What level is YOUR team?
Civil but seething with resentment, hostility and suspicion? Full of passengers and people who are showing up just for the paycheque?
Functional but soul-less? Any chance to jump ship and they’ll take it?
Engaged – getting work done, enthusiastic?
High Performing – the energy is dynamic, the focus laser sharp and the results enviable?
Synergistic – projects are completed with joy, brilliant creative collaboration, and work is a delightful connected place?
Building synergistic teams doesn’t happen on its own. It takes time, deliberate intention, and a clearly articulated and managed plan.
Specifically, leaders need to focus on:
A Culture Pillar Statement. This involves a carefully articulated outline of what values the people in organisation hold close to hear AND the behaviours that match. No motherhood statements on posters – this is an engagement tool to keep people focused on the types of behaviours that truly demonstrate the individual and organisation commitment to their values. It is then used as a feedback mechanism and touchpoint that holds people accountable for their behaviour.
Build Safety. Safety in groups occurs when there are repeated positive experiences. This can be anything from a kind word, a thank you note, a special meal out, staff awards, public praise for a job well done. Make it ok to fail – and learn from mistakes together. Appreciate those who dare to raise issues or bring questions to the table – they will shine light in dark corners that need to be addressed.
Build engagement skills. There’s a reason all those outdoor programs of the 90s were so trendy – they worked! However many programs got derailed as they were delivered independent of context, badly facilitated, or seen as a one-off ‘bonding’ experience with no real tangible results expected.
Team engagement in experiential programs requires individuals to try new things, experiment with behaviours, be courageous in addressing issues and challenging the status quo. Individuals need to connect, negotiate, persuade, listen, and share in frank and honest ways that build collegiality and understanding among peers. Because they are intensive, the insights are fast and the feedback immediate and effective.
These types of programs need to be built as part of an organisation’s overall culture plan. Regular, real touchpoints that allow individuals to share, grow, learn, and have fun together builds a resilient and robust culture – a culture worth belonging to.
Your Team Building Plan Checklist:
- Know what kind of team you want to foster.
- Be clear on the values and the expected behaviours that match.
- Have meeting guidelines about sharing new ideas, learning from experiences, and encouraging the truth tellers.
- Plan regular, fun, and engaging activities together.
- Build engagement skills through a professionally facilitated program that teaches practical skills, and offers opportunities to consolidate through activities.
- Celebrate your successes!
Inner Compass provides quality bespoke programs for you and your team, designed as part of your overall team engagement plan. Contact Zoe Routh to discuss your team development ideas now.
A team building day that created an art piece – painted by toes, nose, elbows!