Encourage Your Staff To Be Team Players

June 5th, 2015

“Team Player” is a big buzzword in business and a lot of candidates will refer to themselves this way when interviewing for jobs. But what does being a team player really mean? Your employees often spend more time together than they do with their families, so encouraging them to get along may be essential to your productivity. Here are some great ways to encourage your staff to be great team players.

Start with the hiring process.

If you start out with a great team then there won’t be problems to solve in the future. Know the types of personalities that work best in your office. When you’re hiring, look for people who will fit in well with your current team. Have others in the department meet and interview the candidates as well, including their potential co-workers. Everyone needs to see themselves working with the new person before it can be a good experience for everyone.

Play to their strengths.

Another great way to ensure that your staff members are good at working as a team is to encourage people with complementary strengths to work together. Someone who is good with numbers should work with people who don’t have that as a strength so nothing falls through the cracks. Pair creative people with others who like to implement ideas so they both feel like they’re contributing to a project.

Encourage them to know each other better.

People work better when they genuinely like their co-workers. Encourage them to share their non-work interests with one another. Host employee social activities to enjoy each other’s company. The simple difference of gathering outside of the office walls changes the dynamic and can really strength relationships. Of course, it is important that these relationships stay professional and within the context of the work they are doing.

Provide incentives for working together.

Lastly, you may want to encourage your team to work well together by providing rewards for team projects. These are similar to any performance recognition, but they are specific for groups that have worked well together to solve a problem or develop an innovative new idea. This will encourage people to pool their resources. When you don’t just talk about working together but actually provide perks, it’s more likely to be successful.

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