There are lots of ways for organisations to boost morale and promote teamwork that don’t involve off-site activities, bonding sessions, or direct financial rewards. Never underestimate the power hidden in a workplace’s day-to-day to bring people closer together.
Here are five ways to build stronger teams and improve performance.
1. Give everyone a say
Teams are stronger when each member feels valued by their peers and the organisation. When everyone believes they have contributed to a company’s progress it’s easier to develop a collective approach to challenges.
Talk to people at all levels of the organisation, and encourage them to communicate with each other and senior management. Different teams with diverse perspectives will feel empowered to share knowledge across the business, which helps to engender team spirit.
Emboldening your employees to brainstorm, debate, and discuss ideas will also likely result in them making decisions together about which projects, systems, or practices will benefit the company.
2. Encourage a flexible work environment
Giving your employees freedom in how they organise their work can lead to hefty returns in their efforts and loyalty – to the business and to each other.
Creating an atmosphere where people don’t feel they are being micromanaged gives them the confidence to find creative solutions to problems.
A flexible work environment can also reduce existing tensions between employees and separate teams, who, with less rigidity in their schedule, are free to network outside their individual role or teams.
3. Acknowledge team accomplishments
Many companies acknowledge and reward individuals who go beyond the call of duty. While recognition for exceptional performance is a great way to boost morale for individual accomplishments, you could also consider ways to celebrate team achievements, like public recognition, team bonuses, or rewards.
This will show teams that management values collective success as much as individual success, and promotes the organisation as one that understands the importance of everyone working together.
4. Trust your teams
Empowered employees who have the trust of their managers are more likely to perform to their potential – and are generally happier.
Showing your employees that you trust them to do their job usually builds mutual trust and respect in return. This trust is usually noticed and emulated by other teams, bringing people closer together.
The best managers let their colleagues know that they have the support they need to do their jobs. When a team is confident that their manager will stand by their decisions, they’ll be more comfortable taking the initiative and working together to get things done.
5. Provide collaboration spaces
An organisation’s physical surroundings can also be an asset in establishing a team-oriented vibe.
Comfortable meeting spaces equipped with lounges, tables and whiteboards make it easy for teams to get together and share ideas. Dedicated breakout spaces can also encourage impromptu chats or brainstorms at any time throughout the day – without the need to book an official meeting.
It’s these informal interactions among colleagues in shared spaces that tend to set in motion the best ideas. People are social by nature, so giving them the physical space to establish bonds is a powerful way to foster a more collaborative culture.
Corporate outings and events and off-site bonding sessions can be constructive, team-building exercises. However, the workplace itself is the best place to start fostering a collaborative culture, with everyday practices that empower teams and bring them closer together.
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