The project was a stretch…but the team was up for the challenge.
After months of hard work, deadlines, late nights and more…it was over.
They all high-fived, celebrated and rejoiced in their hard earned achievements.
The camaraderie was palpable and they were ready to live and fight another day.
Big wins for teams are great. Through struggles and working towards a goal we connect with one another and form greater group cohesion.
We know that for a team to work effectively together they must also recognise this group as a unit with the same values and goals. The more they can identify with each other as well as respect each others differences, the more likely (and willing) they are to work together as a team.
And when I say ‘team’ it does not necessarily mean a high performing team working on a life altering project, it can also mean a team working alongside each other in the same department or a small business with 10 employees.
However, sometimes it is not the ‘big wins’ that necessarily bring a team together…. instead we can often find more connection and bonding in more subtle and smaller ways.
Here are 6 to get you started.
More shared experiences together
Social investment is a term becoming increasingly popular in the business world as a way to get employees to ‘hang out’ with one another. We are now realising the powerful benefits of employees connecting with one another socially (insert facepalm here). It could be as simple as sharing pizza on a Friday afternoon to something more structured like a team building afternoon.
Understanding each other under the layers in more vulnerable and personal ways
We connect with people not through their successes but from hearing about their struggles and how they are human just like us. I have witnessed the most beautiful moments when team members realise something about one another that they didn’t know before, building trust and connection on a whole new level.
Trust (psychological safety) – your voice is welcomed and you are free to be yourself
I will be honest here and say this is not easy to create when trust has been broken and team members do not feel safe to share their ideas and thoughts. What you can do is start a conversation about how you all would like this team to operate. Establish agreed guidelines/manifesto for your team and find specific reasons to value and respect your team members. Trust is a teams superpower, so it is definitely one worth focussing on.
Acceptance and non-judgement
We judge, it is part of being human. That said, we can create conversations and awareness around judgement and learn more about finding compassion in every moment. Decide to create a culture that does not support complaining and talking about others.
Team members who value and appreciate one another
Part of the ethos of Happi Matters is ‘we all want to know that we matter’. This is simple….tell your team members why you value them. What is it about what they do that makes a difference to the company/project? Recognise them for their contribution and also show appreciation just for being the human that they are. This is FREE and can make a huge difference if done well and with some consistency.
‘Failures’ are encouraged and discussed
Studies have shown that the most cohesive teams make the most mistakes and are willing to come forward and talk about them. Again, start a conversation about how your team perceives failures and mistakes and how as a team you could you make it safer to share learnings and challenges.
I love both the complexity and simplicity of being human.
I believe we are different and unique and yet, we are all deeply connected with what it means to be human. The struggles, the challenges, the joys and the learnings.
A team is a ‘system’. An individuals behaviour or actions are never in isolation. Everyone is affecting everyone. Thanks to research in neuroscience and emotions, we now understand how contagious emotions are especially in a work environment. So this is something to be really aware of.
What small changes could you make now that could bring your team together? It is not you against them, it is simply ‘we’ as a team.
Start with just one of the suggestions above (even if it feels uncomfortable).
Nothing changes if nothing changes.
Get in touch to start your workplace connection journey today.