Your employees need to become a team – for t...

Your employees need to become a team – for the sake of your business

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, all of the dreams and visions that you have for your business would end up coming to nothing. You might be the one on the top looking down at everything bet they’re the ones down there on the front lines, seeing everything up close. But there’s one important aspect of your employees that far too many business owners tend to ignore at their own peril: the fact that your employees can’t really work at their best unless they’re a team. Of course, you should make an effort to treat each and every employee as an individual, but if you want to get the most out of them, then they need to be totally in sync with one another. That might sound like a big challenge, but it really isn’t. Human beings are naturally social animals and all your employees really need is for you to encourage and facilitate them to come together and become a cohesive unit. Here are a few super simple ways that you can do that.

Team building exercises

Nothing brings a team together like getting out of the office and doing something really fun. It doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as it’s something that everyone will enjoy that involves teamwork. This way it breaks down any potential awkwardness between employees and encourages them to really get to know each other and communicate. Team sports are a fantastic option for team building. You can even set up a team that can compete with other businesses from the surrounding area. That way it eliminates a sense of competition between employees, and you might want to try something like Cluego to inject a bit of extra fun into your team building. Whatever activity you choose, make sure it’s something that everyone in your business can get stuck into and that no one ends up left out.

Group training

If your employees are supposed to be working together, then it’s important that they all have the same level of expertise is the majority of things. This means that group training is a great idea because it allows your employees to learn together. Not only that but it gives them the opportunity to support and help each other as well as discussing any problems that they might have free of judgment.

Open communication

If your employees can’t communicate with each other, then there’s no way that they’re ever going to feel like a real team. Make sure that your office is laid out in such a way that they can easily see and talk to one another. An open plan space is great for this. Not only that but it’s important that you lead by example. Make sure that you’re able to communicate effectively with your team, and they’ll be much more likely to follow your lead. A team that feels comfortable discussing problems and coming up with solutions together is a team that is far more likely to bring out the best in your business.

The reality is that your employees need to be able to both work together and independently. That may be a difficult balance to strike but if you’re bringing in the right people then it’s going to be a whole lot easier than you might think.

*Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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