How many business-based sayings can you think of that make reference to teamwork in one way or another? There’s “No ‘I’ In ‘Team'” for one. “Make sure we’re singing from the same hymn sheet” is another. Then there’s “all on the same page,” and there are plenty of others.
Even if someone who’d never worked for a company sat in on a meeting for five minutes, they’d grasp the point. Teamwork is a focus. When one person is slipping, another will take up the slack. This is how businesses survive and thrive.
We’re nearly in 2017 now, and we’re probably all a lot less naive than we used to be when it comes to a company ethic. Anyone will agree that work is better if you like where you are. At the same time, no one expects you to be going home, singing the company song and going to sleep in branded company pajamas.
That’s not a company; it’s a cult. Then again, the one thing that cults can guarantee is high compliance levels. There’s a lot that’s undesirable about them, but you can’t knock their togetherness. Of course, the only way it can be guaranteed is through brainwashing. And with that off the table because it’s unethical, you need to find different ways of ensuring that, as a workforce, you’re all on the same page.
Ideally, Your Employees Will Like Each Other
If business were always going to be fun, then people wouldn’t need to be paid to go to work. The fact is, sometimes it is going to be a hard slog and days will seem like they’re dragging by. You want to minimize the “I’m over this job” factor, and ensure that everyone is in a position where they’ll get on with even the most arduous tasks. It can be difficult, but they’ll perform better if they feel some loyalty.
It’s often better to have six people who’d put themselves on the line for one another than ten who are just there for the money. Again, without being naive, you know that we’re all looking to get paid. But factor personality types into your recruitment strategy.
People you hire don’t need to all fit into the same personality type. Imagine six alpha types sharing an office! You do, though, need the right mix of outgoing, phlegmatic and informative figures. If your employees get on well, then when work is tough they’ll naturally increase their effort. They’re invested in this thing working out.
Know What You’re Working For
There has been a lot said over the years about “Mission Statements” and company identity. In a lot of cases this can be little more than branding basic statements of fact. “Oh, so your goal is always to deliver your best work even in the fast-paced world of property development? Ours was just to wing it and see what happened. That’s why we went bust, then…”.
With that said, keeping your company brand front and center does foster a coherent focus. Using brand compliance packages like Templafy allows you to reinforce that. Simple things like producing documents and sharing files can be done with the brand identity in mind. Doing things “the company way” becomes second nature. It’s an organic way of ensuring employees are pulling in the same direction.
The Company That Plays Together Stays Together
The value of “corporate team building” has been debated long and hard over the years. The more cynical among us argue that just because a team works together to win a round of geocaching, it won’t suddenly make them best friends. The truth of it all is that it works for some businesses – whatever works, do more of it.
Sometimes, though, going by the book isn’t what a business needs. The wisest step is to have a specific fund – it could be in petty cash, or an official business expense – set aside for social occasions. It can pay for meals at restaurants, drinks at a bar or days out as chosen by staff. Freedom to choose how it is used – as long as it is legal, of course – stops it from feeling like company-mandated “fun.”
In many ways, a unified team in business is much like being the cool kid at school. Try too hard to become one, and it will always backfire. Let it happen naturally, and it will hold. Any time you see a company making a song and dance about how its employees are a family, raise an eyebrow. You can’t wish or force a team ethic into happening. Create a climate in which one can flourish, and it will happen naturally.