Team spirit in the workplace means more than waving a flag or shouting, “rah-rah, go team” at a college football team. In fact, the Princeton WordNet defines team spirit as “the spirit of a group that makes the members want the group to succeed.” People who work in an office environment where they are required to interact and cooperate are found to be more motivated and have a more productive impact than others who work on their own.
Working as part of a group is not always easy and employers need to know how to foster a culture in the office where common goals and mutual accomplishments among workers are the key elements towards a successful business. Managers who often choose to take a back seat in office affairs should know that they too are part of the team and that positive team spirit leaves no one on the side lines.
Building Team Spirit
Employers can be creative when introducing activities that bolster team spirit. But they don’t have to organize adventurous outings or expensive parties. There are plenty of simple ways to foster team spirit that can be done right in the office.
Here are some tips for increasing team spirit.
- Before organizing team building at work, meet with your employers and hear what they have to say. Communicate with them and listen to their ideas—what interests them, what would make them feel good, what they like to do.
- Let them know your door is always open for them. Value their opinions and suggestions and show them that you take them seriously and appreciate their input.
- A key element in creating team spirit is collaborative decision-making. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, employees are unlikely to feel investedin ideas that don’t involve them. The more they feel they can offer their judgments, the more they will appreciate the when the goals have been reached.
- Celebrate milestones and holidays together. Have an office party complete with balloons and birthday cakes. Make a big deal about successes and completed goals and always highlight all the ways teamwork helped you to get there.
- Present awards for great teamwork. Always specify exactly what it is the team did that merited the reward as this helps to encourage similar behaviors by other teams in your workforce.
- Show a personal interest in each member of your staff. Invite each one individually for a special breakfast of mid-morning coffee. Ask for feedback. Let the team know you are there for them when they need you.
- Remove all negativism in the office. Replace it with positivity and enthusiasm. Encourage your workers to appreciate and offer praise to their co-workers. Keep competition to a minimum if at all. It can lead to resentment and ill-feelings.
- Resolve team conflicts immediately – Work to correct performance, attitude or ethics problems of individual team members when it is possible. Keep morale high.
- Get out of the office. Take the team on a picnic or to a sports event. Schedule a day at an art fair, museum or the races.
- Bring in a dance instructor, yoga instructor of exercise trainer and let everyone have a blast.