Discover tactics for building a stronger team.

While the value of strong teams is clear, creating and supporting these engaged work groups can be challenging. Read on for tips on how to overcome obstacles that keep teams from being engaged, close-knit and best-in-class.  

 

5 Manager Hacks for Building Stronger Teams

What is the best part about your job? While every job is different, the most common response to this question is “the people.” The camaraderie formed between co-workers makes work more meaningful and fun. At the organizational level, strong teams define and authenticate the corporate culture.

While the value of strong teams is clear, creating and supporting these engaged work groups can be challenging. Read on for tips on how to overcome obstacles that keep teams from being engaged, close-knit and best-in-class.

Hacks for Overcoming Team Challenges

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Enduring Times of Change and Uncertainty

Corporate reorganizations, cost-cutting measures and global expansions can create tension among even the most engaged teams.

  • Openly communicate. To the extent possible, provide context on how the change will affect each employee’s day-to-day activities. Encourage workers to ask questions and express their concerns about the change.
  • Take ownership. Engage the team in developing solutions to problems that have arisen due to the change.
  • Offer flexibility. When possible, allow workers to have a say in work hours, responsibilities and procedures. Small amounts of control go a long way in helping employees be resilient.
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Resolving Team Conflict
Conflict is a natural part in the ebb and flow of team dynamics. However, unresolved conflict wastes time, reduces productivity and lowers team morale.

  • Examine your role in the conflict. Reflect on how you as a manager may have contributed to the problem through unclear assignments and goals, favoritism or ineffective feedback.
  • Get the full story. Meet with the employees involved in the conflict one-on-one. Ask open-ended questions to get the facts of the situation.
  • Mediate the situation. Avoid taking sides as you review the situation. Lead employees in finding a solution and clearly define expectations for each person involved.
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Losing a Key Team Member

The departure of a high performing team member can evoke feelings of sadness, frustration and even bitterness.

  • Embrace the change. Help the team recalibrate after the loss by acknowledging and supporting the person’s decision to leave.
  • Create a plan. Meet as a team to discuss gaps created by the person’s departure and outline a timeline for addressing these issues. Identify opportunities for individuals to grow professionally by taking on additional responsibilities either temporarily and permanently.
  • Define new roles. Clearly communicate any changes to team roles and priorities that may result due to the modification in team structure.
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Integrating New Team Members

Adding a new person to your team can be challenging, especially if your team has achieved a high level of synergy. The key to quickly assimilating the person into the group is transparency.

  • Welcome the team member. Help the new team member quickly acclimate to their position by including them in day-to-day and strategic meetings.
  • Facilitate connections. Encourage group members to meet one-on-one with the new employee, which will help them learn about and connect with their new team.
  • Tap into the team’s new strengths. Be sure to integrate the new addition’s strengths, skills and perspectives into your team’s initiatives.
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Connecting with Virtual Team Members

While technology has made it easier for people to collaborate across the miles, connecting virtually can still be challenging. Take simple, intentional steps to nurture cohesion among a partially or entirely virtual team.

  • Connect as a team. Develop team camaraderie by allowing time for conversations unrelated to work. Be sure to arrange in-person team meetings at least once a year.
  • Create a team schedule. Overcome availability challenges by establishing “core” working hours where everyone is available to collaborate on tasks.
  • Be intentional about collaboration. When impromptu “water cooler” strategy and project meetings occur in the office, call virtual team members to include them.

 

“Cohesive teams that enjoy working with each other are the ‘secret sauce’ to best-in-class engagement and productivity. Engaged teams will draw high performers to your company more than any corporate strategy, press release or recruiting campaign. With applications like Ceridian’s TeamRelate, you can equip your employees with tools to better connect, communicate and collaborate with their teammates,” said Ted Malley, senior vice president product evangelist at Ceridian.

For more information:

  • Take our quiz to learn what role you play on a team
  • Download our infographic on Engaging Today’s Workforce
  • Learn about TeamRelate