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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 Tips for Team-Building

Positive office dynamics add great strength to a business, while strained ones create strife. As a manager, you simply can't afford to leave such an important aspect of the company to chance.

There are many ways for managers to bring a team together and foster its ability to work together as a whole. These 10 tips can help unite even the most disparate group of people.

1. Communicate goals clearly. Employees look to management for basic company goals. When those goals are not clear, disagreements will erupt as employees try to define goals themselves. By clearly laying out goals, everyone begins in the same place and understands where the business is going.

2. Define responsibilities. Offices run best when everyone clearly understands their responsibilities. Provide each employee with a distinct definition of his or her own responsibilities, both individually and as it relates to group projects. This eliminates confusion over who is accountable for what, and allows employees to relate without struggling over responsibilities.

3. Provide equal training. Make sure that each member of your staff is trained and equipped to complete the tasks at hand; divisions surface when one member is unable to perform necessary duties. Provide ongoing training — if additional time is needed, pair two employees to learn from each other. Make sure, though, that it's an equal teaching relationship, where both employees are gaining new skills.

4. Encourage relationships. Most offices are busy places with many demanding deadlines. But allowing employees an occasional extended lunch to go out together and relax outside of the work environment can build understanding that will transfer back into the office and improve working relationships.

5. Empower. Give decision-making power to the people working on the project. Give them the authority necessary to get their jobs done, but observe the process to make sure they're rising to the challenge. Trusted employees can make decisions without fearing consequences, and good employees will value that trust and seek to make the best decisions.

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