Are Team Spirit and Workforce Productivity Really Connected?

Posted: 5th January 2016 09:32

It has long been recognised that a workplace which has employees who are both highly engaged and who have a strong sense of team spirit will exhibit higher levels of productivity.

Employee engagement can be boosted by making sure there are good lines of communication within an organisation and ensuring employees feel valued for work undertaken. However, to foster team spirit, it is important to approach it in a multi-pronged way and here we examine just some of the methods which can work for businesses large and small.
Offer Team Incentives

Each individual within a team will be entitled to their own remuneration and commission structure. However, it can also be advantageous to offer group incentives for when a team meets set targets. While these can be finance based it is often a good idea to make them group activities, ones which will bond the team while they are enjoying them and which will be remembered when everyone is back at work.

Sporting occasions, team meals and even corporate events such as a sightseeing helicopter flight or a trip on the London Eye can be highly attractive incentives for the team to work toward.   
Create Healthy Competition

Another way to boost a team’s productivity is to introduce an element of healthy competition. Research has found that gamification, where team members are awarded levels of achievement, can be a great way to improve performance.

A leader board can be displayed in a team area so that everyone can see how they are performing against their colleagues. The only caveat with this approach is to make sure that plenty of assistance is offered to those who aren’t performing optimally. It can sometimes help to partner less experienced members with more senior employees within the team, who can offer direction and support.
Layout and Design

The design and layout of an office can also have a big impact on how a team performs. The addition of breakout areas which offer comfortable seating; Wi-Fi connectivity and coffee making facilities can be a big boon to productivity. It is often here that team members will gather to talk about ideas and get involved with morale boosting chats.

The less formal these breakout areas are, the more attractive it will be for staff to spend time there. It’s important to incorporate comfortable sofas and soft furnishings into an office space to make employees feel more at ease with their surroundings. Wi-Fi connectivity also means that employees can sit here to catch up on work and to make sales calls where they have a little more privacy. 
Promote Work-Life Balance

A team will always work better together if they recognise that the company cares about their work-life balance. If a business offers the ability for staff to telecommute or to work flexibly if they have important family matters to tend to, it can have a big impact on morale. It’s also important to recognise that every team member will be different and therefore require varying access to time off. While some will need flexibility to care for dependents, others may want to take a sabbatical for travel and therefore each request should be treated on its own merit.
Team Meetings

The final way to keep a team strong is to encourage them to meet regularly and to air any concerns or new ideas. These meetings should also be attended by senior members of staff so that each team member feels they are being listened to. While it may not be possible to instigate every idea which is put forward, at least the potential is there for some to be acted on.

Team meetings are a good place to air any disagreements which may have cropped up. An atmosphere which thrives on office politics is one which is not conducive to teamwork, so the faster these issues can be addressed the better.

With a combination of any or all these ideas put in place, you should find levels of team spirit rising and as it does, so too will the productivity of the workplace overall.