15 Best team cohesion strategies at work

A cohesive team is defined as a united group of individuals with a shared identity, working towards a common goal. 

When your team is working at its optimum level, your employees will be more satisfied at work and prioritise the success of the company mission over individual goals. 

The problem is, a cohesive team is often confused for a group of talented individuals and, contrary to popular belief, acquiring a cohesive team doesn’t occur naturally. It requires a purposeful and strategized process.

For your business to be successful, improving team cohesion must become a priority. In this article, we’ll suggest the best solutions to include in your team cohesion strategy.

1. Develop an actionable roadmap

Whether your a fresh team looking to build relationships or a seasoned workforce hoping to build upon last years results, developing an actionable team cohesion strategy is crucial.

Bruce Tuckman, an American Psychological Researcher, devised a theory about the various stages of group development. According to Tuckman, there are four primary stages into which all teams can be categorised:  Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. Once you know which category your team falls into, you can start developing a structured roadmap that will improve your team’s efficiency.

2. Only hire when strictly necessary

The bigger your team is the more complicated things will become, and the more difficult it will be to maintain cohesion. Before hiring a new employee, ask yourself the question: Could I give this task to somebody else?

When new people join the team, it can temporarily throw your team off-balance, whereas handing over new responsibilities to existing employees demonstrates trust and a willingness to invest in them.

3. Host a company retreat

Company retreats are the most effective way of improving team cohesion. While away from the office, your team can dedicate time towards building relationships, brainstorming solutions, acquiring new skills, celebrating victories and much more.

Enlisting the help of a third-party specialist such as Surf Office makes the process cost-effective and hassle-free.

4. Hire employees with similar values

It can be tempting to select the candidate with the most impressive resume, but doing so might not be best for your team. When hiring a new employee, consider carefully their potential to merge with the rest of the team.

Identifying what type of person you’d like to hire before starting the recruitment process is an effective way of finding a suitable candidate.

5. Keep your team diverse

Building a diverse team with a variety of ages, cultures and ethnicities, widens your talent pool and reduces the chance of developing a confirmation bias within your team. Your team will be better equipped to tackle complex problems and devise creative solutions.

6. Establish a company mission

A critical step towards building a cohesive team, establishing a company mission drives your company culture and underpins every decision your going to make.

Your employees should have the overarching goal in their minds during everything they do, and it’s this idea that will stimulate their work ethic and unite your workforce.

7. Create a goal-setting framework

Goal-setting frameworks come in many shapes and sizes and the goal pyramid is perhaps the simplest of them all. At the summit of your pyramid lies the company mission, supported by long-term goals and short-term goals with daily habits forming the foundation.

This pyramid is a simplistic representation rather than an actionable roadmap, but it’s a useful point of reference that can be displayed on the wall or employee’s desks.

8. Re-evaluate goals regularly

Effective teams will power through objectives quickly. Therefore, it’s necessary to renew and establish new goals regularly to keep your employees engaged and motivated.

9. Delegate tasks and share responsibility

Once a basic level of trust has been built and your employees become comfortable in their roles, you can start to automate your team by encouraging your employees to make important decisions.

Reducing micromanagement frees up time for managers, boosts employee confidence and increases job satisfaction. 

10. Resolve conflict immediately

All teams disagree no matter how effective they are, it’s how these conflicts are resolved that makes the difference. Although conflict is often seen as a negative, it does play a beneficial role in your business.

Disagreements can be a healthy and useful component of your team and ensure your employees remain critical and analytical. The most important thing is to ensure the solution supports the company mission rather than individual goals.

11. Celebrate victories

After completing an objective, it’s essential to celebrate your team’s success. Cohesive teams use these moments to motivate one another and nurture interpersonal relationships. Managers can also use this time to acknowledge good work by offering promotions, bonuses, company outings, etc.

12. Maintain effective communication channels

Good communication forms the bedrock of all successful teams. But good communication is not synonymous with frequent communication, rather, teams that communicate excessively are often less productive.

Efficient workflows are built upon asynchronous communication with the use of online collaboration tools and workflow management software. Maintaining effective communication channels improves employee happiness and drives engagement.

13. Facilitate recurring team-bonding exercises

Once your team is operating effectively, it’s important to maintain employee relationships with recurring team-bonding exercises. Events such as regular coffee breaks, team lunches and after-work running clubs improve your employee’s association with the office and demonstrate your concern for their mental and physical well being.

14. Mandate regular feedback

Feedback is a two-way street and gives employees and managers a chance to discuss positive points and highlight areas for improvement. Making these discussions regular helps teams to identify potential issues quickly and find solutions before they become worse.

15. Share knowledge and skills

Investing in your team’s skillset improves team cohesion and demonstrates a willingness to invest in the growth of your employees. You might consider creating an internal wiki, company intranet or internal knowledge base to keep everybody on one page.

Fast-track team development with a comprehensive company retreat

A company retreat is the most effective way to improve team cohesion. The only problem is, they can take a lot of time and effort to organise, causing many companies to neglect their team and prioritise other tasks.

Fortunately, Surf Office are here to organise your company retreat for you. 

Contact us today to start building a united team and enjoy increased revenue, improved efficiency and enhanced employee satisfaction.

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