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When we consciously think about how we manage our business, our team’s connectedness is of heightened importance.

Day-to-day, however, we often don’t take that same elevated view of how our team is faring, as we’re focused on outcomes and deadlines.

When we take that step back and recognise the need to increase the focus on the cultural aspects of our team, that’s when a partner like Be Challenged is generally engaged for focused events and programs that unite teams and refresh the spirit of camaraderie.

As effective and enjoyable as these events are, Be Challenged also promotes you thinking about your team’s connectedness day in, day out.

With that in mind, here are seven daily actions you can employ as a leader to make sure your team feels connected:

  1. Celebrating the small stuff and recognising the good work colleagues do is a simple, impactful way to boost team morale. Rather than doing it merely for the sake of having it there, put some real thought into what would be best embraced by the team and encourage celebration rather than competition.
  2. Encourage coffee catch-ups, even virtually if required, with your team members. Small talk plays a significant part in breaking down formal barriers and is especially important for new team members to help them feel comfortable more quickly. These also allow long-term employees to continue to maintain strong relationships, without the pressure of work-only related conversations.
  3. Encourage speaking to colleagues who aren’t in your direct team, or who are in another division of your company. Building relationships with people outside of your every day promotes a different kind of conversation and dialogue, as well as a refreshing perspective on topics. Learning about other teams can help your people see challenges and opportunities in a new light, replenishing their energy on things that may have been weighing them down.
  4. Schedule regular one-on-one meetings to allow for less strict communication and more raw, unfiltered conversation. Ensure to honour this time set aside, doing your best to not reschedule unless it is genuinely unavoidable. This shows commitment to the relationship and respect to your team member, and that you truly value their thoughts and time.
  5. Trust is essential in the workplace and has proven to enhance collaboration & teamwork. Without it, employees are on-edge and can feel as if they are being micromanaged. This restricts creativity and promotes additional stress and drains motivation. Focus on empowering your team with encouraging question asking, practising active listening and being transparent to show them you trust them.
  6. Showing empathy is a crucial component of developing and sustaining authentic relationships as well as fostering team connectedness and shared understanding. If a team member is underperforming at work or not meeting a deadline, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and fill in the gaps with assumptions. They may be fighting some silent struggles behind the scenes that are affecting their ability to perform at work. Consider that they may not be comfortable bringing this up first and approaching them to have a private and confidential conversation will often result in them sharing what is troubling them. If there is no valid reason then that warrants a different kind of response, however, regardless it is good to take this approach.
  7. Encourage humour and don’t take yourself too seriously. Of course, there is a time and place for when serious conversations are needed, however, it’s surprising how much it can add to a situation and often break down barriers in the workplace.

Finding a good balance of these tactics in combination with organising larger team-building programs such as the ones that Be Challenged offers is a terrific way to contribute to a thriving and dynamic positive workplace culture.

Thanks for reading.

Oliver Sheer

Managing Director, Be Challenged

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