Whether your office is in a physical location or you have a hybrid working policy in place, it’s important to create a sense of togetherness in teams.
When you build a strong connection, sense of identity and belonging between colleagues, it benefits their work, and productivity and reduces conflict. In this blog, we look at ways you can create a strong bond within your team and why you need to.
How to Create a Sense of Togetherness in Your Teams
The evidence is clear that diverse workplaces perform better. Yet, this often means having a team with a wide range of skills, personalities and ways of thinking. This can be a cause of discomfort in a team.
If someone is confident, speaks up and pushes their ideas to the forefront, other quieter members of the team can feel overlooked. Plus, working with people who think differently from you should be an opportunity to find a middle ground but that is not always the case.
It’s important to create a sense of togetherness with your teams so that they can overcome any problems or difficulties and feel a greater connection to their colleagues. A good team will want every member to succeed because it means the whole team succeeds.
Let’s look at some ways you can create closeness within your teams.
Start with the Rituals
As many businesses work in a more flexible, remote and hybrid set up there can be a disparity between those in the office and those working from home. Regular rituals can help bridge this gap.
For some organisations, they find an end-of-week shout-out to those in the team who have been helpful that week by recognising the contribution.
“We celebrate each others’ wins every Friday with a shout-out,” explains Lottie Unwin, Founder of The Copy Club, “we’re all remote and it’s my favourite part of the week.”
Likewise, some organisations have a huddle at the start of the week. This is an opportunity to share what is going well and what isn’t. This gives everyone a chance to celebrate the wins but also offers help where it’s needed.
In Humour Seriously, Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, describe rituals as “cultural carriers”. These are points within the day, week or year that anchor the team to the culture.
Rituals help create an inclusive space where everyone feels a part of the group. Sharing celebrations, and creating fun forfeits for long-running meetings or interruptions are points around which people can gather.
Think about the regular rituals you can create in the team. How they might help staff recognise the contributions that each of them makes?
Build in the Opportunities
It may not be possible to have the unexpected chat while making a round of tea, or a water cooler moment now that more staff work remotely. There is nothing spontaneous about a Zoom call.
Instead, you need to build in the opportunities which bring people together that spark those unexpected conversations. A simple way to do this is by having a designated work-from-the-office day. Or organising a social event that takes people out of the office.
Replicating those former Friday pub lunches can go a long way to helping form closer bonds.
Encourage Projects Beyond the Work
When you encourage projects that exist outside of business-as-usual, you remind your staff that you appreciate them as an individual. It recognises that people have similar interests outside of the office.
Letting staff create groups where they can share their outside interests can help create a sense of togetherness in teams. Book clubs, sports groups or even charity work can help build those vital bonds.
Some organisations, such as Octopus, encourage staff to do charity work and give them time within their work schedule to do this. These initiatives are often highly valued by staff.
Why togetherness is important in a workplace
Creating a sense of togetherness can help bridge the gaps between team members. It makes them more productive, work better as a team and increases their problem-solving.
In fact, teams that communicate well with each other are over four times more likely to stay with the company. This reduces your turnover rate and helps you keep nurturing that talent.
Simple Acts to Build Togetherness
Dedicating time to creating a team togetherness may seem simple but these small acts can go a long way to bringing your team closer together. People spend most of their adult life at work, they want to get along with their colleagues and build those relationships.
The more we work in remote settings, the harder this is to do. It takes more effort to replicate what was once easy but when you do, the outcomes are beneficial for your staff, your business and your bottom line.
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