We all wish our teams were fully engaged and backed each other with a military-like mindset. No matter how hard you try, solid teamwork can be a difficult task to employ. Here are some examples we have implemented to work better as a team.
Recognition. Keep a recognition bowl in a well populated area of your building. Make recognition cards with your logo on them (the size of a simple index card). Information requested: person being recognized, by whom, and the reason for the recognition. To add a bonus to this, add your company values and ask which value best describes the activity being recognized. Read the cards aloud at the next company meeting, then draw for a winner and give a small gift to the winner. We give away Starbucks cards and gas cards. See what happens as a result of this very simple system.
Red Shirt Friday. Our company colors are red, black and white. On Fridays, we request that all employees wear red. The goal is to look like a unified team. Our motto is, “If you want to get fed, wear red.” Pizza is on the house for all employees who wear red on Fridays. We meet in the conference room and eat a casual lunch and discuss our weekend plans and step away from business talk. Occasionally, we will use the time to brainstorm ideas, and we keep it low key. This is also a great time for a product knowledge meeting if a supplier partner wants to wisely sponsor lunch.
Group Bonus. Through-out the year, we strategically add some group goals that are centered around operations and sales coming together with a common cause; namely a group bonus. You know your cycles. Some are more stressful than others. For example, when student housing time comes for us in early August, I add a $2 per roll bonus for each roll cut for a three-week period. We may bring in 150 rolls of carpet during that time period. It creates a lot of work! To make it more fun, we pay the warehouse manager $2 per roll. He makes an extra $300 for his hard work, and the company sells 30,000 yards of product. Do the math on that one!
Get Social. Social events are another great way to create a sense of team. We have season tickets at the local minor league baseball games and sometimes do a team night there. A Halloween party is an annual invite we get from one of our designer/sales representatives. We put on an annual 10K Run to Fight Hunger that a few employees volunteer at or participate in.
These are just a few ideas on building a winning team that has each other’s back. I would love to hear from you on your ideas! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.