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“Team building” is often tossed around casually in workplace conversations, but it is more than just a clever business phrase. Creating a cohesive, collaborative team is important in any organization, and it takes leadership and dedication to achieve.

In a successful team, individuals are able to set aside their personal motivations to put the interests of the group first and work toward a common goal. Take note of these strategies to build a strong team and ensure that members truly care about the overall success and health of the organization.

1. Set Clear Goals and Expectations  

A good team is like a finely tuned machine; each member knows his or her role and has the training, support and resources to get the job done. The team as a whole must be aware of its overall short-term and long-term goals and the steps necessary to achieve them. Do you define clear performance expectations for each team member? Does each person know what the desired team outcomes are? Do you check in frequently with individuals to answer questions and make sure there isn’t any confusion?

2. Encourage Employee Engagement

Employees who feel engaged in their work are more likely to be happier in their jobs and more likely to remain committed in the organization. Do your team members feel that their work is valuable to the organization? Are they invested in their jobs and their contributions to the team? Read more about employee engagement tips  you can implement with your team.

3. Build Relationships

Team building is centered around trust, respect and cooperation. For a team to thrive, all members must be able to work harmoniously and collaboratively. They may not be best friends, but a group is able to accomplish far more when members like and respect each other. Give your employees opportunities to get to know each other outside of the office in a more relaxed, social setting. Host a team party or barbecue for a special occasion, such as the holidays or an important milestone for your organization. Celebrate a team victory by taking a long lunch together. Spend a work afternoon volunteering  together at a local charity or nonprofit. Small rewards improve team morale and give employees renewed enthusiasm for their work.

4. Support New Ideas

A key component to team building is encouraging innovative thinking, creative solutions and fresh ideas. Motivate your team to think outside the box and really listen to their suggestions. Schedule regular casual brainstorming sessions, and empower team members to speak up and take ownership of their ideas.

What strategies do you find most successful for building strong teams?

Explore EDSI’s effective team building resources .


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