10 Proven Team-Building Strategies to Help Your Organization Improve Teamwork

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Teamwork is essential to your organization’s success. No one person can do everything alone; it takes teamwork to get projects done effectively. However, many people don’t know where to start when it comes to working on improving teamwork within their organization, and many don’t know the best team-building strategies that will work. 

With this guide on team-building strategies for your organization, you’ll be able to take actionable steps that will positively impact teamwork in your company, resulting in increased productivity and employee satisfaction.

1. Define the team’s purpose

The team’s purpose is the reason for the team’s existence. And the most important thing a leader can do is define the team’s purpose, especially when the team is losing motivation already. It should be something that everyone on the team can buy into and work towards as a collective unit. 

A team’s purpose should be short, powerful, and easy to remember. It should describe the team’s goals in a way that is inspiring to all members of the group. When developing this statement, it is important to include a time frame for when the group would like to achieve their goals and what metrics they will use to measure success. This will allow everyone on the team to work towards one goal, with measurable steps along the way.

Once you know your team’s purpose, it will be easier for you to move forward with your goals and objectives and have something concrete for your employees and customers. A great leader will take time to define a team’s purpose and allow everyone involved in that project, from clients to coworkers, an opportunity to weigh in. This will ensure that you have a concrete purpose for your team and one that everyone can work towards with vigor. 

And it doesn’t end with having a team purpose. Leaders must review their team’s purpose at least once per quarter or once per year, if possible, so they know how they are performing.

2. Set clear goals

Setting clear goals is the next step to helping the team work together. When you set goals with your team, you establish what success looks like, which is an important part of building shared ownership. 

When setting goals, consider these tips:

  • Create teams based on skill sets. 
  • Establish clear expectations for each member’s role in the team and how they contribute to the overall goal 
  • Measure performance by using metrics 
  • Communicate on a regular basis about the progress made toward meeting goals (i.e., share updates) 
  • Make sure everyone has ample opportunity to express their opinions and have input on decisions that affect them or their work 

Basically, for any team-building strategy to be successful, having clear goals is essential. These goals should include what the team wants to accomplish, why the team is doing the activity and how they will measure success. Once these three components are established, it’s time for some fun!  

3. Encourage open communication

Communication is the foundation of teamwork. It is vital to encourage open and honest communication among your employees to foster collaboration, build trust, and identify areas of improvement. 

As a leader, it is your job to encourage team members to be vocal about their thoughts, feelings and ideas, as well as take criticism in a productive manner. 

Listen attentively to what others are saying without interruption or distraction. This will demonstrate that you are interested in what they have to say and care about their opinions. You will also learn from them and take on board any new perspectives or ideas that may be beneficial for the team’s success.

4. Promote collaboration

In order to promote collaboration in your organization, you need to make sure everyone feels heard. To accomplish this, you should: 

  • Be open to other perspectives and viewpoints. 
  • Provide opportunities for input and involvement from all team members. 
  • Set clear expectations for the team. 
  • Listen to feedback from employees and customers. 
  • Practice active listening skills with your team members on a regular basis. 
  • Encourage healthy debate as an alternative to destructive conflict. 
  • Give employees a chance to take part in decision-making processes that affect them or their work environment, including how they are evaluated at work.

5. Encourage creativity

With so much competition to win over clients and ideas, it’s important that your organization is able to think outside the box and come up with new ideas. 

If you want to stay in the game, encourage creativity within your organization. Here’s how:

  • Open Up a Creative Space – If you want to encourage creativity within your organization, make sure you have a space for employees to be creative. You can decorate the space with inspiring artwork or colorful furniture. You might even provide a few craft supplies for people to let their creativity shine through. 
  • Create an Environment of Respect – Encourage respect between teams by eliminating any pecking order in the office environment that may discourage open conversation or constructive criticism among colleagues. 
  • Give Everyone Their Due – Make sure all members of the team are given equal credit for their contributions, and don’t forget about those who contribute behind the scenes. 
  • Try New Things Regularly – Try different activities every month to spark creativity within your company, like meditation, playing games, taking walks on nature trails, etc. 
  • Switch Things Up Every Once In A While – Mix things up regularly by rotating everyone into different roles and assigning different tasks each day (this will also help prevent boredom). 

Put Ideas Into Action More Frequently – Don’t hesitate to implement an idea because it seems too risky. The most successful ideas often look foolish at first glance but are carried out anyways!

6. Empower team members

Empower team members to make decisions, take risks, and try new things. Create a culture of trust by setting clear guidelines on what’s expected and then holding people accountable for meeting goals. Let mistakes happen as long as they’re part of the learning process. And don’t forget to celebrate successes along the way! An organization that empowers its employees is an organization that will thrive. 

But what does it mean to empower your employees? It means giving them the opportunity to take risks and experiment with new ideas. Give your team members more power over their own jobs by delegating responsibilities and offering flexibility in how they do their work. Communicate clearly about your expectations, so everyone knows where they stand. Invest in training programs, so every employee feels confident in tackling any task or problem that comes up.

7. Facilitate problem-solving

A key to problem-solving is recognizing that it’s not an easy task. It takes practice to learn how to solve problems in the most effective way. Here are some proven strategies for training your team on how to facilitate problem-solving: 

  1. Create a safe environment where people can be honest about their feelings and thoughts without fear of being judged. 
  2. Encourage group members to share their ideas or views openly, respectfully, and honestly, even if they disagree with someone else’s idea or view. 
  3. Demonstrate empathy by acknowledging what other people feel. 
  4. Draw out all sides by asking open-ended questions and listening to others attentively without interrupting them. 
  5. Facilitate problem-solving by creating structured guidelines (i.e., brainstorming guidelines, decision-making guidelines). 
  6. Remain neutral when facilitating conflict or disagreement within the group.

8. Encourage risk taking

Encourage risk-taking and reward those who take risks. Find ways to encourage your employees to try new things rather than always sticking to the same old routine. 

Celebrate the accomplishments of your team members when they take risks and reap the rewards. Push them out of their comfort zone by suggesting they learn a new skill or try something different. Let them know that you have faith in their skills and abilities, which will help build a sense of trust between you as a leader and your employees.

Taking risks is a necessary part of success, but it doesn’t mean that all risks are worth taking. Encourage your team to evaluate the potential consequences of taking risks, so they can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with them. Ask them to determine if they feel capable of dealing with the challenges that may come up during this endeavor, and what steps they would need to take if they decide against proceeding. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to introduce the idea of risk management into your organization’s vocabulary. Explain how making mistakes is normal. But don’t let people dwell on them for too long; ask everyone involved to share what went well during these experiences as well.

9. Support continued learning

Support continued learning at every level of your organization by offering training opportunities for employees at all levels in your company so they can build their skills in whatever area they are interested in or need to learn more about.

Supporting continued learning in teams is important to keep your team as productive and cohesive as possible. Here are ways that organizations can help support continued learning in teams: 

  • Provide formal or informal training opportunities (e.g., annual education day). 
  • Give the team time to share their goals, achievements, and challenges with other members of the group. 
  • Encourage a culture of reflection by giving them time for self-reflection on their work and growth opportunities for next year’s goals. 
  • Create space for colleagues to brainstorm solutions in a comfortable setting outside their day-to-day roles (e.g., monthly brown bag lunch). 

10. Celebrate successes

Most importantly, celebrate successes. Give suggestions for activities to celebrate team successes. Celebrate success to help your team feel more satisfied. These are some ideas for celebrating successes: 

  • Hold team dinners or cookouts. 
  • Take the team out for drinks after work, or buy them coffee in the morning before work starts. 
  • Send a thank you card to one of your teammates with a small token of appreciation, like a Starbucks gift card or a box of chocolates. 
  • Schedule an activity that everyone on the team can enjoy doing together, like a group hike on Saturday afternoon or playing board games at home on Sunday night. 
  • Plan a monthly team-building event and brainstorm what activities you could include. 
  • Give each member of the team a certificate recognizing their contributions to the organization. 
  • Send each teammate something small as a reminder about how much they mean to your organization every day–a letter, postcard, drawing from their child, favorite candy bar–anything that will show them how important they are to you and remind them why they came to work in the first place!

Summary

Being able to work together in a productive way has never been more important. Employees who have the ability to work well with others are more likely to do well in the workplace, which is why many companies are investing time and resources into team-building exercises. 

But not every team-building exercise delivers the results that teams need – that’s why you need to know which ones will help build teamwork and which ones won’t. These 10 proven team-building strategies have been shown to help improve teamwork within an organization, and they can help your company reach their full potential as well.

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