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Helping Employees Relate: 5 Ways to Build Stronger Teams

Fostering Relationships inside and outside the Board Room

The gig economy is on the rise at least according to several studies that predict around 40% of the workforce will be made up of freelancers within the next few years. With this high-profile upsurge of independent workers, you might think that promoting individuality would also be a major Human Resources trend. But, a recent Deloitte global survey showed the opposite.

In the survey, 92% of companies reported restructuring to focus on team dynamics over individual performance. They’re doing so by retooling their operations as networks of high-functioning teams. Focusing on effective teamwork and the relationships that cement a team can enable your company to be more resilient, quickly adapting to whatever a rapidly changing business landscape throws your way.

Fostering Relationships inside and outside the Board Room

Strengthening the relationships that support team bonds also has a positive effect on individuals in the team. Psychologically speaking, cooperation can boost self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and encourage a more positive outlook. It’s easy to see why. Cooperation breeds an atmosphere of social support, care, and trust. 

Trust, especially, is the tie that binds people to each other in meaningful, productive ways. It’s a key ingredient to the relationship mix, but one that isn’t always immediately present. That’s because gaining others’ trust isn’t as easy as flipping on a switch. It requires intention and action. To earn trust, you have to set a trustworthy example in the way you behave and interact with others.

Cement a Trusty Foundation

A good place to start is by encouraging employees to consciously and consistently demonstrate that their work relationships matter to them. This will inspire mutual trust, and help keep teams running smoothly. Here are some suggestions to offer employees for inspiring trust and fostering stronger teams and relationships:

Bring the Best You: To cultivate effective relationships, you’ve got to bring your A-game. Act with integrity, show respect for others, and be honest, both with yourself and your colleagues. These qualities inspire teamwork and contribute to resilient, sustainable partnerships. When you bring the best you’ve got, you also raise the bar for others, inspiring them to do the same.        

Want the Best for Your Partners: Teams function best when team members genuinely care about the success and well-being of their partners. Compassion and empathy promote a healthy and trusting environment where creativity, risk-taking, and communication can thrive. When your partners know you’ve got their backs, they’ll be more likely to have yours.

Invest Your Inner Resources: Companies may be built on tangible resources like technology and buildings, but teams are built on the traits that make us human—traits like attention, respect, communication, dedication, follow-through, and authenticity. Sharing these invaluable inner resources with your team shows them that you’re there for the right reasons.

The Relationship Is the Goal: You’ve probably heard the saying that the journey is more important than the destination. Teams are kind of like that, meaning the relationship is more important than any single outcome. A single win at the team’s expense may seem necessary at a given moment, but it can erode the trust and cohesion needed to succeed in the long run.   Challenges will come and go, but a team that works well together will be better equipped to tackle whatever comes its way, now and into the future. 

Respect Your Neighbors: Bill Nye (yes, the science guy) once said that everybody you meet knows something you don’t. Remember that when working with your team, and try to understand where your partners are coming from. That means respecting their knowledge and experience, their current situation and state of mind, and their values, beliefs, and needs. Different people bring different skills to the mix, making for a diverse and multi-talented group.

CONCERN makes it easy to share useful, impactful content like this with your employees.  To learn more about our resilience and productivity building programs, visit www.concern-eap.com, or call 888.533.6015

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