For a great team to be formed within a workplace, employees must balance, support, motivate, and appreciate one another consistently. Thankfully, there are some HR strategies that are highly effective to create just this set of circumstances, forever fastening the emotional cords of team members, and forming the perfect team.
1. Connect and Collaborate
Stop. Collaborate and listen! Okay, now that we have got that 90s Vanilla Ice reference out of the way, let's talk about connecting and collaborating in a work environment. When employees connect on a regular basis, a sense of togetherness and mutual understanding will naturally emerge. Therefore, it’s a good idea to encourage employees to socialize more, not less, which will in turn enhance their morale and build relationships.
2. Recognize, Reward, and Repeat
Be it a small surprise desk note or a congrats card for awesome work, encourage team members to recognize and appreciate each other’s contributions. Incidentally, it has been proven that employees who feel appreciated by either their superiors or those around them will generally work harder and are more satisfied at work as well, so this team-building tip is a win-win.
3. Have Some Fun at Work
In many working environments, the terms work and fun are antonyms. In other words, they go together about as well as oil and water. However, in a team-building environment, it is important to have a little fun. Do this by celebrating employee birthdays and anniversaries. You can also host games to be played on a weekly basis or have jamming Fridays.
Anything that is fun and genuinely liked by employees can further enhance long-term bonds between employees. You can even form rec league sports teams or go do fun activities together to further promote relationships and encourage a sense of lightheartedness and fun within the work environment.
4. Everyone Matters
Employee engagement is a result of due recognition and the right amount of visibility. Show your employees they are more than just a number to your company. Also, make sure that you just don’t say “everyone matters” but that you show it day to day. After all, as the saying goes, “no one will care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Make sure each and every employee knows they are valued, no matter how small of a role they might play in the overall scope of the company.
5. Get to Know Everyone’s Role
When possible, set up the opportunity for employees to join other teams and perhaps perform another employee’s role for some time. This will build a mutual understanding among employees who might feel they are the only member of the team with a hard task. By letting them walk a day in someone else’s shoes, it will likely create more appreciation among employees.
6. Win Hearts
Encourage employees to get to know each other's families as this will build a stronger bond and help establish good rapport between team members. Perhaps allow employees to place photos of their families at their desks, or even host events where the employees' families are invited to attend. The idea is for each employee to get to know the people at home behind the employee, their kids, pets, and loved ones who often serve as motivation for them to work in the first place.
7. Brainstorm Together
Make sure to engage team members regularly through sessions that are focused on listening patiently to all views with either minimal or no criticism. Be sure to put some of these ideas into action as well. If employees know that voicing their opinions or thoughts really won’t change anything or matter, they will be less likely to speak up or offer suggestions. Therefore, it’s important to not only have brainstorming sessions but to take some of those suggestions on occasion and make them a company reality.
8. Prioritize Work-Life Balance
Give employees the space they need to work and live on par with one another. This is a gift they simply can’t refuse and creating a healthy work-life balance is a good idea company-wide. Model a good work-life balance within the company, not punishing employees for taking needed time off to deal with personal matters. Ideally, you want to create an environment where employees want to spend time, they feel valued and appreciated, so there is no drudgery connected to work.
9. Encourage Deeper Communication
Get everyone together on a common platform, such as in a conference room or virtually. Don’t make this overly formal, which can be nerve-wracking for some employees. Instead, just have a set meet-and-greet time to touch base and kick off the day on the right page. Be aware that some employees will take longer to open up than others. There are simply people who don’t like speaking in front of a group. Therefore, be patient with this process and try to steer the group conversation to include everyone.
10. Motivate Your Team
Welcome in motivational speakers for occasional meetings, while consistently motivating team members, inspiring them to incorporate the same motivation into their interpersonal relationships. Make sure that motivational speakers speak on applicable topics and are up-to-date as it relates to your industry. You don’t want to bore employees or even perhaps confuse them by bringing in an out-of-touch speaker. An applicable speaker who is truly entertaining and motivating, on the other hand, can be immensely helpful.
Creating a Healthy, Positive Work Environment
Ultimately, employee satisfaction and happiness are some of the most important indicators of strong employee relations and often help determine employee retention. Consequently, an engaged and interactive workplace fosters greater productivity and efficiency, which in turn empowers employees to do their best. Therefore, encouraging your employees to operate and treat each other as team members is advantageous for a variety of reasons, which makes creating a healthy, positive work environment something you as an HR department should very much care about accomplishing.