Most business owners want to strengthen their existing teams. However, it can be difficult to get started. Visions of awkward team-building exercises can dissuade even strong leaders from building their teams.
Team building begins with knowing yourself. While team-building is certainly focused outward, it is fruitless to create a team-building process that does not mesh with your strengths as a leader, as well as with your team’s strengths.
Take your cues from how you operate on a daily basis. For those with a strong sense of autonomy, providing exercises for employees to fill out at their leisure will be a more natural fit than an all-day group meeting (and vice versa). Other teams might prefer to be more connected.
Make time for honest evaluation. Before you can chart your path, you need to establish your starting point. This is a commonly overlooked step in the team-building process.
It’s critical to set both individual and team goals. Individual goals should reflect the team member’s role as well as the group’s goals. Similarly, group goals should be formed in light of the team members.
Include regular, short, informal meetings. We call them “hallways”– we all gather in the hallway for a short meeting (usually 2-3 minutes). These times are highly focused and efficient; however, they also keep everyone looped in. At a glance, these don’t seem to be relevant to team building. However, these meetings are a crucial part of our process because they encourages our team members to loop in briefly. When you only meet for “big” meetings (oftentimes not the most efficient way to run things, which is why they aren’t a daily occurrence), meetings have to be long.