Team Building – The Importance of Cohesive Teams
For almost two decades now there has been a trend of organizational flattening – “trimming the fat” so to speak. Being less top-heavy means de-centralizing operations, and empowering lower-level employees to make decisions and take action. This has competitive market advantages – more flexibility, faster response to market demands and lower executive salary costs.
Approaching Teams as a Human Resource Manager
There are countless ways of approaching teams. They can form organically as people socialize and interact in the workplace, they might be institutionally mandated as in the case of a Marketing Team, etc…
Some of the most effective teams are cross-functional teams, made up of people from different departments all working to achieve an organizational goal or objective. Cross-functional teams can be ad-hoc or permanent.
As Human Resource Professionals, we should approach teams strategically.
Getting Your Teams to Perform
Want to improve a team’s performance? Cohesion? Unification? Communication?
There are many ways HRM can create and foster effective team environments:
Communicate a cohesive vision for what the team’s stated mission is. Facilitate ways for the team to interact face to face or using technology appropriately:
- Encourage face-to-face team discussions that are structured so that everyone has a chance to contribute. Make sure everyone has a voice.
- Discuss the appropriate use of technology. Are emails and CCing everyone on the team the best way to spark ideas? Thailand is blessed with very high adoption levels of smartphones and messenger apps – Maybe the best way to manage team communications is via a Line?
When facilitating team discussions, keep in mind what the team is ultimately tasked with accomplishing, this is your role as an HRM.
As human resource professionals, we have the ability to incentivise behavior through compensations plans, workplace perks, bonuses, etc. Now is a great time to do an audit and ask yourself: are bonuses structured so that they reward the whole? Do they encourage team efforts, or just individual excellence? How is your department encouraging cooperation?
Evaluations are primarily the function of HR departments. One thing we know for sure is:
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure”.
Sit down and make a quick review of the following in your company:
- What policies does your company have in place for employee and team evaluations?
- Who is conducting the evaluations and how well are they adhering to the guidelines defined?
As a HRM you’re probably well aware of 360 evaluations. They’re a great way to evaluate teams, collect data, and identify challenges, before they have time to fester and grow into problems.
It’s up to HR to create appropriate and regular feedback systems and ensure team-training activities include internal feedback loops and channels to enable effective monitoring and adjustments to team efforts. These mechanisms are key to keeping your teams running like well-oiled machines.
Team building activities are important tools for motivating and enhancing team interactions, and often, by virtue of being fun they’re great for morale as well. As Human Resource Managers our role is choosing activities that will be appropriate and effective at helping our teams to solve their challenges and meet their objectives.
How We Can Help
As an HRM you’re in a position to make a big contribution to the overall effectiveness of teamwork in your company. A contribution that can have an important impact on your company’s success.
At CloudForce HR, we’ve often worked with leading organizations here in Thailand and throughout the region to facilitate and strengthen workplace teams. Contact us today to learn more about how we can contribute to your team building efforts. We’d love to hear about your experiences as well!