Managing teams is seldom an easy task. Even if you’ve recruited a group of the best and brightest employees possible, each individual has his or her own personality, work ethic, and processes. You need everyone to work together cohesively, but you also want to foster everyone’s unique strengths.
Often times, a single project involves many departments and communication among departments might be poor. Finance doesn’t speak to marketing. Accounting doesn’t speak to sales. Seasoned employees don’t understand why newer people aren’t catching on. Sometimes, multiple time zones are involved, and the employees may never actually see each other face to face. These challenges can cause significant bottlenecks to projects or daily workflow that can impede your company’s bottom line. If you want to be profitable, it’s important to employ an engaged workforce which values teamwork, and to do that, you have to understand how to get everyone on the same page, even if they live in completely different chapters of the book.
Whether you’re trying to build cohesion within your own in-house team, or you’re trying to nurture a positive relationship that bridges a gap across your entire organization, there are a few things you can do to facilitate the process.
Dedicate Time to Open Dialogue
Water cooler conversations and conspiracy theories can devastate a business if things get out of hand. This often happens when employees feel like they don’t have a voice within the organization. To avoid this, regularly emphasize the importance of open dialogue. Open, honest communication should become part of your company culture so team members feel as though they can discuss goals, questions, and concerns in a constructive environment, without fear of reprisal or backlash.
Open floor plans and common area seating spaces can help facilitate these conversation. If your company is used to closed-door sessions and one-on-one conversations, this can be a difficult conversion, but the end result is essential if you want a team of people who want to do their best for you.
Forego Micromanaging, but be Present
Allow your team members to work independently. They’re adults, and as long as they’re doing what’s asked of them, you have no reason to worry. It’s important to balance an autonomous work environment with support when it’s needed. Make sure you set up regular meetings so you can check in on progress, learn about pain points, and adjust as needed. Don’t let your team feel like they’re all on their own islands, but don’t hover either.
Implement a Shadowing Program
Employees can learn a lot from each other. Encourage your team members to shadow each other so they can gain insight into processes, learn tricks, and develop closer relationships with their peers. Many times, workplace disputes come from misunderstandings and when everyone is able to see the other side of the situation, it’s easier to resolve issues.
Feeling frustrated by your efforts to catapult your team’s cohesion to the next level? Sometimes, you just can’t go it alone. At Insight Performance, we know people. We understand what makes employees tick, and we’ll be happy to help you build a foundation that sets your team up for collaborative success. Learn more about our managed HR consulting services today by contacting us to learn more.