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Building a cohesive team

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Team building encompasses organizing infrequent team bonding sessions. Photo: PIXABAY

‘No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.’’ – Halford Edward Luccock

Whether you are setting up a new company or a new team for a project, with the right set of people on board, you will make meaningful progress!

A diverse set of individuals bring with them their own unique skills, perspectives, and experiences all of which are essentials of business success. While recruiting the right set of people is great, equally as important is an effort towards achieving cohesion amongst employees through team building.

Team building encompasses organizing infrequent team bonding sessions. It is a concept that should be deeply rooted in a company’s culture because of its many benefits. For one, it boosts employee engagement, which is a demonstration of employees’ commitment towards organizations’ objectives. Also, collaboration amongst team members ensures that difficult issues are resolved; that high-quality work is delivered on time and that a sense of belonging among team members is nurtured. More so, team building saves organizations so much money and in the long run improves their bottom line. 

The importance of having a strong, performing team cannot be overlooked, so here are some of the ways business owners can not only attract them but manage them as well.
 
Practical tips on recruiting
After establishing predefined goals and deciding on the required skill set, one practical way of building an effective team is through the recruitment process. An employer/employee relationship is a two way street with both parties benefiting from each other. The employer needs the services of the employee who, on the other hand, seeks to add value in exchange for compensation.

The belief that an employer must be dreaded will not encourage optimal performance on the part of the employee. In his autobiography titled ‘Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike’, one of the cardinal points Mr. Knight made was the need to treat employees as friends why placing appropriate boundaries. He underscored how this was instrumental to the progress and success of his growing but sickly company, Nike, and then Blue Ribbon.
 
While recruiting for skill is important, employees who demonstrate team spirit will achieve so much in shorter periods than skilled professionals working individually. This buttresses the old saying that “a champion team will always beat a team of champions”. Case in point is the research carried out by Robert Huckman and Gary Pisano from Harvard Business School, who after studying the work performances and deliveries of 200 surgeons in the US, individually and as a team noted that when the Surgeons worked as a team, they had better performance than when they worked as freelancers.

Having built a formidable team of dedicated and highly spirited employees, the question of getting them to bond for the progress of the business comes next. How do you get the best from your team? How do you help team members see beyond themselves and focus on the goal at hand?
 
Sense of belonging
There are a few lessons to pick from Nike’s story of building a cohesive team. First is the need to make your team members feel like they have a stake in the business. Nothing beats this feeling! This drives them to work like the failure of the business is their personal failure. Part of helping the team to imbibe the spirit of the business requires creating a less formal working atmosphere around the business.

It is also important that managers celebrate little successes with their team members. This will give them a sense of worth and reasons to keep believing in themselves and the business. If team members are motivated, the success rate is guaranteed to shoot higher.

Understanding your employees and engaging with them accordingly is another key factor in building a cohesive team. Sometimes, an employer may have to look beyond certifications and qualifications and get to know the real person. What drives them? What are their personal goals? Learning about their family backgrounds, hobbies, interest, etc. is a simple act that will make them feel valued. And when employees feel valued, it reflects in their work. Also, for a business to enjoy an optimal level of cohesiveness and effectiveness, it has to seek the growth and development of its employees.
 
Communication
Communication builds trust. Communication here suggests different things. It means a clear spell out of expectations from an employee or a team. It can also mean being transparent with the affairs of the organization. Communication also involves commending employees publicly for an excellent job, helping them overcome their shortcomings and condemning wrong behavior as well. Communication keeps employees abreast of the state of affairs in business, thereby keeping everyone on the same page. Keeping them in the dark makes them feel left out and therefore less involved in the business.

 


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