Building team culture at work is a natural process which can be catalyzed through successful coaching and activities that bring teammates closer together. These actions involve defining common goals, emphasizing shared traits, and fostering respect for any differences and diversities present. (Photocredit)
Providing one clear aim unites multiple people under a single cause. Teamwork should be part of the goal, and work should be sanctioned in a way to promote communication between teammates, rather than isolation. Targets and other public messages can be addressed to the team as a whole, rather than on an individual basis, so information is spread quickly, accurately, and equally.
A way to build open channels of communication and cooperation is to interact through less stressful, social activities, such as bowling, paintball, or karaoke. Additionally, instilling team spirit is encouraging for workers and builds loyalty. Matching shirts, inter-team competitions, and folklore (i.e. stories) of previous team experiences helps this process.
Understanding the personalities and abilities of all teammates is helpful in preventing any miscommunication and misunderstandings. A team is a democratic environment, where collaboration is encouraged, so the accessibility of all the individuals must be established. Ice breakers, no matter how childish, before a meeting or social activity might help members open up and warm up to each other.
Differences should be accepted and respected, rather than pointed out. Common traits should be celebrated, and can be used as a starting point for social activities and conversation. Experiences can also be shared, so again, fun activities and workshops can soon become shared traits amongst the team. Lastly, teamwork should be recognized and rewarded as well, promoting further success.
Forcing teamwork, rather than inspiring it, may result in negative attitudes in the group, hindering efficiency more than helping it. In a team, the focus is less on the person, and more on multiple people. If opportunities are felt to be unequally or unfairly spread, the attitudes of team members may change for the worse and impact the overall team morale.
The balance is delicate to maintain, but if teamwork is rewarded and respected more than individual achievement, the incentive for collaboration is also greater.
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