Seven Ways to Win
- Create a “We” culture
- Clearly define roles and personal growth plans
- Recognize success, regardless of its origin
- Educate, train, and role play
- Win and lose as a team
- Encourage social get-togethers
- Develop team-building exercises and programs
To build a supportive culture where people feel like they have each other’s backs, use “we” more than “I” in your communication. If you spell out what it is you expect from individual team members, especially what you want to see if they intend to move up, they are more likely to work harder because you have paved out the path to their success. And identifying success is important, because as Olguin says, good ideas can come from the bottom just as well as from the top.
Another useful way to build the team is to educate and role play with junior staff. When you always have an attitude of “how we can improve” versus “you need to keep up,” people will react positively to the education. The credit for big wins and losses should similarly be spread across the board. Everyone’s achievements should be acknowledged, and on the flipside, everyone should take a hand in blame. If you think it can help, arrange a social get-together so people can get to know each other better and become more invested in each other. But other silly means of interaction can do the job too:
I have long believed that information is power. As a result, we have brought our entire organization together for the past 10 years to celebrate the previous year’s success, do some forward thinking and, most importantly, get together for structured team-building programs. We have done scavenger hunts, “Survivor” and “Amazing Race”-style competitions, and a variety of other programs designed to bring people together in both a social and fun, competitive environment. These team-building exercises have become some of the most important and memorable within our organization.
There are dozens of articles out there on team building, but I think Olguin hits on a very important point with his article—namely that “we’re all in it together” when it comes to being a team. You can read his full article here: http://www.inc.com/michael-olguin/build-a-winning-team-dynamic.html