team consists of a group of individuals working together to achieve a common goal. This concept applies in your workplace in the sense that team building is critical to your organization’s success.
What is team building and why is it important?
I’ve coached quite a few youth teams, and each of them had a superstar or two. I quickly realized that to win the bracket or championship game, the role and performance of each individual player were important, but not quite as much as how they functioned together as a team. Team building is a collective term for the relationships between multiple people and how they interact on all levels. In the workplace, this not only applies to how only how they work together on a common project, but also how they respect one another’s time and opinions, how they support one another’s goals, how they communicate and how they accomplish the organization’s objectives.
Whether the lines of communication are management to management, management to employee, or employee to employee, creating an environment which fosters relationships, will undoubtedly have a positive effect on your organization.
What is the role of the team leader?
First, as a leader or mentor, be honest and objective with your associates and colleagues. This promotes trust and protects your integrity, both of which are important characteristics of a leader. Know who you are, be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and strive to improve yourself where needed. Make sure that your actions match your words. Be open to feedback and listen to your team members. Delegate projects effectively, and let those in your charge know that responsibility and accountability go hand in hand. Most importantly, learn to trust your team members.
What can we do to promote teambuilding in our workplace?
- Provide open space for meeting and collaboration – employee lunch rooms, employee lounges with comfortable seating, places to ‘play’ together and places to ‘plug in’, are but a few examples.
- Promote company sports teams in local leagues for softball, bowling, basketball or soccer
- Promote hobbies for employees by hosting them for activities like book clubs and photography clubs. Common interests of employees can really open up the lines of communication between them, which enables them to gain a better understanding for the opinions of their workmates.
- Provide time off for groups to work together for a charity’s common purpose. They will not only feel important, but will develop a true sense of community by helping others achieve their goals.
- Celebrate the wins! The winning sports team raises the trophy high at the end of the game…. consider doing the same with your group.
Communicate your organization’s strategic goals and how you plan to achieve them.
The commonly known goal for the team is simple in most sporting events … they want to ‘win’. Winning is not as easily defined in some business environments. Winning could be increasing your bottom line, growing your brand awareness, increasing your number of contracts or increasing your market share, just to name a few. Your team cannot begin to perform effectively without understanding your master plan. Team members will appreciate being ‘in the know’ and will likely align their individual goals within the same framework to help the company meets its objectives.
What is a team without a little healthy competition?
Promote a competitive environment, one that fosters and rewards individual growth, but puts the team first. Have team goals, but develop and support them with well-defined individual goals. Many sales organizations have found success by structuring teams and dedicating resources to design competitive programs for their sales force, and of course, rewarding them for performance.
The smartest and most successful business owners, or managers, realize the fate of their organization lies in the ‘team’. If you are competing for team members within your organization or externally with your competitors, the stories you tell about promoting teamwork will have a positive effect on your audience.
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that’s what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
A lot of research exists on the importance of teamwork within an organization. One of the most important attributes at YHB is our commitment to developing our talent and growing our team. If you’d like to hear more about how we promote a culture of working together, or suggestions on how we can help you improve your organization’s efficiency, please contact YHB (Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C.) Principal Tom Moler by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 703-777-7739.