75% of US employers and business owners believe team cohesion drives company productivity while ensuring that workers are in sync with each other. Team cohesion helps define the values of any business, and projects are the fundamental element in working well with humans. Indeed, conflict may arise anytime, but when your company is infused with a cohesion culture, you can always find ways to permanently resolve such issues. On that note, below are some tips for promoting team cohesion in your workplace.
- Focus on building trust
The foundation block of a group of workers functioning in cohesion is trust. This human element cannot be ignored in the hierarchy of employee needs. Trust is delicate and requires time and deliberate effort to build. In the business setting, trust-building starts with the group or team leader. As the person the rest of the team looks up to, it is recommended to earn the people’s trust.
You can do this by being open and honest in your dealings with the team. For instance, when there is a business issue that requires discussions, it is helpful to do so transparently to avoid employees feeling as though something is being kept away from them. Again, team and business leaders are expected to set precedents and standards. You can do this by implementing an accountability culture. When your workers see and experience this, it becomes part of the trust-building process.
- Employ technology to monitor team performance and cohesion
First, you cannot be everywhere in the office simultaneously. In the same vein, you cannot rely on the old way of monitoring and tracking team performance. Thanks to technology, businesses can now rely on smart apps and other digital tools to check the performance consistency of their respective teams. Others come in the form of software that further simplifies the monitoring and tracking process. By using software to manage workforces, it becomes easier and more convenient to identify areas of work that need attention. This is especially crucial if every role depends on each other to function and complete tasks. By identifying problem areas, you can get to the root of the problem and solve it.
It helps to bear in mind that team cohesion enhances performance and overall productivity. In other words, it is the fuel that drives input and the resulting output. A few decades ago, team managers had no choice but to put pen to paper to plan team organizations and other workforce management tasks. Fortunately, things are better now.
- Structure goals
How structured are your current business goals? When employers make it easier for workers to understand each company goal, it can significantly ensure team cohesion. Goal pyramids are excellent at this point. This is when individual goals are couched to flow into the overall business’s objectives. Initially, it might seem cumbersome, but the purpose is to reel every worker in to see the larger picture. In other words, when employees are helped to understand how their individual contributions positively impact the business, it can reshape their thoughts.
Furthermore, your actions as an employer can inform workers to see colleagues as ‘helpers.’ They will also understand that without synergy, there is a high chance of failing as a group. There is no enjoyment in attaining individual success if the group does not share in the success.
- Provide training and development
Employee training and development are essential to the success of any small business or entrepreneurial venture. It builds confidence, provides opportunities, and offers the conduit needed to improve team cohesion. Employees who undergo training and development usually appreciate what it takes to help them get their skills and knowledge upgraded. Through these specialized professional tutoring sessions, they learn the significance of team building.
Even better, they understand how critical it is to perform tasks as a whole than to work in silos. Moreover, training and development programs usually tackle topics that border around team cohesion, company building, and modern ways of streamlining business operations. All these form the foundation of ensuring employee cohesion at the workplace.
- Celebrate successes as a team
Nothing ensures cohesion better than celebrating achievements as a whole team affair. The truth is, people, love to be recognized for their efforts, no matter how minor it might have been. Apart from being a confidence booster, it helps your workers see how consistent team cohesion can produce desired results when handled appropriately. Celebrating as a whole team also takes away the animosity that could have brewed if workers were singled out.
While there is also the possibility of individual workers feeling aggrieved for not being recognized in a special way, you can turn things around. For instance, while you celebrate individual successes, do not forget to mention that all was made possible through the various contributions of team members. This can effectively do away with possible entitlement feelings.
- Empower members of the team
When team members are entrusted with responsibilities bordering on authority, it can become an element that fosters cohesion. The sense of ownership and the belief that leaders are counting on their delivery can spur them to work amicably with colleagues. In a sense, members of the team learn to take responsibility for their actions and would hate to draw colleagues back.
- Resolve conflicts immediately
In any business setting, conflicts are bound to arise. However, the immediacy of conflict resolution mechanisms would determine how quickly and willing your employees are to get back to work as a unit. While some entrepreneurs believe that constructive conflict can be healthy for bonding, they fear it may go overboard if not properly handled. Unfortunately, you can never be too sure about when these conflicts erupted. You might be lucky to hear it from a third person or during group meetings when animosity is at its highest.
While you cannot prevent conflicts from happening, you can take steps to ensure they occur less. Even more, you can make it a personal mission to set internal processes to ensure any conflict is attended to as soon as possible. Undoubtedly, emotions are always the centerpiece in conflicts. Therefore, you may find it helpful to apply a fair balance of emotions and rationality during the resolution process. In some places, business owners allow workers to devise internal conflict resolution processes. This way, team members have no choice but to rely on each other, fostering cohesion.
- Encourage communication
Communication helps you put purposes across. It is the single most important tool in relaying information at any time. However, the trick is to encourage the use of effective communication. Again, it helps to recognize that communication is a two-way affair. For a small business interested in ensuring team cohesion, communication can play a vital role in making that happen.
Employees who communicate effectively with each other are less likely to have friction in the workplace. As an employer, you have a duty to provide the resources to encourage open communication. Multiple employee engagement channels can create the needed platforms to ensure a smooth communication process. It could be regular physical meetings, video conferencing calls, ‘catching up’ engagements, etc. Sometimes, your style of engagement could make all the difference in
Last but not least, always remember to appreciate your workers no matter the occasion. It is important to make a habit of it. That way, employees will have in mind that you have their welfare at heart. Even better, it provides a healthy platform that ensures team cohesion at all times.