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Leaders focused on building team spirit understand the importance that energy and enthusiasm has on the success of the business. When employees are actively engaged as part of a working team, they tend to contribute at a higher level. Therefore, to maximize team performance you want every team member to feel they are a key player on the team.
Knowing there is a direct link between employee engagement and bottom-line results, consider the following strategies for building team spirit among your staff:
Recruitment - As the leader, you cannot over estimate the importance of hiring the right people into the organization. Too often business owners hire people as quickly as possible, based primarily on their experience, because they need to fill an open position. However, they don't take the time they should to ensure the new hire brings the level of energy and enthusiasm needed to support a strong team spirit.
After the first 30-90 days, these leaders find themselves in the unfortunately position of trying to figure out how they can motivate the new employee. If only the leader made sure the new hire was self motivated before coming on board the leader wouldn't be in this position.
Identify Strengths - It's common for organizations to put their middle or senior level managers through one of several popular personality assessments. Myers-Briggs, DISC, Personalysis are just a few of the more common tests used. Unfortunately, the costs associated with their training resources can run in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
StrengthsFinder, however, is very affordable and can be used with everyone on your team, regardless of size. This tool allows leaders to identify various strengths among team members, and it emphasizes the value of each strength brought to the team and that having a wide diversity of strengths among team members results in a stronger, more effective team.
Empowerment - If you've hired great people, then trust them. Allow your people the opportunity to exceed your expectations by empowering them to make decisions on behalf of the organization. Clearly define their decision making authority and make sure your team is well trained and understands their responsibilities for making well educated decisions. Employees will feel the weight of the responsibility you've given them and they will work extra hard to make sure your trust in them is warranted.
"Where there is unity, there is always victory."
- Publilius Syrus
Prioritize Connection - a leaders primary goal is to build a team whose members are strongly connected. This is done by providing multiple opportunities for team members to get to know each other, both personally and professionally. This doesn't mean team members have to be so close their families are taking vacations together. It does mean, however, that they have invested time to connect on some basic level and they have an appreciation from what each team member brings to the table. Providing opportunities for team members to socialize and network is time well spent and can be incorporated into team meetings and corporate events.
Physical Engagement - make sure every team member is responsible for doing some kind of physical activity, meaning they can't just be sitting behind a desk working on their computer. For example, when you roll out the new sales campaign, assign each member of the team an activity the requires them to be physically engaged. One team member might create a tracking poster and update it in the lunch room daily. Another employee can be responsible for leading a weekly sales meeting, while another is responsible for bring treats to the meeting. Whatever it is, make it a physical activity to support team engagement.
Infuse Fun Into The Workplace - leaders what their people to work hard, that's a given. So why not also expect your team to play hard? In order to justify and encourage hard work, you need to take time to celebrate the team's success. Your options to infuse fun into the workplace are only limited by your own imagination, and if you don't consider yourself to be overly creative then allow members of the team to be in charge of fun activities that reward and recognize all their hard work. Your commitment to having fun will go a long way toward building team spirit among your employees.
- Christine Caine
There is great value in using the F.E.E. approach for building team spirit and maintaining a team that is highly engaged.
F.E.E. stands for Fun, Energy and Enthusiasm.
When building a successful team make it clear to all members of the team that FUN is what happens when the team has worked very hard; worked effectively as a team, and by working together has successfully realized the results needed to achieve the goal.
In short, FUN is experiencing victory - which is the result of focused hard work and a coordinated effort by the entire team.
Building team spirit requires leaders to be excited, and even passionate, about what they do on a daily basis. When the leader is energetic and enthusiastic the team will take the leader's cue and seek to become a part of that excitement.
Successful leaders recognize the immense value of energy and enthusiasm. When building team spirit, take a quick look at each employee and rate them on a scale of 1-5 for their level of energy and enthusiasm. Conduct the same rating for each employee's level of experience.
If you have two people you are considering for the same role; one highly experienced but lacking in energy and enthusiasm; the other less experienced but uniquely driven - in most cases you'll be wise to choose the one who possesses the higher level of energy and enthusiasm.
On balance, energy and enthusiasm outweighs experience, provided the person also possesses the aptitude to overcome their learning curve fairly quickly. An experienced employee who is not energetic or enthusiastic is less likely to acquire the essential team building and leadership qualities necessary for long-term success.
Leverage the F.E.E. approach for building team spirit by taking time to continually encourage fun in the workplace, making sure you have the right people in the right positions.
Time after time, it is the little fun and memorable things that will keep your employees engaged, coming in early and staying late and loving every minute of it.
Commit now to building team spirt and having more fun as you improve results and grow the business.