4 ways to work better as a team
Throughout my experience managing a company, I have found that it all comes down to how good your team works together. Teamwork is really important and those who struggle to find synergy between their employees will find it harder to keep their company together.
Employees thrive in environments that allow them to communicate and work together. It feels better when you’re part of something that’s bigger than just you. This is the kind of message I send my team or at least try to every day.
Keeping your team together does not mean pleasing everyone but doing what it takes to transition each person from an individual to a collaborative mindset. Essentially, it’s trying to encourage active participation and better group dynamics.
A team wouldn’t work well without every player feeling valuable and wanted. I believe that there are 4 ways that this can be achieved.
Open office space with modifications
Having an open office space has helped me develop an amazing environment and work culture. It makes the office feel homey; a place people look forward to coming to even on Monday morning. However, I have learned that I have to be flexible with the kind of environment I introduce because what works for some people, may not work for others. What I have found to be the best solution is to have an open office dedicated spaces for certain teams who need the peace and quiet to get their work done. It’s a balance between the culture and the needs of the individual.
2. Weekly team meetings with all managers
Weekly team meetings keep everyone on the same page. It gets all parties on the same page. Plus, it gives all members of the team a chance to speak - no matter what department they're in. This kind of cross functional communication helps generates ideas and allows for each team to forsee the impact and issues of an initiative much faster and effectively. Additionally, this also gives a chance for managers of all departments to share successes, failures, and issues so they can be there for each other. Sometimes these meetings can get a bit heated as each department is passionate about their work. I encourage these topics to rise as this is a constructive forum where communication should take place as oppose to office gossip and politics.
3. Cross-department activities (not always work related)
I find that games and competitions keep my employees motivated. Both work and non-work related competitions can be really helpful in creating a stimulating work environment. Whether it’s a typing competition, push-ups, or competing to be the best Fifa player on PS4 in the office, I find that it brings everyone together. The office lightens up and we have fun. Work should be fun but productive. To make it even more motivating, at Frank, we have a wall of records - our very own internal Guinness world records. We call it our Penguin Wall of Records where we have plaques with the name of the record holder and the records they have broken which include categories like maximum number of pushups, most number of minutes spent convincing a customer, most referrals, most number of sales in a day, etc. Need I say more?
4. Being the role model for working together
It’s one thing to preach about having a great work culture where all your employees are bonding and enjoying their work, but it’s another to actually ensure that this is the case. I actively ask opinions from different teams and take their thoughts into account before making a decision, especially if my decision is going to affect their department. I make sure each team is aware of their role in the big picture of the company. Everyone is valuable and I want them to know it.
Ensuring everyone understands that all teams and people in the company have the same goal and KPI is definitely something I encourage every manager or CEO to do. If their goal does not align with your company’s KPI, you’ve failed to show them how their work helps drive the company forward. At the end of the day, employees are cogs in the big machine. Without the cogs, the machine doesn’t run, so you really have to take good care of them.
There are many other things that can be done to get teams to work well together. But, these are just a few of my suggestions as they have worked for me. Remember, you’re only as strong as the people who work with you, alongside you, supporting the company like it is their own.