Working cohesively with others can be difficult, challenging, and even frustrating at times. Getting a group of people to work towards one common goal requires a lot of communication and patience. Building and maintaining good relationships with your coworkers is imperative to the success of your team. A strong team will exhibit positive morale, actively seek out opportunities to collaborate, and enjoy working together—and when your team is working well together, you will all be happier and more productive. Here are 7 ways to strengthen your team and build trust.
Whether you are looking for your next team addition or your very first, don’t just scan resumes with a quick glance. Really do your research into your candidates and ask questions about their previous positions, passions and interests, and work style. Hiring for a good cultural fit is just as important as hiring a qualified applicant, so make sure your existing team meets and likes the person interviewing. If you offer a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and a strong, dynamic work culture, you will be able to attract the best talent around wit. Building a strong team can be exceptionally difficult, but if you hire the right person from square one, you will be able to eliminate a lot of potential issues down the line.
Sometimes, it can truly feel like work is next to impossible—you may be sick, exhausted, or just plain stressed. On those days, it can be extremely hard to stay productive and motivated, but remind yourself that your entire team is looking up to you to serve as an example. Morale trickles down from the top, and if you are always negative, complaining, or scrolling through Instagram at work, your team will follow suit. Staying positive, being productive, and offering encouragement to your employees will help to strengthen your team. The best way to build a strong team is by being a strong leader.
At the core of every team is good communication. Working with others can be exceptionally difficult, and wires can get crossed easily, especially if you work in a large department. Nobody wants to spend their day sitting in meetings or on conference calls, so how else can you communicate your tasks and needs to your team? There are many ways to touch base regularly with your team, while also saving time with your business, such as creating a group chat for virtual check-ins, having a daily 10-minute standup, or creating a Slack channel for miscellaneous needs. Whatever your choice of communication style, make sure you communicate regularly, effectively, and frequently in order to strengthen your team.
Typically when you hear the word “feedback”, you think of a manager giving input to an employee regarding their performance. But it’s equally as important that a manager gets that same kind of feedback from their team. Nobody is perfect, not even the highest C-level executives, and everyone can benefit from a little self-awareness and behavioral adjustment. If all your employees lean towards one common criticism, such as you have a short fuse or can be unclear in your asks, you shouldn’t be afraid to reevaluate your own behavior and take action. Acknowledging your flaws and correcting them will help your team to see you as more human and relatable, which will help to strengthen your team.
While the thought of team building activities may make some groan, they really do work to strengthen relationships. Team building activities provide a stress-free setting where your employees can feel more relaxed and comfortable with each other. Team building doesn’t have to be trust falls or puzzles, it can be anything from drinks after work to company parties. Any kind of casual social outing will do the trick, the goal is just to get your team to chat, connect, and have some fun. Every organization is unique, so tailor your activity to your team and company.
One of the best ways to strengthen your team is by showing your appreciation for their hard work. When you allow your team members to feel rewarded for their efforts, it will make them more productive and motivated employees. There are many ways to appreciate your team, such as selecting an employee of the month, hosting a pizza party for your employees, or offering small gifts as a holiday present. However you decide to appreciate your employees, make sure your efforts are sincere. Recognizing and appreciating your employees will help to strengthen your team and improve morale.
Listening to your employees is an extremely important part of being a manager. Making sure their needs, and yours, are being met is vital to the happiness, growth, and success of your team. If there are common concerns or complaints, make sure you are taking the time to hear them out and validate them. They could be making some good points that you may be overlooking.
If your employees feel valued, appreciated, heard, and connected, you will be able to easily strengthen your relationships. Make sure you are putting in the time to build a strong, collaborative team.