Building an engaged, productive team takes more than a few meetings and free coffee. As a new manager, your employees are expecting you to prove yourself. They are likely to see you as the novice who has a lot of learning to do. Whether that's true or not, your first priority should be coordinating efforts and cementing relationships to build cohesive, focused workforce. Here are four ways to build unity with your new team.
Fun and Games
Ask around and come up with some ideas for entertaining activities that the team can bond over. Tetherball, corn hole toss, racquetball, bowling, even video games are options that might work with your teams. Set up an area where employees can play before or after work, or during lunch. Even if some people choose not to participate, they can get involved as spectators if you promote the activity by posting scoreboards and holding tournaments.
Health and wellness activities are an excellent basis for building relationships. It's something that's important to nearly everyone, and in the end it will give you healthier employees that are more productive and alert. You could promote contests for weight loss or healthy recipes, or hold classes for yoga or tai chi. Try to sponsor and encourage employee participation in charity walks or runs to provide some meaningful experiences.
Depending on the size of your workforce, you can lead team-building events that present employees with a challenge or puzzle to solve that requires organization, cooperation, and precision, as well inventive thinking. Some ideas might be building a boat, making picnic tables, or escaping from a locked room—although you could probably create your own, it might be more entertaining to do this at a place like Houdini’s Room Escape. Teams that learn to function well outside of the office will bring that camaraderie back to the job.
Plan one of your first formal meetings as a special event. You can make any speeches, lectures, demonstrations, or introductions you feel are necessary, but get the entire team involved in the planning. Think about refreshments, decorations, and a little light entertainment such as music or juggling. Make it a party atmosphere but one where everyone can learn something new and still have fun. You may find it's something you want to do regularly.
Be sure to make sure that every activity is centered on creating good communication amongst your team members. This is because only 15 percent of employees are satisfied with the quality of communication at the workplace. Be sure that everyone feels included and connected with you, the company, and with each other.