When you're surrounded by happy, motivated team mates, the working day can pass in a blur of camaraderie. Colleagues can become friends, you enjoy coming to work, and you push one another to do your best work.
On the other hand, even a single day spent with a team that is disengaged, dysfunctional and fractured can drag on forever, and you begin to dread seeing the same dreary faces day after day. And when there's no energy, ideas dry up and productivity drops.
So, what does it take to create a team that gels and thrives, and gets the job done? We threw that question out to you, our friends and followers on social media. We wanted to hear your top tips for building a positive team.
Once again, you didn't disappoint us, and you responded in your droves. Your suggestions included everything from manager and team members sharing a common vision and good communication between the two, to providing cake!
The importance of good communication was a recurring theme among our Facebook friends.
Shalu Hora said, "A positive team is where the strength of one team member compensates for the weakness of another. The perfect blend and balance of soft and hard skills is required for a project or pursuit, sewn together with a thread of mutual trust, teamwork, fair communication, and constructive feedback."
Tracy Price, from Yucaipa, California, said, "Be very clear about the culture you have, or are creating. Hire only individuals who are willing to be part of that team. Ask how they see themselves fitting in, then listen. Really listen."
Ian Ruane suggested giving team members the freedom to manage themselves. He said, "Letting them decide on and work on lead roles. For example, reward and recognition, knowledge, communication/news, buddying etc. Each person has overall responsibility for their role, and responsibility for updating the rest of the team."
Mohammed Abdulkheer Al-Owaini, a project manager from Mukalla, Yemen, said, "To build an effective team work, we need to focus on their experience and skills."
Executive director Julie Hebdon, from Fredericksberg, Virginia, reminded us that there are things that a positive team doesn't need. She insisted, "Zero tolerance for gossip and negativity is vital."
Celebrate Your Wins
Alan Winterburn, a business management student, said, "I like the 'Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing' model to aid engagement. Recognizing interest, and giving roles to empower team members, helps to engage and challenge them, which goes some way toward job satisfaction.
"I'm a fan of socializing out of the office. Historically, where this and group team-building events have existed, I and the teams I have been a part of have been the happiest and thus performing."
As always, our Twitter followers provided plenty of pithy, bite-sized tips for building positivity. Business coach and speaker @hugoheij said, "Celebrate your wins with your team. They probably helped you achieve them!"
And we don't think too many people will argue with @mimgodfrey. She hit the nail on the head with the third of her three top tips for building a positive team. She said you need, "flexibility, time to talk and, of course, cake!"
Here is a selection of other great responses from Twitter:
- @Ganesh_Sabari: "A positive team is built upon transparent and fearless communication of ideas, views, suggestions, issues, mistakes among members!"
- @JOmutanyi: "Taking a team as "we" and not "me" and employees stick together, you need not be involved continuously."
- @hopegovind: Having a right attitude and communication is key."
- @RosieBarfoot: "Effective Leadership with a clear vision, values and expectations."
The responses from our contacts on LinkedIn were short and sweet. David V. said, "TEAM equals Together Everyone Always Matters." And Martin Hipwell, a first aid trainer at the British Red Cross in Plymouth, said, "Inclusion, honesty listening to concerns, and watch burnout."
Thank you, once again, to everyone who took the time to send in their top tips. You can still join the discussion, using the comment box, below.