If success rests on the cohesiveness of our work groups, how can we achieve proactive, dedicated and united teams?
Teambuilding should be part of every Managers daily routine, in one form or another; however, it often comes in the form of a planned event or meeting. There are two common characteristics of successful teambuilding: increased synergy, meaning the contributions of two or more employees is greater than the sum of their individual efforts, and enhanced collaboration. Does having a potluck create synergy? Will golfing with your three favorite work friends foster enhanced collaboration? Far too often teambuilding events are viewed by the employer as a reward rather than a meaningful exercise to build their organization. With many keen eyes on your bottom line, how can these expenses be justified as teambuilding based on their minimal return on investment?
I had the fortune recently to participate in a powerful team building event where a group of employees worked together to create their teams’ vision, mission and value statements. As the group began to share their own opinions of what makes a successful team and what they bring to that team as an individual, they were able to develop a greater appreciation for each other. This was achieved simply by opening a line of communication that typically never exists in their every day work experience. Why does Travis keep to himself? Why is Bonnie so stressed out? Developing an awareness of one another that goes beyond ‘who does what’ or ‘who likes who’ to a level where ‘I understand where she is coming from’ is essential as a building block in developing the norms and attitudes that will positively shape your organization.
Organizations can use many different techniques to involve employees in proactive teambuilding. For those seeking a value adding exercise that fosters proactive, dedicated and united teams, I recommend finding an appropriate facilitator, internally or externally, to guide your work group in a meaningful discussion of its vision, mission and values.
Executives, Managers and Human Resource professionals alike are continuously striving to create and maintain strong teams within their organization…please feel free to share your successes….I would love to hear about them!