Team cohesion in the workplace is a key to success. It is important for the employees to be cohesive and work together as a team.
Any team can do wonders when everyone on a team works together towards a common goal. But the real challenge is to build this team cohesion in workplace.
Let’s learn more about team cohesion, its benefits and different ways through which you can improve the overall team unity in workplace.
What is team Cohesion?
Team cohesion refers to sense of togetherness and unity that exists within a team.
Team Cohesion helps to ensure that employees are working together and they share common goals, objectives and their destination is same.
The more cohesion in the workplace, the more effective and productive teams are.
Why is team cohesion important?
Team cohesion is important for a number of reasons:
Firstly, it can help to improve morale and motivation within the team. When team members feel united and have the same destination, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work.
Secondly, team cohesion reduces loss of resources and improves productivity.
Fourthly, cohesion among team can help to improve the team’s overall performance.
Fifthly, team cohesion in the workplace can increase job satisfaction among employees.
Last but not the least, when team members are able to share information and ideas easily, it helps to improve problem solving and decision making.
How to Build Team Cohesion in Workplace
There are several ways that you can do to build team cohesion in your workplace.
Below are some of the most effective ways.
1. Set common goals
One of the best ways to build team cohesion is to set common goals. To keep team members motivated, it is important to ensure that the goals are achievable and realistic.
Setting goals helps to define roles and responsibilities which is essential for building a team. One method to set goals is to prepare a goals pyramid which outlines organizational goal at the top, followed by team goals and individual team members goals at the bottom.
This method of setting goals gives a clear picture of goals at all levels and what is purpose behind every goal. This helps individual team members to know that how they contribute to achieving large organizational goals.
2. Plan team-building activities
There are some specific activities commonly known as team-building activities which help to build team cohesion in the workplace. These activities bring team members together by connecting to and learning more about each other.
Some good examples of team-building activities include:
- Problem solving exercises
- Volunteer work
- Decision making exercise
- Adaptability exercise
- Fun games among team
It’s always good to have at least one team building activity in a month to provide an opportunity for members to build a cohesive team.
3. Hold team meetings regularly
Sitting at the same place, meeting with team members and discussing deliverables, challenges, problems and solutions is important features of holding a regular meeting. This brings team together.
Holding team meetings also ensures transparency and accountability which are strong characteristics of team cohesion. One of the best practices is to have weekly team meeting which helps to build team cohesion.
4. Ensure effective Communication
Communication always strengthens team bond. Team cohesion can be increased by adopting good communication practices. Open communication encourages team members to voice their concerns, ideas and efforts and resolve conflict more quickly and efficiently.
There are many communication tools available i.e online and remote meeting platforms, online messaging and many more. These should be utilized as per the need and requirement of every workplace.
5. Encourage team members to socialize
Team cohesion can also be strengthened by encouraging team members to socialize with each other. When employees get to know each other on a personal level, it can help to strengthen the team bond.
Social activities can include team lunches, coffee breaks, social events, office parties will help employees to get to know each other better and strengthen the team bond.
6. Celebrate Success together
It’s important to celebrate success together especially when team achieves a goal. Each time you finish a project, bring cake or sweets for the team and congratulate them all. Celebrate your achievements at the end of the year or quarter or achieving important milestone.
Whatever involve in the celebration, aim is to ensure that every member of your team feels appreciated. This helps to build unity and have a powerful effect on overall team cohesiveness.
Remember to thank your team members for their work and recognize that everyone has played an important role to achieve the goals.
7. Deal with conflict proactively
Conflicts happen in every team and it is normal aspect of organizational life. Even some conflicts and disagreements are beneficial for growth and progress. The important thing is ability of a team to resolve conflict and it actually define its cohesiveness of that team.
When conflicts arise, the team should work together to come to a suitable solution as quickly as possible. The rule of thumb for conflict resolution is that solution must support organizational goal instead of individuals.
Encourage team members to work together to develop and implement solutions and ensure they have the resources available to work towards conflict resolution.
8. Select right team members
It is important to hire a professional who believe in team cohesion. Hiring an excellent professional does not guarantee he/she will be a team player and work smoothly with other team members. So simply throwing together a bunch of talented people is not enough to make a cohesive team.
It is responsibility of hiring managers to take extra care and consideration while assessing candidates’ ability to work in a team. For this purpose, they should make a proper assessment checklist to analyze skills and track record of candidates to become a team member who contribute to cohesiveness of team.
9. Have a small team
Small is beautiful. The bigger you have team, the harder it is to make it cohesive. It is not easy to handle big team. It takes lot of communication and coordination effort to make bigger team cohesive.
Richard Hackman, the Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology at Harvard University and a leading expert on teams says that it is a mistake to have a bigger team which often gets into trouble during managing communication links with them. He is of the view that big teams are not cohesive and a team of less than double digits is a more cohesive.
10. Build capacity of team
Teams work best when they have capacity to exhibit certain skills. So building capacity through a professional training is important to make cohesive team.
HR can develop internal training program for all team member to strengthen his/her capacity to build team cohesion in workplace. The services of external experts can also be taken and online training resources can also be utilized for find out right kind of training.
Take Home Points:
- Team Cohesive refers to sense of togetherness and unity within a team and it helps to achieve common organizational goals.
- There are many benefits of team cohesion but above all it improves performance of entire team.
- The first step to build team cohesion in workplace is to set common goals and define role and responsibilities of every team member.
- There are specific team building activities which should be organized once a month.
- Team meetings should be held regularly to discuss ideas, problems and solutions.
- Effective communication channels should be put in place.
- Provide socializing opportunities to team.
- Celebrate success together and praise every team member in achieving milestones.
- Resolve conflicts proactively through involving every team member.
- Selection of team is also important to make a cohesive team.
- Small teams are always more cohesive.
- Organize trainings to impart skills which are required to build team cohesion in workplace.