Dave Deslauriers /
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How to Build a Strong, Cohesive Team

They say that teamwork makes the dream work, however building a strong, cohesive unit is one of the biggest challenges that many managers face. How do you integrate all those personalities and working styles together to form a productive team? In this article, we’ll take a dive into several strategies that you can incorporate to get the most out of your team.

Give Employees Autonomy

Employees aren’t robots. They don’t want to be programmed to mindlessly complete the same exact task in the same exact manner day after day. Building a team requires giving your employees the latitude to dream.

“Why do we fall? To learn to pick ourselves up. Legendary economist Milton Friedman may have said it best that an economy works best when we have the freedom to try, the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail. This also applies to the office. Trial and error is a strategy that should not be avoided but embraced. After all, if you don’t experiment and try something new, then you can’t flourish.

A great managing method is to give your staff some level of autonomy on any project. By extending this independence, you’re highlighting your trust in each one of your employees. Sure, some workers will experience hiccups, but others may take the ball and run with it.

If your workers are walking on eggshells and they’re afraid to stray away from the book, then the status quo will reign supreme. Take a chance on your staff and they will take a chance on you. (via Andrew Moran of Career Addict)

Encourage Productive Conflict

When most people think of conflict, they picture screaming, arguing, and hurt feelings. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Conflict can actually be good for your team. “Conflict can get a bad rap, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Conflict is often the means by which strategies are developed and ideas perfected. Disagreements need not get out of hand, however, allowing the team to exercise different ideas can challenge thinking and see different perspectives. The best teams respect each other, working through their disagreements rather than letting their differences divide them. If managed well, conflict can be a fire that refines rather than destroys.” (via Gavel International)

Incentivize Collaboration

Working together towards a common goal is one of the best ways to unify a group. It gives them a sense of purpose and a target to strive for. With that in mind, it only makes sense to encourage that behavior by incentivizing it. “Basing incentives on individual performance is a common personal development tip, but it also encourages people to compete with each other. Great leaders also use incentives based on team performance to encourage collaboration. One of the most effective strategies for increasing cohesiveness and team identification is to emphasize formal incentives based on improvement in team performance. Team-based rewards help everyone to push toward a common goal and serve as a reminder that each member’s work contributes to a greater whole.” (via Rick Lespsinger of OnPoint Consulting)

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