Every business owner or manager wants to see their employees working together as a team to make the company run smoothly. Research shows that teamwork and collaboration are key elements for innovation and business growth.
Here are a few ways the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce says you can help your team work together more effectively.
1. Take Advantage of Technology
Business technology is a must, regardless of your business's size or operational setup. The world of business tech constantly evolves, resulting in innovations that can benefit any type of business. For example, project management software is a great tool to help your team collaborate on a project and help you keep up with progress. Technology also allows you and your team to access important documents and files no matter where you are.
You can also use free online tools to make many things easier, from social media posting to invoicing and file conversion. In fact, learning how to convert Word to PDF is easy and it can help your team communicate effectively. Files are generally easier to edit in Word, so team members can create documents in that format, but convert them to PDF for more stable formatting as they post and send content.
2. Create a Culture of Open Communication
Employees need to feel heard and comfortable sharing their feelings and ideas. As the leader, you cultivate an office culture by staying optimistic and positive, especially during difficult times. Be encouraging and show your employees that you appreciate their opinions. You can demand performance without being demeaning. If you show respect, you cultivate an atmosphere of respect.
3. Host Team-Building Events
Give your employees the opportunity to connect with one another. You can plan team-building events outside of the office where your employees learn to talk and trust. It can be as simple as a weekly lunch outing or as complex as a weekend retreat. Play board games together. Go on a scavenger hunt. Host daily brainstorming sessions around lunch. Bonding makes them more open to talking about work and collaborating on projects. Ask your employees what they would like to do. Have them come together to come up with things to do together.
4. Reward Collaborative Achievements
When the company succeeds because of a collaborative effort, how you react can affect their willingness to work on collaborative projects in the future. For example, if your team gets together to create a proposal using all their collective marketing knowledge and successfully secures a new client, reward them by giving every department a part of the project. Their collaborative effort should result in a collective reward.
Think about how you can make them feel appreciated individually and as a group. For example, highlight strengths from each individual person and department and how that contributed to a positive outcome. You may even offer financial incentives or exciting gifts to promote future collaborative work.
5. Break Down Physical Barriers
Sometimes getting employees to work together as a team is as simple as breaking down the physical barriers that keep them separated at work. Cubicles are a thing of the past. Many companies are promoting cross-communication by keeping departments near one another. If your company is too big for that, you can force employees to come together by forming teams of people from different departments who normally would not work together. Think outside of the box when building teams to ensure you have voices from many perspectives.
Watch Your Employees Grow
As your team starts to work together more, your job is to nurture the process. Listen to their ideas and avoid micromanaging, but give them the tools and encouragement they need to grow. Your employees will thrive with your trust and confidence in their capabilities.
Membership in the Cheboygan Area Chamber of Commerce offers invaluable benefits to entrepreneurs in our community. Join us today!