NOVEMBER 20, 2023

Trust & Creative Teambuilding

Trust & Creative Teambuilding

Leaders like you are challenged to engage employees in meaningful ways because team building continues to be a major challenge in our ever-changing, hybrid, over-sensitive work environment.

While many employees say they don’t want to return to the office, at least not full-time, other employees (and some of those same people!) are saying, “I don’t know my team.”

Without trust, people are less likely to give grace or the benefit of the doubt and more likely to jump to conclusions, avoid difficult conversations, or play the blame game.

People are simply not engaged the way we want them to be.

That’s why we have to take it upon ourselves, as leaders, to accelerate the ways and opportunities our people have to connect in meaningful ways.

Another WhatsApp group isn’t going to do it. We need face-to-face interaction, even if that’s virtual.

I’m challenging you to be intentional about this because it’s the key to teamwork, retention, and employee satisfaction. Study after study shows us that being there for our teammates is a major motivator and element of job satisfaction.

There are two opportunities here: to take advantage of those times you are already gathering (all staff meetings, team meetings, even one one-on-one meetings), and to create new spaces where people can connect.

As you ask people to really get to know each other, keep in mind the importance of creating spaces where people are encouraged to share their social identity – the ways that people’s self-concepts are based on their membership in social groups (including their work groups)..

Use icebreakers, for example, such as:

  1. Share your core values and fundamental principles.
  2. What are your “chosen characteristics” such as a partner, career path, hobbies, what you chose to read, what you avoid, etc, and how do they influence your identity?
  3. What are your “given characteristics,” the things you can’t control about your identity, such as height, skin or hair color, city you grew up in, or birth circumstances – and how do they influence your identity?
  4. What is your work or communication style? Are you a deep, analytical thinker who needs the agenda in advance so you can think through the issues and see the big picture before giving your opinion in the meeting, or are you the type who prefers to go into a meeting like a blank slate and collaborate, bounce ideas off teammates, and figure it out with the group, on-the-fly? Maybe you’re direct, and I’m more concerned that everyone has a chance to be heard.

We are helping clients build connections by creating collaborative spaces for improving something of common interest.

Such spaces let people take a step back from the day-to-day and work on a common, small, easy-to-accomplish goal that’s good for them (and the organization).

With one client, we simply got out the Post-it pads (use drawing software if you’re virtual), and collaborated on a minor process improvement. We did it in less than an hour, and everyone walked away feeling more connected to their work and each other.

There are many ways to create these spaces:

  • Research the competition and summarize for executives
  • Create a new community or ERG within the organization
  • Share findings on new tools, trends, or products
  • Host a book club
  • Before a one-on-one, have staff review and discuss each other’s behavioral assessments, if you use them. Dust them off and put them to use!

There’s no need to do a big company outing. You can create these spaces inside what you’re already doing.

You may be thinking that this all sounds pretty basic, but if you don’t make it happen, who will?

More importantly, what’s the result of continuing to have disconnected teams?

Human connection builds trust, but you have to be intentional about it.

If you want to learn more, check out of facilitation services.