I read an article about employee turmoil being one of the greatest pitfalls in business. When an organization creates a culture of competition, instead of teamwork, the results are disastrous. When employees spend more time looking out for themselves than they do for their team’s and the company’s goals, productivity and the organization as a whole will suffer, and most likely, eventually fold.
Investing the time to create a sense of oneness and learning how to work together, to leverage strengths, and come together to achieve more, may be the key to growing and thriving as a corporation.
Here are a few ways to build camaraderie on your team:
1. Tap into strengths and passions.
Sure, there are always going to be tasks that we dislike in our job, things we wish we didn’t have to do. But overall, we should be in jobs where the work is interesting and challenging.
Making sure team members are in roles that match with their strengths will not only help with retention, but will highlight where they shine and create a sense of positive dependency amongst other team members.
If I am an excellent presenter, and our team has a pitch to deliver, the team will most likely nominate me to speak. And I will relish the opportunity. The team will be happy because they know they excel in other areas and I will be excited to leverage what I’m good at and passionate about. Win win.
Make it a point to tap into the strengths of your employees and find out where they’re passionate. Find opportunities to foster those passions and watch how the team rises up.
2. Find ways to make your co-workers look good.
Let’s continue with the last example. I am a fantastic presenter and have been nominated to pitch the deal our team has been working on for several months. The thing is, that whether we get the business or not, it doesn’t impact me much as I will be working on a different project shortly.
However, I also know the value of a healthy team and will rely on the strengths of several of my other team members down the road. So I will work diligently to prepare for the presentation, and I will nail it, so as to highlight the hard work of my co-workers.
I want to make them look good and they look for opportunities to do that for me too. Why? Because it’s motivating, empowering, inspiring. And not many people think to do it. Being a part of a team that looks out for one another is more productive and successful, and just plain fun and fulfilling to be on.
3. Protect your own.
We are only as strong as our weakest link. But in a team, our weakest link matters as much as our strongest one. Therefore filling in the gaps when one of the links isn’t pulling its weight is huge. It shows that YOU will be carried when you start to slip (and we all do at times).
If you see a teammate floundering, first find out why, and look for ways to help. Protect your team whenever and wherever you can. Doing so keeps the team moving forward and gently supports the weak link back to full strength.
I am reminded of Dale Carnegie’s iconic book, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ So much of life is learning about people and how to interact with them. Working with a team involves people and finding ways to make them feel valued.
In the end, a team is a group of people with talents and abilities that work together to accomplish more than they would separately. Understanding the true value of a team is the first step. Working to build camaraderie is the second. Find ways this year to implement these three tips into your organization and watch what a bonded team can do.