WORKPLACE / OCT. 21, 2014
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How to Develop Stronger Working Relationships Among Your Staff

Building relationships at work can be difficult for some companies, depending on what they do and how many people work for them. For larger companies, making everyone feel valued and part of a bigger family is difficult because of the sheer number of people, who are often separated by certain departments and functions. Smaller companies may find it easier, but if employees don’t mesh well, building a strong sense of teamwork is just as tough. These simple steps can help your team feel more connected and build a stronger sense of teamwork.

Hire and train carefully

Especially true for smaller companies, the people you hire can make a huge impact on how well everyone gets along and works together. If you hire a person who is more individually oriented, it can be tough to make them feel like part of a team; it can also make your team feel like there’s an outsider in the office.

Be sure to hire people who are willing to participate in group work and function as a team. It’s important that they understand the group dynamic you desire in your office. 

Being actively involved in the hiring process can also ensure that current teammates have a say in who joins the team; involving the department receiving the new hire can have a big effect on who is hired and why. It also builds the relationship of the current team by allowing them to communicate with one another and make decisions as a group.

Create an inclusive vision

Giving everyone a part to play in your company vision is key if you want everyone to feel involved. If you only assign group work to certain employees or teams, not everyone is going to feel included. Be sure to spread work evenly and try to give everyone the same value. If they feel like their work means less than that of their teammates, they’re a lot less likely to feel like an important part of the team.

Create team tasks and events

Having one morning of the week oriented towards team building can be a strong aid in fostering teamwork among your staff. If you find that designating a specific weekday towards this is difficult due to schedules, try picking one Saturday a month to take everyone to lunch or have some team-building exercises. Often, companies will take employees to team-building retreats a few times a year in order to build strong connections among your employees.

Encourage communication

If you’ve got a group of people who don’t communicate with each other, building a team is nearly impossible. If there’s tension between team members or some discord, it’s important to foster an environment in which communication is strongly encouraged; otherwise, feelings of bitterness or resentment can make it hard to work together. 

Team-building, especially for managers, can be difficult if you’re starting a new company or dealing with a large number of employees. However, by following these simple steps, you can help encourage an environment in which people work together smoothly and enjoy a team dynamic.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

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