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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

10 Tips for Team-Building (2)

6. Provide feedback. Don’t make a group second-guess your opinion of its work. Be clear not only in your initial expectations and assignments, but also in your opinion of the work. Open and frequent communication, where employees are clear on where they stand, will help them feel more secure and willing to work together.
Reward. Provide rewards to the office as a group. Whether it's an award, a luncheon, or some other treat, providing the whole office with an encouraging reward for hard work will build team spirit and bring your employees back in with renewed enthusiasm for their jobs.

7. Set reasonable deadlines. Reasonable deadlines are often subjective, and timelines vary based on need. But you can build a spirit of teamwork by dividing assignments equally, providing compensation to employees who are working additional hours, and reworking less important deadlines to allow for a little more time.

8. Meet regularly. The best way to understand your employees and to let them know they're not alone is to meet regularly with them. Whether it’s a monthly lunch meeting or an organized meeting with specific agenda items, it's critical to keep the lines of communication open. This allows you to gauge not only their needs and productivity, but will also help you assess any team-building concerns that need to be addressed.

9. Discourage “backdoor” reports. Inevitably, there will be at least one employee who will attempt to report to you after every meeting — giving a play-by-play slanted in his or her favor. Don't encourage this behavior, and resist the temptation to use this employee as a fly on the wall. Backdoor tactics can severely undermine an otherwise positive office environment.

10. Building a team means creating a noncompetitive and encouraging work environment — the kind of environment that fosters positive working relationships. When employees feel valued and know that they don't have to vie against one another for recognition, they will be comfortable and confident in working together to achieve their common goal.

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