For many of us, our work landscape has changed. Yes, companies may have given their employees a boost with more flexibility in their approach to time spent at the office vs working from home. But it may also mean that new colleagues haven’t even met face to face. At some point in our career, we have all seen a team that works well together with team members who genuinely enjoy working alongside one another and always manage to smash their targets.
So how do you reach that strong winning formula of a single, like-minded goal, respect, effortless collaboration, and enthusiasm?
What is team spirit?
Team spirit cannot be forced. It needs time to grow and should exist at all levels. It is nurtured when both leaders and the team understand the importance of staying connected and supporting one another.
Just like a winning football team, a manager needs to lead by example. When recruiting your team players, they need to have the hard skills to succeed in their role, but also look for soft skills. Soft skill traits can show in the form of emotional intelligence, diverse perspectives, social skills, collaboration and communication.
Communication is key. Can you as a manager communicate your companies values and live by them? How is your company culture? If your staff are negative, pessimistic, and dejected, you may be suffering from a wavering culture. Constant communication with your team is essential for each member to thrive. Build your team’s trust by listening and acting on feedback, even if it is not always positive.
Keeping your team informed will give them a sense of unity. If they know the what, when and why they are more likely to be engaged and productive. Visual company targets and wins boards or newsletter emails are a simple way of keeping everyone in the know.
Low morale can affect the performance of a whole team. Not all colleagues will naturally get along. If you sense conflict in your team, allow the members involved to express their concerns in a calm and respectful way. It may become evident that they both have the same desire but different approaches on how to reach their end goal.
To boost morale, it is important to recognise success. Share praise and feedback through messaging tools, rewards, team meetings or publicly to the wider company. This can encourage healthy competition among colleagues. Some companies hold 360 feedback meetings where teammates can review colleagues and their managers performance. This helps to build mutual respect, with employees feeling like their voices are heard. If kept light-hearted, regular meetings, even those online, can help your team build chemistry and get to know each other on a personal level.
Keep it social
When a team is succeeding, time out of the office can be an effective reward. Time off to recharge, team lunches, and social activities are an effective way to congratulate your team while continuing to build relationships. Out-of-office events can be a boost for team spirit, as long as you ensure everyone feels included — inviting staff who work remotely, etc. Social time helps to create work friendships. Having a friend at work, knowing there is emotional support when needing to overcome obstacles can make it more enjoyable and increase job satisfaction.
Once you have a team brimming with spirit, creating an environment where it is cultivated and maintained will lead to continued success.