Is your team really a team? Many project managers know the advantage of a strong team culture: better coordination, higher morale, and increased project efficiency. So we try to promote it as much as we can. The problem is that many ideas are so overdone—team building exercises especially—that they become counterproductive.
So here are a few unique (or at least less overdone) ideas to help you promote a positive team culture.
Everybody likes free stuff, but there’s more to this tip than just bribing people. If you want your team to see a larger purpose, you also need to remind them that they’re part of a larger organization. Wearing a company-branded shirt can be a great way to show loyalty. And the more unique the swag, the better impression you’ll make.
An employee’s location can have a huge impact on how they work. If your office has plenty of room for impromptu meetings or chats, you’ll be able to promote better communication between team members. The same goes for putting together team members who interact on a regular basis. Try changing your office layout and see how it works for you.
Upgrading the Décor
Is your office décor boring and subdued? That may be impacting employee morale. Apply some personality to your office environment to help liven things up and promote the right attitudes. Now, I’m not saying you should put balloons and candy canes all over the place—this décor should be upbeat, but also fit your corporate personality. Allowing personal items on people’s desks (I’m fond of action figures) is also a great way to let employees feel more at home in their work space.
Give Up the Spotlight
Yes, you’re leading the group, but that doesn’t mean you’re the only star. Recognize and reward excellence in your team, and people will be more motivated to go the extra mile. Eventually, you’ll be able to form a culture of excellence that will be seen in everything that you and your team does. That way, all of you will shine.
Trim the Grapevine
Rumors can be poison to a team trying to bond. You might not be able to stamp out rumors entirely—that’s just part of office politics—but you can manage it. As the team leader, you need to have your ear to the ground and keep the most damaging rumors from taking root. And you also need to know how to fight fire with fire and plant some rumors yourself: positive ones that communicate the right message, or damage control to keep situations from escalating.
Do you have any more unique and effective tips? Share them with us in the comments section!
Image credit, Flickr, gwyther77