Team work is both invaluable and unavoidable in a small business. Whether you only have a handful of employees or upwards of 30, everyone in the business is going to depend on others to make progress towards their goals and contribute to the business as a whole. Although some teams are naturally cohesive and effective together, you might feel that your workforce is somehow fractured and strained. Here are some great ways to bring your employees closer together…
Be Proactive About Resolving Disputes
Disputes between employees can be extremely detrimental to how productive and happy the whole team are, so you need to iron them out as soon as possible. The best way to resolve disputes between your staff is to tackle them before they actually happen. As the CEO, it’s your responsibility to be on the lookout for any signs of emerging conflict, sometimes before the staff themselves even know that there’s an issue, and then settle this dispute before it can cause any kind of damage to the organisation. Just make sure you’re not becoming too wrapped up in the more tangible, measurable side of work, and always keeping an ear to the ground. Being proactive about disputes means less disputes, and less disputes means a more productive team!
Give Something Back
When two employees lock horns, it can seem like they simply weren’t made to get along, and that there’s some basic trait in each of them which means they’ll always look for conflict with the other person in the equation. The fact is, a lot of tensions and conflicts are actually rooted in a more subtle, simmering tension that’s rooted in the staff being worked too hard with not enough reward. Stress is always detrimental to good teamwork. Obviously, you need to hit your targets, but if you want to have a tight-knit company culture, you need to be giving something back every now and then. The next time you’re sending someone away on business, fly them first class, or look into some executive serviced apartments. You can give all your employees something back by investing in a company gym membership, regular deliveries of fresh fruit, or some other perk. If you can’t realistically afford in these things, give your workers more flexibility for completing tasks, or ease up on your dress code.
Large meetings are a great opportunity to encourage your staff to talk to each other a little more. In these meetings, you should make it a priority to ensure that every single team member brings at least something to the table. Directly invite members of your team to talk, and gradually build a company culture with a heavy emphasis on listening, compromise and respect. The more your staff talk with each other, offering and fine-tuning ideas, the more they’ll get to know each other, and the closer they’ll ultimately become. Get people communicating openly, and they’ll naturally learn the best way to bounce ideas off one another, and move towards their goals more efficiently.