The 25th of February sees the UK’s official Employee Motivation Day, a day created to inspire passion and appreciation. In a work environment where attention is focused on what the customer needs, businesses can often forget about their most valued asset; the people who work for them.
Working as a team is impossible to avoid in most business situations, whether as part of your daily work or in a broader sense with colleagues or managers. It seems clear that employees that are engaged and motivated by their job are happier and will work better as a team. But have you considered that the converse is also true? Working in a team that is performing well will make employees more engaged and motivated, improving their job satisfaction on a daily basis.
How does team building do all of this?
- Building loyalty to each other
- Improving communication
- Building trust
- Appreciating each other's strengths
- Have some fun
Many work relationships have developed through email communication. It's hard to get to know someone without face to face interaction. Roger Black, Olympic athlete: We're naturally social creatures, and have a desire to belong to a group, team or family. By working together, the British Team felt a greater responsibility to do well and perform better for the sake of their teammates - they didn't want to let their team down.
Spending time outside the work environment can be invaluable in understanding how you communicate, and how your colleagues communicate. A facilitator can help you to try different methods of communication and understand what works for your team, and what doesn't.
Most teams work together because individuals have their own specialised skills, each contributing something different to the desired outcome. They work best when each person can concentrate on their own role. Mutual trust developed during team-building activities can allow individuals to depend more on one another and be more productive and efficient as a result.
The performance of a team usually relies on a balance of personalities and ways of working. The right team building exercise can demonstrate how everybody has something to contribute. An appreciation of how different approaches can complement each other can also help ease conflict.
This helps achieve all of the above! Relaxing outside of the work environment can really strengthen relationships and help people open up. It can also make employees feel more valued when they know their enjoyment is worth investing in.
Understanding what makes a team tick, and the individuals within it, can have a big impact on their performance. Motivational speaker Dan Pink presented this TED talk about why these intrinsic factors are much better motivators than extrinsic factors such as financial rewards for achievement. He demonstrates how understanding your team can help with individual engagement and improve your business success.
In Small and Medium size enterprises it can seem like there is not time or budget for developing the team. However the returns from effective team development can quickly outweigh costs. Azesta have years of experience running team programmes to suit all organisations - have a look at the What We Do section of our web site for examples. If you want to run a powerful and insightful exercise “in house” they are also the UK distributor of experiential learning tools from Metalog. The best selling tool Tower of Power is a task can only be solved by precise planning, good communication, along with well organised teamwork. It is a good demonstration of how an exercise can be used to help explore team processes and so develop a team.