In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing business environment, implementing group cohesion strategies can mean the difference between success and failure. That’s because teamwork, cooperation, and unity are at the heart of all great teams. Whether you’re building a team for the first time or trying to improve unity in an existing team, use these six group cohesion strategies to help you get the job done.
1. Set Goals
When everyone is working toward the same objective, jobs get done much quicker and with better results. That’s why it’s vital to establish both individual and team goals right from the start. Without them, conflict and competition will develop and ruin the group cohesion you’ve worked so hard to create.
As a manager, you can set many of the goals your team will work on. But don’t neglect their input as well. Get them involved in the goal-setting process. When you do, you ensure that they understand the team’s objective and are fully engaged in making it happen.
2. Allow Everyone to Play an Active Role
The power of diversity, and these group cohesion strategies is only successful when you allow everyone on your team to play an active role. Your team needs a mix of many skills, and each individual brings different strengths to the table.
One person may have more technical expertise, another may have organizational and administrative skills, while another may have high financial aptitude. It’s the mix of all these skills that makes your team strong.
One of the best ways to get everyone involved is to make sure that they feel as though you value their contribution. When they believe the benefits they bring to the table are key to the success of the team, they will be more likely to play an active role.
3. Build Trust
Building trust between every member of the team is one of the most important group cohesion strategies. Without it, everything else you do will be less successful (or not successful at all). To build trust, create a safe space where team members can share ideas and opinions without the fear of ridicule or rejection. When your employees know that communication can occur without judgment, they’ll be more likely to open up, put their trust in each other (and you), and work together for a common goal.
4. Resolve Conflict Right Away
You can increase group cohesion by resolving conflicts and arguments between team members right away. Some constructive conflict can build the team up, but if that conflict escalates to real discord, it can tear the team down until no cohesion is left. When real conflict does occur, give your team members the chance to resolve it on their own. If they can’t reach an accord, take the opportunity to step in, mediate, and give a solution.
You can’t build trust, resolve conflict, or do anything on this list without good communication. It really is the bedrock on which all successful teams are built. To improve group cohesion, encourage open and honest communication with you and with each other. Keep in mind that communication should not be a one-way street. When your team members communicate with you, be sure to return the favor.
6. Celebrate Success
Whether it’s the end of a project or an individual job well done, it’s key to group cohesion that you celebrate those successes. And don’t be the only one to offer kudos and appreciation; encourage your team to celebrate without you as well.
By all means, arrange for a team lunch after the successful rollout of a new product or service, but then let them go out for drinks after work on their own. Doing so builds camaraderie, acts as an incentive for the next round of work, and reinforces the group cohesion you’ve already built.
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