Naturally, there are many different facets to a safe and comfortable return to work by an employee who has had a long layoff due to illness or injury. But in our experience, one of the most important aspects of a comfortable return is a positive working environment. And in order for a working environment to be a positive one, the people who fill it each and every day need to be in high spirits.
It can be argued then that one of the most important components to one’s successful return to the workplace is an office that is high in team spirit. Of course, this requires business owners and team managers to put forth efforts to ensure that their staff members are receiving ample amounts of motivation on a daily basis. All members of a staff need to be happy when coming in to work each day to really create a positive working environment. Here are six ways to boost team spirit.
1. Be Honest. We’ve all heard the term “honesty is the best policy.” According to Ralph Heibutzki on Chron.com, this is especially true for team managers looking to boost team spirit. “Keeping secrets inhibits staff from giving its best,” he writes, “Employees who know what’s going on are more likely to share your vision and care about making it happen…To promote morale, hold regular informal meetings, but don’t limit the agenda to major announcements.”
2. Recognize Success. A huge part of building team spirit is giving credit where credit is due. Staff members deserve to be recognized for their jobs well done. Letting them know that their contributions matter certainly goes a long way. “Look for workers who contribute to a team atmosphere and have a ‘can do’ attitude,” suggests Gina Scott on GlobalPost.com, “Give a monthly award to the person who jumped in and helped out the most, such as when a co-worker was sick or on medical leave.”
3. Get Everyone Involved. Perhaps there is nothing better to boost team spirit than to encourage employees to actually work as a team. “Collaborative decision-making is a key element in team building,” writes Heibutzki. Be sure to encourage feedback during team meetings and truly listen to what each member of your team has to contribute. Implement the best ideas in your company policies. You may also want to inspire friendly competition among the various members of your team.
4. Play Some Games. Speaking of friendly competition, it won’t hurt your bottom line to sometimes turn work into play. Firstly, you can promote productivity by creating teams within your team to try to inspire everyone to outdo their counterparts. Secondly, for an excellent way to boost morale, you may want to create games that build trust and communication. “Activities like these show co-workers how to produce better as a group,” says Scott.
5. Promote Work/Life Balance. No matter how fun you make the workplace, employees will always cherish time with their friends and family more. It’s just a fact of life. By appropriately balancing out one’s work life with his or her personal life, it helps for that person to be that much more enthusiastic about his or her job. “Cohesion and morale suffers when employees feel tethered to their computers, or see little relief from unrealistic workloads,” warns Heibutzki.
6. Get Out of the Office. Perhaps one of the best ways to make the office a more enjoyable place to be is to get out of it more often! “Getting team members out of their element helps them think from a new perspective and build camaraderie,” informs Scott, “Retreats can last all day or a weekend. They can be filled with trust exercises and motivational speeches that build loyalty to the company brand and to each other.”