Whether we are talking about an HR manager, a CEO with years of experience, or just an inspired entrepreneur making their first steps in launching a startup, there is one thing none of these people can do without. It is an effective team that can help attain the goals of your business.
The effectiveness of the team determines business success. But, what shapes an effective team? There are many factors that can turn a group of people into a real team. But the most important of all is cohesion.
According to the general definition, the term is used to indicate the fact or action of multiple pieces forming a united whole. From the corporate perspective, this term is often used to refer to an effective and friendly group of individuals (team) who work together towards a shared goal. Simply put, it is a strong interpersonal bond that helps members of the group stay motivated and engaged in the process.
Every enterprise, big or small, comes to the point when the task or project can only be done through collaboration. For teams that lack cohesion, it can be a real stress. Not to say that it will be hard to get the task done. But, there is a way for you to help your employees build trust and learn to work together.
In the list below, we’ve collected some of the most effective ways to achieve cohesion:
To maximize productivity and effectiveness, all members of a group need to have not only personal objectives but also well-established mutual goals. Your task as a leader is to make sure that all those goals align.
But what does this have to do with team cohesion? Needless to say that clearly set goals ensure that work gets done much faster and with better results. But, there is one more benefit of having well-defined individual and shared objectives. When everyone knows what contribution they need to make, this helps avoid competition and conflict.
Thus, widely set objectives can help to create stronger bonds inside the team and maintain them.
If you take a look at any leading corporation, you can notice one shared trait - they all have very diversified teams. By saying this, we mean they bring together people of various backgrounds, nationalities, genders, skill sets, and qualifications, and make them cooperate to achieve the best result.
There are several reasons to think of diversity when hiring. First of all, the diversity of skills, talent, and expertise creates a more positive ambiance that leaves space for creativity and innovation. Besides, thanks to the diversity of knowledge, such groups can handle various tasks quicker and easier.
As a result, you get increased motivation, performance, and productivity of every employee. And, what is more important, the right blend of personalities and cultures promotes cohesion.
Find Effective Ways of Communication
Proper communication creates a solid grounding for effective cooperation. And it also serves as the basis for team cohesion. So, the next tip is to find and implement effective ways of communication.
As a leader, you should encourage transparency, mutual respect, support, and clarity. You should ensure that all communication that takes place inside the group is constructive and positive. But, at the same time, it should be clear and effective enough to ensure that everyone gets their tasks right.
Pro Tip: When managing communication within a group of people, it is vital to understand that every member has a different behavioral style and, respectively, a different communication style. This difference can lead to misunderstandings and mistrust. To avoid this, be sure to analyze the behavioral styles you have in your team and define the ways of communication each prefers.
Learn to Manage Conflicts Right
When different personalities and viewpoints meet together, conflicts are inevitable. But, the fact that you can’t avoid conflicts, doesn’t mean that you can’t settle them right.
Conflict management is a very broad and complex matter. However, it is one of those basics without which you won’t be able to build trust. Therefore, you should really consider investing your time in learning the rudiments of conflict management.
Pro Tip: Lack of experience in conflict management is one of the most common challenges facing student entrepreneurs during their first startups. And they fail because they can’t find time to hone their conflict management skills due to a large academic load. We strongly encourage you to delegate your college matters to a professional writing service. Check out NoCramming for objective reviews of the most popular services such as Essay Pro review and many others. Once you find a reliable helper, you will be able to devote 100% of your time to learn conflict management.
Utilize Individual Strengths
When it comes to collaboration, the most effectiveness and productivity can be reached if you know the strength of each employee and can combine them in a way that yields the best result.
As a leader, you should discover the individual talents and strengths of your subordinates and then delegate tasks accordingly. If you assign tasks based on every employee’s strengths, not only everyone will accomplish their individual goals but the whole group will work more cohesively.
Recognize the Importance of Feedback
Providing regular constructive feedback is another way to build an amicable and productive team. It is important that you provide feedback all the way through the project as well as after its completion. Also, it is vital to deliver both individual and group feedback.
The best tactic to provide feedback is to present it in the form of a summary of the outcomes and things that worked and didn’t work. And, be sure to allow a constructive dialogue after providing feedback. A group discussion will help to pull all employees together and find solutions for achieving better results in future projects.
Pro Tip: We bet that most of you already recognize the importance of giving feedback to your employees. But, how often do you ask them to give you feedback? If you don’t do this yet, you should start now. This tactic helps build trust and show employees that their opinions matter.
Leave Time for Fun
Who says that people who work together can’t also have fun together? One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to keep 100% of the focus on shared work within the office, and not incorporating any fun. So, our next tip is to allocate some time for fun.
Organizing fun shared activities is one of the best ways to build cohesion. It helps to create stronger bonds in the group and help its individual members learn each other better.
What can you do as a team? It can be almost anything. For example, you can start by arranging joint lunches. Also, you can try organizing game nights, marathons of inspiring TV shows or movies, contests, trips, etc. There are plenty of other options too, so everyone should be able to find something suitable. The only limit is your imagination!
The last tip we’d like to give you is to always celebrate wins together. Just like your group needs a shared goal to be effective, it also needs a shared award or celebration to maintain motivation and achieve even better results in the future.
Celebrating each other’s wins (both mutual and individual) is the key to creating stronger bonds and promoting friendships.
Besides, by celebrating wins, you show appreciation to your employees and this is an effective way to keep them motivated.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to working on something as a group, cohesion is the key to productivity and satisfaction of every member of the group. Unfortunately, it is not something that can be brought into a team overnight.
Effective collaboration is based on openness, trust, and mutual respect. All these factors need to be fostered gradually through creating shared experiences, modeling positive behaviors, and, of course, constant practice.
In this article, we’ve collected the best practices and tips used by leaders to build trust and ensure smooth cooperation at all levels. Hopefully, each of you will find something helpful here. Follow these tips to help your employees work together effectively. And remember that achieving team cohesion is a never-ending process, so the more time and effort you put into it, the better results you can get!
About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.