How to create a strong team spirit

This blog post explains how to create a strong team spirit. First, the definition of strong team spirit is explained. As described by Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones in their article Followership: It’s Personal, Too, a strong team spirit it is a mix of three feelings. First, it is a feeling of significance. Second, it is a feeling of community and third, it is a feeling of buzz. Buzz can be excitement, challenge, or simply an edge in the employees’ lives. These three feelings have to be engineered by the manager before they can exist in a team. Why is team spirit so important? Imagine what would happens if one takes out the energy of a living human being. It dies and so would the team without its team spirit.

Setting the right tone

Individual and team contributions are important. An employee who reports to his manager without receiving a short feedback will feel that his work is not meaningful. Every human being loves attention from time to time and that is the reason why managers should give regular feedback sessions. However, one should use a proper feedback process. One needs to learn how to be assertive, which is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. It is important to remain calm during the feedback session. A manager who tells the employee what to do in an aggressive tone creates tension. A better way is to learn how to phrase topics in a clear but subtle manner. Furthermore, one should make sure that employees understand the company’s mission and vision and that their work is important to accomplishing the goals. Employees should receive the opportunity to improve the organisation. If a proposed solution will be implemented, then they will feel significant, which increases their overall satisfaction at work.

Setting up a community

In this section, possibilities to create feelings of community are presented: 1. A team should have clear defined roles 2. One should set team-based goals. This way, all team members are required to assist and work together. However, it is important to make sure that one holds the team as well as the individuals accountable for the results by establishing clear team and individual expectations 3. To build a team spirit, one can suggest activities that take place after work. Bringing teams together can show that there is a real person behind an employee and it can be a valuable lesson for everyone. An easier way to bring the team together is to grab lunch or dinner with the whole team. 4. The manager should be comfortable to be vulnerable. It is a sign of courage and strength. Vulnerability shows that we are all human beings, which can create a stronger bond between people.

Solving conflicts when they arise

A team will eventually always face some sort of conflict. It should be a priority to resolve the conflict immediately. As explained in Sun-Tzu’s Book Way of Art, a fight has to be fought in an aggressive and brutal way to win the battle as soon as possible. That makes it possible to limit long-term damage on both sides. As soon as a conflict arises one should try to solve it as soon as possible.

Creating a feeling of buzz

How is a feeling of buzz created? A strong team spirit includes excitement about the company’s products, services, mission, and vision. It is important to let employees take part in the decision making for new products and services. Another point is to make sure that one selects employees in the hiring procedure who fit not only the job description but also in the company and team culture. There is nothing worse than a highly skilled person who does not fit within a team. One could also create rituals that will make employees feel excited. For example, whenever the annual report shows a clear rise in profits, one could create a short survey to ask what employees want to do to celebrate the achievement. Preferably, the survey includes only team-based activities.

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