3 Tips to Foster Team-Wide Togetherness in 2021

In the wake of a challenging and unpredictable year, Google searches for “mental health and wellbeing” have skyrocketed. 

In today’s modern work environment, teams are struggling to stay motivated, engaged and productive. With the complex demands both personally and professionally–with many full-time employees also doubling as full-time parents and teachers–workloads are increasing, stress is building, and morale is slipping. However, without dwelling on the negative aspects too heavily, we want to focus this blog on bringing you helpful, practical ways to combat these hurdles, boost employee morale, and ultimately, support and prioritize your team’s mental wellbeing and psychological safety. 

Where do you begin with providing the necessary support for your team?

The emphasis in the above question should be on one word: “team.” Because it’s only through harnessing a bonded, cohesive unit – focused on one shared goal – that your employees will feel supported.

This blog will examine three ways you can foster the kind of team-wide togetherness that bolsters employee well-being and promotes a thriving culture amid trying times.

1. Carve Out Regular Time in the Schedule for Team Building

Before the pandemic, team outings and work events were commonplace. There was likely an energy and a vibrancy in the office, and a collaborative atmosphere as well. Since those in-person events are not currently possible, the COVID-19 era requires that you double or triple down on those efforts to build up your team.  

That’s where you as an employer or team leader come in. Without your help, employees miss out on those critical interactions that forge bonds and inspire people to be their best selves.

Remote work makes it so that there’s one foot in and one foot out of work. Under these circumstances, employees are more likely to treat a job like a nine-to-five clockwatching gig. They require impetus to remain engaged.

By incorporating activities where employees can engage, participate, and interact beyond just talking serious business, you’ll harness those in-person moments to build a healthy culture inside your virtual walls. Many organizations have found an end-of-the-week breeze-shooting session to be highly effective. It’s as simple as getting together on a Zoom call and talking about anything—but nothing too pressing.

You can also run theme days where everyone has to dress a certain way. Or, you can host trivia challenges where you offer swag to the winners. Remember: give yourself the permission to be creative, to try something new, and to test and learn to improve as you go. The leading organizations with the top retention metrics are the types of companies that are prioritizing these team building activities.

2. Encourage Team-Wide Recognition

COVID-19 or not, you want each of your people to feel a sense of pride and ownership in their team and in their work. Meaning: you want each of them to take on some kind of leadership role, even if it’s as an individual contributor.

Great leaders tend to be excellent motivators. As a manager, inspiring your team shouldn’t rest solely in your lap. Foster an environment where everyone is encouraged to shout one another out for performing admirably, for hitting or exceeding goals or expectations, and for satisfying deadlines.

Honestly, if you want to see a group of employees ready to take on the world, put them in a meeting where each person celebrates one another. Positive reinforcement tends to breed productive results.

Now, this can be taken to the extreme, like all things in business. You don’t necessarily want to force your team into “celebration sessions,” or you risk the applause seeming inauthentic. Instead, be very upfront with your own gratitude for everyone and explicitly encourage that behavior from your talent.

3. Shine a Bright Light on Diversity

Employee togetherness – by its definition – can’t exist without Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. Your team can’t be seen as fully bonded and cohesive if even a single member slips through the cracks.

Diversity starts with you listening to your people—and encouraging them to tell you what matters most to them. Beyond that, you must put feedback into action. 

Your people all learn differently and bring something unique to the table. Prioritizing only one kind of worker, skill set, or personality will limit perspectives and marginalize a portion of your staff—hampering team togetherness.

Hire Leaders and Team Players

One other way to foster togetherness amongst your staff is to hire leaders and team players who inspire their colleagues to perform at their best. Provided you need help recruiting these top performers, contact ImpactSearch Partners today. We have access to a diverse pool of the nation’s top talent in sales, leadership, technology, and more. We’d love to help you!

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