Originally published by 4imprint on June 03, 2019

Just like a catchy chant unifies the crowd at a school sports game, team spirit in the workplace brings together employees and managers through camaraderie, cooperation and collaboration. Pair that spirit with team-building gifts to get everyone pumped for each workday.

Whether it’s in the office or on the court, team spirit is all about support. And that support has several benefits, with highly engaged business teams achieving 21% greater profitability for their company. This Blue Paper shares several ways to amp up the team spirit in your office—from selecting the right staff members to presenting the perfect amount of praise.

Start with the hiring process

A recent 4imprint® study found that assessing cultural fit is the most important part of the interview process. So when it comes to generating team spirit, make sure you’re hiring people who fit your company’s culture.

Understanding how potential employees’ personalities and work styles mesh with the others on your team can help you determine whether they’re the right person for the position.

Empower your employees

Supporting employees and giving them space to make their own decisions will help them be effective, efficient employees who feel valued. The opposite is also true—micromanaging has been shown to have devastating effects in multiple areas, including:

  • Employee health
  • Turnover
  • Productivity
  • Teamwork

One survey found that 79% of respondents consider themselves to be micromanaged, and 85% said micromanagement damages morale.

Keep lines of communication open

Once you have a trusted team in place, it’s critical to keep the lines of communication open between employees and managers. It’s estimated that poor communication costs companies $62.4 million in lost productivity every year—so keeping your staff on the same page is an important step in building team spirit.

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Encourage teams to share

Seek the opinions and expertise of staff members—ask them to share knowledge on projects that aren’t theirs or thoughts on fun company events. It’s one way to show them you value their contributions.  Encourage employees to speak up. And, if your business is dealing with a specific problem, don’t keep your staff in the dark. They may be able to propose solutions.

It may also be useful to hold daily departmental meetings, as they provide an opportunity to address barriers to finishing projects, discuss the day’s work, or train employees on new or updated processes.

Seek involvement in the company’s future

When employees don’t understand where the company is going, it can be difficult for them to do their part to accomplish company goals. Whenever possible, involve your employees in strategic planning. Make sure associates understand your business goals—and how they benefit from those goals.

That’s part of the reason TRICOR in Nashville, Tennessee, brings employees from across the state together at the annual employee meeting.  It gives employees the opportunity to meet face-to-face and learn about operations at other TRICOR locations, and for company leaders to share information on the organization’s performance and future direction.

“We have productive conversations that bring our focus back to the mission,” Customer Relationship Manager Constance Martinez said. “We discuss policies, financial information, and participate in training and team building activities. It’s a way for us to come together as one team, share ideas, ask questions and gain valuable information from each other and TRICOR leadership.”

Resolve team conflicts immediately

While healthy discussion and debate is an important part of making the workplace and your teams better, conflict can cause serious problems. It’s estimated employees spend 2.1 hours a week involved in conflict, which results in 385 million lost working days every year.

With conflicts creating such a large pool of lost time, it’s essential to correct individual team members’ performance, attitude or ethics problems as quickly as possible. It may also be worthwhile to invest in conflict resolution training for your employees. One study showed that 95% of staff members who completed the training said it helped them positively navigate conflict.

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Recognize the power of praise

It’s been shown that the top reason people leave a position is due to limited praise and recognition.

In addition to training time, TRICOR uses its annual meeting to offer gratitude and a team-building promotional item to every staff member. “It’s to help build morale and to let our staff know how important they are to the company,” Martinez said. This year, staff had a choice of a Crossland® Soft Shell Jacket or Cadre Soft Shell Vest.

In addition to boosting spirit with a team-building gift, TRICOR also provided bonding time. “We made it a little more of a party,” Martinez said. “It gave people a chance to mingle and get to know each other and to build team connections.”

Create camaraderie

While having great coworkers improves team spirit, it increases exponentially when coworkers become friends. Giving your staff time to get to know one another may be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business and their well-being. After all, the team will become more effective and benefit from improved emotional well-being and greater trust.

Eat lunch together

Breakfast may be considered the most important meal of the day, but when it comes to team spirit, lunch can’t be beat. Ninety percent of employees say taking a lunch break makes them feel refreshed and ready to get back to work. Encourage your staff to eat together in a break room or hold no-work-allowed team lunches.

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Plan fun events and outings

Creating a fun and caring environment gives employees opportunities to bond and talk about non-work-related topics. In the office, celebrate birthdays or hold theme days to lift spirits.

Tax Senior Michelle Greco of accounting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co. LLP—also known as REM—formed the REM Social Events Committee to promote and drive office culture. The committee began by decorating for people’s birthdays and holidays. The team spirit kept building from there.

One year, the firm gave out Crossland® Fleece Jackets for men and women as a team-building promotional item. “We give out ‘Busy Season Survival Gifts’ every year during tax time, and jackets are great for those months. People loved them,” Greco said. “For this year’s gift, we gave out beanies and water bottles. The idea was to keep healthy: ‘Stay warm and hydrate!’”

REM takes their gratitude on the road after incredibly busy tax seasons. “When busy season is over, we go to a major league baseball game,” Greco said. “Everyone gets a T-shirt with the company logo on the back, and one of the employees designs a special logo for the front, usually some combination of our logo and the team logo.”

The gathering and the swag have additional benefits. “The game gives people in our three offices a chance to network within the firm and get to know one another,” Greco said. “And our clients love our swag so much that they actually request it!”

Go, team, go!

Team spirit is built through a combination of camaraderie, cooperation and collaboration. Perfecting a mix of personalities, praise, productivity and team-building gifts can help you build a team that’s always excited to cheer each other on.

Posted by Shay Sibley

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