Build a Winning Team Dynamic

These seven tips will generate teamwork in any organization.

Success in any organization is based upon its employees and their
ability to work together as a team. As much as any manager would love
for this to happen organically, it takes a lot of work to get
individuals at various levels with divergent personalities and skill
sets all operating as a cohesive whole. Following these seven
recommendations will help any organization generate true teamwork:

1. Create a “We” Culture

Team building starts at the top. If senior executives encourage an
environment where the organization uses less “I” and more “we” in how
they communicate, everyone will feel supported, included and important
to the organization. When counseling clients, use terms like “we
believe…” or “our recommendations include….” This eliminates an
employee’s fear of standing alone and shows that the entire organization
is thinking about the client.

2. Clearly Define Roles and Personal Growth Plans

When individuals know what their role and responsibilities are, there
is far less competitiveness in an organization. It allows employees to
come together as a team in an enriching environment where everyone can
contribute creatively and strategically. In addition, when employees
understand what expectations exist for them to rise to the next level
they are more apt to be a good team player, because they understand that
they are really competing with themselves, and not their colleagues,
for success.

3. Recognize Success, Regardless of Its Origin

The worst organizations are those that think good ideas or successful
programs only come from senior-level individuals. Conversely, good
organizations encourage creative thinking from all levels and give
credit when a creative idea or solution comes from junior or mid-level
employees. This is one of the most crucial components of developing a
teamwork-based culture.

4. Educate, Train and Role Play

Teachable moments happen every day in every organization. If you want
your organization to operate like a team, take advantage of
opportunities to train and educate your employees in best practices. We
do a lot of role playing and situational training to teach junior staff
better ways to handle situations. When the culture is driven by
“getting-better” in a non-competitive way, you breed teamwork.

5. Win and Lose as a Team

Accomplishments or failures should always be shared as a team. When
there is a big account win, it is great to acknowledge all of the
creativity, hard work, and commitment the entire team put into the win.
Conversely, when the organization experiences failure of any nature, the
worst situation is to fault any one person for that misstep. This is
the quickest way to de-motivate an individual and it usually erodes
confidence in an organization when others hear of it being handled this

6. Encourage Social Get-togethers

One of the best ways for employees to feel attached to an
organization is to get to know each other on a more personal level. The
best types of social gatherings are very organic in nature; ones that
aren’t company-sponsored, which can feel forced. However, the
organization must let employees know that it supports their
participation for it to work. When individuals are more personally
attached to each other, they are more comfortable working together,
which helps to build teamwork.

7. Develop Team-building Exercises and Programs

I have long believed that information is power. As a result, we have
brought our entire organization together for the past 10 years to
celebrate the previous year’s success, do some forward thinking and,
most importantly, get together for structured team-building programs. We
have done scavenger hunts, “Survivor” and “Amazing Race”-style
competitions, and a variety of other programs designed to bring people
together in both a social and fun, competitive environment. These
team-building exercises have become some of the most important and
memorable within our organization.

It’s incredibly important for the leadership of any organization to
understand that teamwork doesn’t just happen by itself, and it certainly
won’t take shape overnight. It requires dedication from the
organization to lay a foundation of building blocks that cause employees
to want the same thing. With both sides working toward this common
goal, true teamwork can be achieved.