Project Management

8 Team-Building Tips for Leaders That Actually Work

When the right mix of people is blended together the results are amazing, which makes team-building an essential. In a post for PM Hut, Richard Lepsinger, President of OnPoint Consulting, shares some ways to encourage team building the right way. He finds, “A great team has shared goals, clear roles, transparent processes for solving problems and making decisions, and the ability to deal with conflicts constructively.” With this in mind, there are eight tips for team-building that really work:

  1. Put an emphasis on common interests.
  2. Build trust.
  3. Increase incentives.
  4. Assimilate new members.
  5. Brand the team.
  6. Emphasize conflict resolution.
  7. Build the team in and out of the office.
  8. Celebrate!

Unite and Conquer

When the team begins to agree on common objectives, they are establishing a solid foundation for the team to grow. Never allow the team to dwell on their differences, but rather encourage cooperation. Trust is an essential element in any relationship, especially for a team. People who do not trust one another will never work well together. Working close to one another for a long time is a simple way to build trust, but in newly developed teams this may need to be encouraged more by the leader.

Individual incentives only encourage people to work independently, while incentives based on cooperation will encourage team members to work together to achieve goals. Incentives can be something like a monetary bonus, or even something more abstract, like a gold star. Furthermore, having a solid group identity will help members to be motivated to achieve greatness. Having a ceremony to celebrate the good they have done or creating a catchy team slogan (or logo!) help to give the team uniqueness.

A great leader will be able to get a new member integrated into the team and its values quickly. Orientation programs are an easy way to achieve this objective. At the other end of the spectrum, when you throw a myriad of people together into one room conflict is inevitable, so conflict resolution is a very necessary element in team-building. Handling conflicts constructively will help to move the team forward in a productive manner.

People often work better together when they feel a personal connection with one another. A leader who encourages this, and maybe even provides a special break room for them, will see the team become closely knit. Even having a simple field trip outside of the office can make an immense difference. And when the team has a triumph, celebrate it! Even something as simple as ordering the team a special pizza will go a long way in improving morale.

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