A team without unity, without cohesion, isn’t really much of a team, is it? As an employer trying to build a strong workforce or a coach trying to build a strong team, UNITY should be the first item on your checklist. “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved,” says American poet Mattie Stepanek.
So the question becomes how do you build team unity and foster a sense of belonging amongst a group of individuals that may have little in common outside of the fact that they are members of the same team?
How to Build Team Unity in 5 Easy Steps
“Clearly, building meaningful relationships in the office can have a positive impact on job satisfaction and, as a result, success,” says Andre Lavoie, CEO of ClearCompany.
The average American adult employed full time works 47 hours per week, according to a Gallup poll, and four in 10 workers put in over 50 hours each week. So, it’s important to like what you do and who you work with. According to the Gallup Organization, workers who identify coworkers as friends (or even best friends) are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. They are more likely to be satisfied and productive.
Fortunately, building team unity just takes a little work…
Step 1) Clearly Define Goals
As Andrew Carnegie once said, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.” It is important that every member of the team knows and understands the company’s goals. Without a clearly-defined finish line and plan to reach that finish line, everyone will ultimately run in different directions.
Step 2) Clearly Define Roles
As the old saying goes, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” This is just as true in the workplace or on the field as it is in the kitchen. Without clearly defined roles, productivity comes to a standstill. Too many leaders – too many voices – slow the process, lead to missed deadlines, unproductive behavior, errors, and ultimately failure.
Step 3) Establish Trust
Scottish author and poet George MacDonald once said “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”
Trust is essential to an effective relationship, an effective team, and an effective business. We must trust our co-workers, our teammates. We must trust that they will do their jobs. We must trust that they will pull their own weight and add value to the team. But building trust is not always easy. As theologian Isaac Watts once said, “Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.” Trust must be earned, and this can take some time.
Step 4) Encourage Open Communication
“We’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success,” writes study author Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory. The ability to communicate clearly is critical, and yet it is something that many companies take for granted. In fact, according to Talent Management, 86% of employees blame lack of collaboration (just another word for communication and teamwork) for workplace failures.
“The general consensus of the executives was that effective communication skills are more important now than ever before for business success,” say researchers James Bennet and Robert Olney, “and these skills will continue to be a critical component of the information society.”
Step 5) Practice
Teamwork – unity – takes practice. And, sometimes, it is best to get out of the office to improve in-office productivity. This is where Terrapin Adventures comes in. We will give your employees a crash course in teamwork. Our team team building activities allow people to play different roles within the team to work out solutions to certain challenges. Each of our team building exercises is fun but challenging, designed to make your employees stop, think, communicate, adjust their plan of action on the fly, and ultimately fail once or twice before succeeding. Get in touch with a Guest Relations Specialist today and ask about how we can help you plan your team building event.
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- “THE IMPORTANCE OF UNITY IN TEAM SUCCESS.” Addocura. N.p., 4 Nov. 2015. Web.
- Glaze, Sean. “Two Main Ingredients That Create Team Unity.” Two Main Ingredients That Create Team Unity. Association for Talent Development, 30 July 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
- Pentland, Alex “Sandy”, and Anita Woolley and Thomas W. Malone. “The New Science of Building Great Teams.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., 15 July 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.
- Bennett, J. C., and R. J. Olney. “Executive Priorities for Effective Communication in an Information Society.” Journal of Business Communication 23.2 (1986): 13-22. Web.
- Lavoie, Andre. “How to Build Meaningful Relationships in the Workplace.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 01 Sept. 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2017.