Though a tight-knit team is something many aspire to have, it can be difficult to achieve. These types of teams support and motivate each other. They can also add to overall employee satisfaction and decrease turnover rates. But, growing closer as a team isn’t something that happens overnight.
This type of inclusive environment is built with deliberate strategy and attention. Like any relationship, it takes time to form bonds and build trust with one another. Creating this culture allows new members to join in as well. Keep reading for tips on creating a tight-knit team.
1. Collaborate with organized meetings.
Collaboration is one way to feel close as a team. Having set meetings for your team can also help with connection. It lets you come together to know what everyone is working on, who needs support, and when deadlines are set.
Schedule your larger department meetings as recurring. That way everyone knows that on the first Wednesday of the month, it’s team meeting day.
To that end, set up one-on-one meetings with each person you manage. Having this dedicated time for the employee to talk with their manager helps them feel seen and heard.
In both the larger group settings and individual check-ins, create an agenda and meeting minutes. Doing so keeps things on task and provides a record of action items as well. Try to keep both meeting types as a priority.
2. Realize language matters.
Do you want those employed by your organization to feel like part of a team and not a worker bee? Look at how you talk about them.
It might seem like a small factor, but the language you use matters. Some organizations call their workforce team members and not employees, for example. From the start, new employees being referred to as team members puts them on the team.
You could even go so far as to change up how you talk about departments. Call the Accounting Department the Accounting Team, for instance.
3. Foster connections.
Create an environment of connection. New team members can feel like a lonely outsider if folks ignore them or don’t include them.
Invite them into the group from the first day. If you’re a manager, encourage your direct reports to send a message welcoming new members. Have them introduce themselves and offer to help in whatever way they can.
It can be intimidating for new hires to reach out and ask questions, especially if they don’t know who to ask. Establishing a culture that welcomes others helps break down that barrier. It also can cause newer members to feel more engaged and connected to the organization faster.
If possible, take the new person out to lunch or cater breakfast as well. Make this a valuable part of the onboarding process.
4. Recognize your team.
Part of creating a great culture for your group is in recognizing their efforts. No one wants to only hear from their boss or colleagues when they’ve messed up.
Make sure to give positive feedback and kudos when workers do a great job as well. You could even set up a public system of recognizing those who go above and beyond, like a designated bulletin board.
You’ve heard the saying, “There’s no I in team.” Foster an environment of shout-outs and kudos as opposed to those selfishly wanting the spotlight.
Not only does this recognize those who are working hard, but it also naturally creates a collaborative versus individualistic, power-grab culture.
5. Encourage extracurricular activity.
Whether your team is remote or in person, encourage extracurricular activity. This could be something as simple as creating interest groups on your intranet to organizing a company kickball league.
On your intranet or internal social media channel, create employee-lead interest groups. Someone might start a hiking page, for example. Any member who enjoys hiking could join to chat about that hobby or even organize a meetup.
Some organizations sponsor book clubs to read impactful novels or books about professional development. This allows coworkers to come together and discuss the topics covered.
Whatever the activity might be, your team can bond over a shared experience. This commonality can help them feel closer to one another.
6. Create volunteer opportunities.
Much like extracurricular activities, volunteering can bring people together.
Setting up an organization-wide volunteer opportunity can be a way for you to give back to the local community. It shows the organization places value on helping others and lets your employees be a valuable part in that.
You could go so far as to offer paid time off for volunteering. Allowing team members to nominate the group to volunteer with can also create great buy-in. This helps in fostering a close culture in working together to provide good. It can also create loyalty to the company by showing the emphasis they place in serving their community.
In today’s labor market and with more and more jobs going remote or hybrid, connection is paramount. Employees want to feel like they’re part of something. Following the tips above can help you get on the path to having a tight-knit team.
It might take a little time and effort, but it will be worth it. Help create a team that comes together to support and motivate each other, and employee satisfaction and productivity will increase. You’ll enjoy being part of that team as well.