Three Simple Ways to Foster Team Spirit
“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” - Charles Darwin
If you’ve ever worked at a company that had a toxic environment, then you’ll already know just how vital the attitudes of your fellow teammates are. And if you haven’t worked within a toxic team before - count your blessings!
Your employees will, at some point, need to interact with other people, whether that’s a team member, customer, or service provider. And the levels to which they cooperate and collaborate with those people, instilling a sense of camaraderie along the way, depict their team spirit.
The benefits of team spirit go far beyond merely cultivating a positive working environment. It forms trust, boosts productivity, and improves communication. What’s more, there are simple ways for you to foster team spirit.
The first step towards fostering team spirit is to ensure that everyone actually feels like part of the team. Is everyone speaking a language that all members of your team can understand? Does everyone feel safe and supported at work? Can your team freely express their opinions without discriminating against others?
According to PwC’s multi-year, global, cross-industry survey on Diversity & Inclusion, 33 percent of the workforce believe that diversity is a barrier to their progression. That’s a big red flag!
Being an inclusive workplace means that you are open-minded and actively encourage a diverse workforce. Employees that feel that they are part of a team are happier in general, leading to increased productivity.
Identify ‘problem employees’
We use the term ‘problem employees’ loosely here. That’s because even if you do have employees that are instigating toxic relationships within their teams, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a terrible employee - but something needs to be done and fast, especially if their behavior is impacting on other team members.
In a Fierce, Inc survey of full-time employees across the U.S., more than half (53%) say they handle ‘toxic’ employees by ignoring them, with less than a quarter (24%) confronting these individuals directly. While another 18% complain to management, 41% think that once alerted, management does nothing to address the situation..
By identifying the disgruntled people causing disruption in the workplace or causing angst amongst their teams, you can figure out why they are behaving the way they do and have the opportunity to rectify their behavior. Identifying and solving the issues will allow your teams to work more harmoniously together - and elevate your standing as a leader.
Organize team-building and social activities
Fostering a team spirit will require your team to get to know one another – and we don’t just mean the two minutes at the water cooler. Set up some social activities like after-work drinks or an annual team-building experience.
By allowing your employees to bond and build relationships outside of the work environment, they are more likely to work better together, promoting engagement and productivity.
You must understand just how important a team working cohesively together is, as a team spirit can only grow when encouraged and actively worked on.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford