5 Ways to Build a Strong Team (We admit we’re a bit biased about #4)
Starting a new team or group can be challenging. When you gather diverse personalities together they aren’t always the most compatible and it’s easy to feel at odds sometimes with the rest of the group. So how do you create a strong team dynamic or culture? There are many ways to go about it but ultimately, fostering a strong team starts at the very beginning when you form your group with a clean, blank slate. If you get off to a strong start you will have a much easier time than trying to create strength from something that is struggling already. Of course it’s possible to course correct but it’s much more difficult than building from the ground up with a solid foundation already in place.
Here are just 5 ways you can create a strong team!
To start off, if your team is newly formed a great way to begin making a connection and fostering a sense of team will begin with “breaking the ice” and getting to know one another. While it might feel silly at first, having everyone introduce themselves, even in a playful format, is a great way to have people start feeling comfortable with one another.
Some great ice breakers that require little effort or preparation are:
- 10 Things in Common: Simply pair people up and give them each a piece of paper. Each pair needs to find 10 things they have in common with one another. Then they can switch with another.
- Two Truths and a Lie: Everyone must come up with three facts about themselves but there is a catch! One of the three facts is completely made up! After reading all three out to the group, it’s the groups turn to guess which one is the lie.
- Winner/Loser: Pair everyone up in the room to start. The pairs begin by having the first partner describing a negative experience they might have had, it can be anything but it has to be true. Then the remaining partner will discuss that same story but now they re-frame it! Try to spin it positively. They essentially explore the silver lining before switching roles!
Set Goals & Expectations Together
Whatever your team is reaching for, it’s always best to set those goals and milestones as a collective! If people feel like they contributed to the setting of a goal they are way more likely to be invested in seeing it through. It will give them a sense of accountability and ownership over what the collective group is working towards. Not to mention, hearing input from different people is always a great way to get unique ideas you might not have come up with on your own! Try sitting down in a meeting together and brainstorming on a white board or on a notebook. Just get everyone throwing ideas out there! It’s important to try to hear from everyone in the room as well, if someone isn’t getting a chance to speak up, be sure to ask them what they think.
Remember to keep your goals SMART for them to be effective. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound!) When you focus on these steps when setting goals together you are a lot more likely to set a goal you can make happen!
When people are assigned responsibility to specific tasks or able to define what they contribute to a team, it can give them a sense of belonging. Taking ownership of the team they are in lets them connect to the team better as a whole. When they understand their place on the team and how they help its operation, their investment in the team will be greater. Try asking team members what they feel they are best at and ask them how they want to contribute those skills to the team and its operations. Make sure everyone is on board to hold one another accountable in their role, that’s how you have a real recipe for success!
A great way to keep accountability is to have accountability partners! Each is responsible for helping to keep one another accountable to their duties to the group. They can also help one another out when one is feeling overwhelmed or needs assistance for their duties. Plus you get the bonus of team members getting to know one another even more which is always great for positive team culture.
Nothing says team like team shirts! When you look like a team it truly helps you feel like a team! The uniforms could be made up of simple matching custom t-shirts or get more elaborate and incorporate matching hats or sweaters too! Uniforms will also serve as a way to identify your team in a crowd or event; you are a lot more easily spotted or able to find one another when you stand out! (Shameless plug: Head to our shop section and order your own custom team shirts today!)
Celebrate wins together!
Having a clear scoreboard in mind and taking the time to celebrate when you hit goals individually or together is a super way to foster a sense of team. Nothing brings people together like celebrating the achievement of a goal you have been working towards together tirelessly. Make sure your ‘scoreboard’ is somewhere easily visible for the whole team; mark down milestones along the way with individual reward and recognition when those milestones are hit. Set the biggest reward for after the ultimate goal is met! Make sure to get everyone’s input regarding what rewards they feel are the most valuable. If you reward is something the group isn’t interested in, it’s not going to be as motivational or exciting working towards it.
Some ideas for rewards and recognition:
- Cool free company swag! (Jackets and outerwear, bags, coffee tumblers!)
- A congratulatory certificate.
- Free Coffee.
- Time to play a fun game.
- A group email recognizing the achievements.
- A crafted game board with moving pieces.
- Going out for a drink together.
- A pizza party.
- A picnic.
- Gift Cards.
These are just a few ideas for things you and your team can do together to foster a sense of connection and strong culture. If you do these you are going to be well on your way to having a team as strong as they come! Strong teams are built with hard work and dedication, if you have the desire to do it; chances are your drive will make it happen! Good luck and happy team building!
Got other ideas for building a strong team? Share with us in the comments below!