When your business finally gets off the ground, you get to hand pick the people that will help you take your startup to the next level. But here’s a newsflash for you: people don’t instinctively know how to be part of a team, especially not if their idea of how the team should operate is different to yours. So, what can you do, to make them work effectively, cohesively, and most importantly, productively?
Acknowledge their strengths
If your business is a small shop, for example, get those team members who work faster than others to work filling shelves, whilst putting those who are better suited to interacting with other people on checkouts. This will make sure that your team don’t get frustrated at doing something that they aren’t suited to, and stops them from being resentful towards whoever is working the job that they prefer.
Whilst getting them to do trust-falls or play Blind Man’s Buff would probably cause them to resent you, team-building exercises gives you the chance to bring your employees together, and maybe even share a few jokes . Obviously, don’t make fun of your team members, but if you get the opportunity to share a joke, make sure that you use it. That way, there’s something social that they can all share, which helps them to bond and unite. Alternatively, try an exercise to get to know every team member on a personal level. That will help you get to know them, and allows the team to view one another as people, not just co-workers.
Having a distinguishing feature, such as a uniform can help them identify as a single unit. If you don’t want a uniform in your business, then something else, such as a lanyard or a name badge can help your workforce look and feel more like a team – if everyone wears one you’ve designed from here, then it can help to create the idea that “we all work here, so we’re a team”, even if they aren’t consciously aware of the fact.
Team within a team
Where possible, getting multiple team members to cooperate on the same task can do wonders for your team’s cohesion. That can help your team members get to understand one another’s strengths, weaknesses, and can lead to them getting to know one another as people. Furthermore, that can allow you to see which individuals work well together, allowing you to allocate tasks more efficiently.
As their leader, you should make it clear that every member of your team is equal. If you favour one or two members of your team, then that will stop everyone from feeling valued, and lead to ill feeling between individuals. Remember, a happy team is a productive team! However, you need to do whatever it takes to earn their respect: if you show them how you want them to function, then they’re more likely to follow suit. If you respect them, they’ll respect you, but above all, they’ll respect each other.