Team building is the key to creating a connected company culture: Challenge disconnection by prioritizing confidence, cohesion, and creativity in your team.
Effective team building gives teams the confidence necessary to bring the best out of each other. While statistics show that 75% of employees view collaboration as an essential part of their organization, 86% of executives attribute a lack of efficient collaboration to company-wide failure. Fixing the gap in successful team building starts with shifting culture.
In this article, we discuss how to create a culture of continuous connection in the following topics:
- The Danger of Disconnection
- The Key to Confidence Building
- Creating Connection with Culture
- Connecting with Creativity
The Danger of Disconnection
The most successful teams thrive in environments that encourage and welcome camaraderie, connection, and collaboration. A reported 50% of employees feel a sense of disconnection in the workplace. It’s up to team leaders to combat the challenges of disconnection and bring their teams together.
This challenge of connection is especially true for hybrid and distributed teams. As teams learn to navigate the issues that come with working remotely, it becomes clear employees and management need to learn the signs of disconnection in the workplace to better address them.
Watch out for these signs of disconnection in your team:
1. Team Members are Lonely
In today’s world, it’s easy to feel disconnected as a result of isolation and loneliness. This is especially true for distributed teams as the physical distance is easily translated to an emotional distance as well. As team members feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness, their work may suffer due to a decline in executive functions, a lack of motivation, and an increasing sense of dissatisfaction.
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Leaders can combat this loneliness by investing in team building and prioritizing their organization’s emotional culture. Championing a culture that values compassion, caring, and affection allows employees to feel a sense of connection, even when they are working remotely.
2. The Quality of Work is Declining
Another clear sign of a disconnected team is a decline in the quality of work. If your team members aren’t working to the best of their abilities, tasks are left incomplete, projects are mismanaged, and details are overlooked, this is a clear sign of a disconnected team.
Leaders can combat a decline in work quality by using team building to encourage better work practices. Start this process by analyzing your team’s current practices with questions such as:
- Do your employees have the necessary resources to complete their work?
- Is your team filled with a diverse group of people that can offer new insights and onions?
- Are employees confident that the workplace is a psychologically safe environment?
3. Your Turnover Rate is High
If your rate of attrition is high, your team likely feels a sense of disconnection. Employees who feel uncomfortable and unhappy with their work are encouraged to leave their job rather than make improvements. Fight against attrition by making an effort to assess your team’s needs, understand their complaints, and rectify any issues. Committing to making an effort towards continuous team building will create an environment that team members don’t want to leave.
The Key to Confidence Building
Once the seeds of disconnection are rooted out, the next step is finding ways to build up your team. As you investigate the best team-building efforts, consider confidence as the key to keeping your team connected.
Confidence is key in encouraging employees to understand their abilities and put in their best effort, whether working together or independently. Instilling an enduring sense of self-confidence will help create a connected culture.
Team leaders can build this sense of confidence in their teams with practices such as:
1. Investing in Your Employees
Investing in team building starts with investing in your employees. Remember, teams, are only as strong as their leaders.
Investing in your team goes beyond any monetary value; true investments demonstrate to your employees that you value their effort and communicate the confidence you have in them. As your team members continue to feel that their contributions are validated and that they are valued team members, their confidence will grow as well.
2. Creating a Sense of Safety
Leaders can instill confidence by designing a workplace that allows team members to grow. In a psychologically safe workplace, team members can share their ideas, practice their skills, and make mistakes. In such an environment, employees can work to the best of their abilities without the fear of retribution or retaliation.
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Ultimately, companies with a confident culture understand the best way for employees to learn is to fail forward. In doing so, team members can strengthen their confidence muscle and build the skills needed to keep going forward, regardless of any fear they may feel.
3. Encouraging Diversity
Team members can connect confidently when they feel as though their voices are valued. By promoting and encouraging diverse perspectives and viewpoints in the workplace, team leaders actively communicate that they value inclusion and diversity. The concept of requisite variety reinforces the idea that different perspectives are necessary for organizations to successfully grow collaborative teams.
Creating Connection with Culture
The magic of connection happens when every member of an organization understands and agrees with their shared values, goals, and ideas. Your company culture is the starting point of creating connections throughout your company. These are the attitudes of your team members, leaders, and organization. As a healthy culture strengthens connections, creating a culture that prioritizes team building and continuous growth is important.
Shift your current culture to build the best team by zeroing in on habits, patterns, and desired behavior. The secret to such a shift lies in repetition. Changing to a more connected culture requires leaders to share their values, repeat their expectations, and communicate in multiple mediums to create a lasting cultural shift. Likewise, employees can prioritize team building themselves by strengthening connections through repeated behavior.
For example, if disconnection amongst the team leads to a decrease in motivation, employees should practice checking in with team leaders and colleagues and honestly sharing their emotions and thoughts.
In a psychologically safe environment, team members and leaders alike will actively listen and thoughtfully respond to any gaps in connection. This will help teams develop a practice of perceiving disconnection, sharing their concerns, and responding to meet each team member’s needs. Over the following weeks, months, and years, this practice will reinforce their organizational cultures as one that centers employee connection.
Connecting with Creativity
Healthy company culture is a perfect recipe for creating a creative and innovative workforce. Just as repetition strengthens confidence and creates new habits, it’s also crucial in fostering and developing innovation and creativity.
Team leaders can harness creativity’s connectivity powers in the following ways:
Brainstorming is a critical element in creative connection. This exercise encourages team members to problem-solve together and come up with as many ideas as possible. This activity encourages innovation as participants are reminded that no idea is a bad idea.
2. Facilitating Liberating Structures
Liberating Structures is a facilitation framework that encourages team building. Consisting of 33 microstructures, this framework helps foster trust, cooperation, and collaboration among team members.
3. Mind Maps
Mind maps are another creative exercise that helps build team cohesion. Perform this activity by writing an idea on a piece of paper. Next, team members can build connections from the main point, writing down what each connecting branch may be. Team members will continue building out each connection to create new ideas.
4. R&D Activities
Research and development activities help teams create new designs and improve on their current ideas. This process encourages team members to examine their current products and practices and create solutions based on the existing challenges. A design sprint process is an excellent approach to research and development for team building as it helps team members solve major problems relatively quickly.
5. Template Exercises
Innovation doesn’t always come easily. Kickstart this process with Mural and Miro facilitation templates We have many custom templates to get you going. These templates encourage your team to approach innovation in new ways.
Creating a cultural shift towards a more connected company will help you build a better team. Contact us at Voltage control to learn more about the best techniques for team building. We help leaders and teams change the way they affect their company culture!