With the laundry list of daily projects and deadlines that consume most of one’s focus, it is hard to fathom the idea of stepping away from the computer and making time to simply get to know your employees and coworkers. However, connecting with your colleagues is one of the most critical pieces in constructing an effective, high functioning team. Learning more about the people on your team and ensuring each member of the team understands their contribution is essential. This increases job satisfaction, thereby increasing productivity.
There is so much more to job satisfaction than high pay and good benefits. Human beings are relational. Therefore, it is very important for employees to feel respected, to feel a sense of trust for their managers and, oppositely, to be trusted to complete their work. To create mutual respect and trust, it is essential to stay plugged in. As a leader, staying connected can have a huge positive impact on job satisfaction, and therefore, work productivity. You, as a leader want to break down any barriers that may exist between you and your coworkers. Make it a point to get to know them on a more personal level. This simple action will give your team more confidence and will allow for a more comfortable work environment. Showing your team that they as individuals have a voice and their thoughts and opinions matter will vastly increase the flow of idea generation and will create more awareness between teammates. Opening your work environment in this way is a huge step in increasing communication, which is a key characteristic of highly functional teams. If each employee is a cog within a greater a machine, communication is the oil that breaks through the rust of inefficiency.
Let’s Start Exercising!
Some of the best ways leaders can really connect with their teams is through simple team building exercises. Not all team building exercises are time consuming and expensive outings, there are many great team building exercises that are 30 minutes or less. Finding short and effective exercises can take place right in the office. Some fun and easy ones you can easily perform in your office are:
1. Two Truths and a Lie: A fun ice breaker that involves each person sharing two truths and lie about themselves. His or her coworkers are to guess which one of the statements is the lie.
2. Scavenger Hunt: Break up the office into smaller teams and give them a list of fun things to complete. Have them take a picture of their team completing each task, and the team that completes the list first is the winner.
3. Blind Drawing: Break the office into groups of two. Sitting back to back, one person will have a pen and paper and another will have a picture of an item. The one with the picture has to describe the picture to the one with paper and pen without explicitly saying what the picture is. The team who’s drawing is closest to the picture wins.
These are just a few examples of great team building exercises that will help break down some of the walls that exist between coworkers. There are many different ones you can explore, and even make up some of your own, tailored specifically to your work environment. Whatever ever exercise you choose to do it is fine, the key is you are investing in your team.