Top tips to build team spirit
I want you to think back to the good old days of when we were allowed to go on holiday and that feeling that starts to come at the end of it of trepidation at the thought of returning to work.
It may be the best job in the world, with a super team and an incredible manager but nevertheless it’s still work and it doesn’t compare to watching the sea lap on the shore and sipping a pina colada.
One could compare those feelings of dread to those that are possibly being felt by employees returning to work after 3 months of furlough.
How to raise team spirit
So with that in mind, as an employer, how do you go about raising team spirits across the board. Here are 6 tips to get you started in raising morale;
Ease them in gently
Before the return it could be useful to ease them in gradually by sharing some light training material so that they can slowly get their head back in the game without the pressure or demands of the work environment. It will help to numb the initial shock of an instant return by getting the cogs turning around work related issues and hopefully help to raise some enthusiasm for the return.
Send a personalised pick me up
It’s important for people to know that they are valued and have been missed especially if others have been kept on. Try recording a little personalised message saying how happy you are to welcome them back into the business and send this to them via whatsapp the week before the return
Make a mini induction
For those who have had several months out of the business, the returning day is significant and the business landscape and expectations have most probably changed. Ensure that you put together some relevant training material that they may need for any change of duties and put time aside in your diary to spend with them on their first days back. Sit down and talk about how they are feeling and also reframe the expectations and make a clear and specific plan for their first days back in the team. This will help to provide reassurance and a structured environment which goes a long way in improving morale.
Mark the occasion
Returning as a team meant a lot so we marked the occasion with fresh OJ, pastries and some motivational music. Whilst we may have challenging times to come, there is a definite feeling that we can get through this positively and even experience growth so lets start with this attitude and a growth mindset from day 1. Be open minded to taking some time out to discuss what people have experienced over the lockdown period and allow everyone to reintegrate as a team.
Update and provide positive updates
As part of the induction, fill them in on any changes or things that have happened in the team, business, department whilst they have been off. Focus on positive developments and possible green shoots for the future. It is important to acknowledge that we all need to knuckle down and be prepared for some hard graft but focus on what the goal is and how by working together with the right tools it can be achieved. Great leaders inspire and have an ability to empower and influence others and people will be looking to their employers to reassure and guide them through this period.
Set an incentive
Why not agree to an incentive that everyone can work towards which is rewarded upon achieving an agreed target or objective. The carrot approach often works better than the stick and can keep people focused and motivated in the task ahead.
Importantly, don’t forget to involve those team members that either have not returned yet or who remain remote in all of your endeavours.
Team spirit is defined as “an attitude that enables people to work well together. It’s about camaraderie, cooperation and collaboration between different members of the organization”.
Working effectively as a team has never been so important and leaders need to work hard to reinforce team values and ensure every single person is using their own individual strengths to achieve success as a collective. This is what will ensure the future prosperity of the business, but also the general feeling of strong morale of your people.