Being intentional is key to building a strong team in any organization. Having a vision and making clearly defined choices are critical to the success of how your team grows and interacts with one another. To that end, it’s important to have a clear plan for growing your team and strengthening their team-building skills.
Here we will break down four ways you can strengthen and grow your team. From work culture to diversification, every suggestion should help you plan and grow your team for success.
Building a positive work culture is first on this list because it should be the foundation for every team. Before exploring other ways of building your team, you’ll want to lay the groundwork for a culture that allows them to thrive and grow.
We’ve already outlined the importance of culture in an organization, but it’s always best to cover a few highlights:
By clearly defining your company’s core values, goals and overall mission, you can begin to define the culture. Take advantage of opportunities like competitive benefits, volunteering and philanthropy to showcase what your organization prioritizes for existing and potential employees.
Once you have a positive work culture, make sure you give your team members ample opportunities to actively engage with it. Encourage them to volunteer with a local nonprofit or host a wellness program with their team members. By inviting them to interact with the culture you’ve built, you’re encouraging your team to feel pride in their work environment.
By leveraging a positive work culture, you’re setting your team (and yourself) up for success.
Two terms that seem to get overlooked (or misunderstood) are equity and equality. Both relate to how you’re interacting with your team, and one without the other can provide an unbalanced team dynamic that can put you on a path to workplace pitfalls.
Equality is the idea that your team members are given the same opportunities for advancement, benefits and overall employee wellness. On the other hand, equity means that you’re acknowledging advantages that certain team members might have over others.
An example of addressing equality and equity would be programs that address women+ empowerment in your team. In most industries, women have had fewer opportunities for pay, a seat at the table and an impact on organizational processes. By creating a space for your team members who identify as women to have their voices heard, you’re advancing the equity of your team. At the same time, you’re giving them an equal share of the influence that will ultimately push your agency forward.
There are several ways you boost both equality and equity, but knowing how one does not always incorporate the other is key to strengthening your team.
Celebrating the wins of your team members is so important to their relationship with the success of your organization. Small, large and even medium-sized wins deserve recognition. Whether it’s a personal email congratulating a team member on a positive call with a client or going to lunch with a coworker who expertly handled a new application, find ways to show your appreciation and acknowledge a job well done.
Practicing that kind of acknowledgment will encourage your team members to do two things: They will feel encouraged to continue that good work and acknowledge the wins of their fellow team members. That kind of positivity around work and their colleagues will help strengthen your team.
Your team should always be comfortable providing feedback. It’s critical to the success of your organization to encourage that feedback and be willing to put it to use. It’s not enough to pay lip service to your team members when they have legitimate feedback, you need to take the feedback and incorporate it into your organizational processes.
Likewise, this kind of open feedback between team members should extend to leadership. When you recognize and take actionable steps with your team’s criticisms and opinions for improvement, they become comfortable with constructive criticism.
Creating a work environment that allows for open dialogue benefits everyone involved. Team members have their voices heard and everyone has opportunities to improve their work.
Teambuilding exercises should be a regular part of your team’s schedule. Building onto how your team members interact with each other is important to the teamwork that drives your organization’s business.
Think outside the box when planning teambuilding exercises. Sure, bowling once a month might be a fun way to bring your team together in a social environment, but it doesn’t do a lot to cultivate teamwork skills. Find new ways your team can work together to solve a problem so they can strengthen those team-building muscles regularly.
Some ideas might be an office scavenger hunt, company field day or regular yoga sessions that give your team a chance to relax together. Don’t be afraid to ask them for advice on how they’d like to spend teambuilding time too! You might be surprised by their ideas.
Any successful team must incorporate diversification. Be thoughtful about the backgrounds and experiences each team member is bringing to your organization.
It would be a mistake not to find team members of different genders, age groups, education and race. Actively look for ways to add more diversity to your team - doing so will give you more robust viewpoints.
Building a strong team is key to the success of your organization. By being intentional with how you build and strengthen your team, you can set your organization up for success.
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