Since I am the only person in the business space who solely focuses on bettering relationships, when most clients reach out for business consulting, I always find myself helping with questions regarding people problems. As long as there are broken teams, I will be busy fixing people problems, and I don’t see a lack of dysfunctional teams anytime soon.
When individuals decide that they want to work with the other people on their team, the possible results are endless. But when people decide that they don’t want to become part of a team, but instead want to remain ego-driven individuals, the only possible results are terrible results. I have seen plenty of examples of what does work and what doesn’t work when it comes to building better team relationships within the workplace, and I want to share with you what I’ve found.
So, if your workplace doesn’t have a great company culture due to a lack of relationship on your team, here are five ways to begin fixing problems, right now:
First, you have to build trust.
All solid relationships have trust as the foundation, and it starts with you, the leader. Are you trustworthy? Do you have good character? Are you the same person behind closed doors as you are out in front of people? Knowing the answers to these questions and making changes are extremely important for your business to be successful.
Next, do you have a problem with trusting other people? If you always feel like people are out to get you, then chances are that your team will adopt the same mindset. And if people are truly out to get you, have you thought about genuinely apologizing for the reason they are mad at you? I would say in most cases, when employees hold grudges against other employees, it’s because there was no apology for something that happened months ago. Sure, you may not feel the need to apologize, but be the bigger person by apologizing, and move on. It’s amazing what a little humility will do.
Second, is your team properly trained?
Most employees who feel that the rest of their team is out to get them is because their performance levels aren’t meeting the expectations of their boss, or other employees for that matter. And I would say that in 75% of those cases, the employees weren’t trained properly in the first place. Teaching people how to do their job correctly isn’t just important from a task point of view. Knowing how to do one’s job properly is actually important for business operations as a whole.
Leaders, if your team isn’t functioning properly, it may not be the individuals on your team, but rather the way you are doing things that is causing more harm than good. When workflows, meetings, work environments, and systems aren’t beneficial to your team, they serve as hinderances to building better work relationships. In many cases, employees get fed up with not having what they need to complete their job properly and end up taking it out on other employees they work with.
Third, open communication is key.
Without open communication, progress cannot be made. When people harbor bad feeling towards others on their team, they tend to either harshly verbalize their feeling towards them or they retreat from any contact with them. Either way, these tactics prove to be detrimental to a team’s performance. Individuals who walk around on eggshells all the time are not able to give their full contribution to their team, and as a result, their very best cannot be achieved.
Remember that everyone has something to offer, and if even one person is not offering their insights, then your team isn’t performing at maximum power and efficiency. If open communication is something that you’re struggling with, my suggestion would be to privately communicate all things that are getting in the way of your team performing at their very best with the people who are responsible for the lack of teamwork. The only time that things can’t be taken care of is when communication isn’t happen. Who knows? The people who are causing the issues may not even know there is an issue. And if they do know there’s an issue, then they need to figure out if they even want to be on the team.
Another exercise that has proven useful is going to each team member and telling them 1-3 things that you appreciate from them and their work. If negativity is all that can be focused on in your workplace, then something is wrong. It’s time to focus on the positive in each person.
Everyone is different, offering a variation of strengths, and that’s a beautiful thing. If you’re the leader of your team, then it’s your job to make sure they are in the correct role on your team. If they’re not in the right spot, you can always move them to a different area where they can excel.Leaders, it’s your job to set people up for success, not failure. Click To Tweet
Something else that stops open communication is gossip. I have found that gossip in the workplace is the biggest detriment to a team’s communication level. If someone is gossiping on your team, you have to take care of it. Gossiping is a form of fear, but bravery is going directly to another person if you have any issues with them. If you let gossip continue, then you are back to square one — struggling to build trust with your team.
Fourth, what fears does your team have?
This is a big one, because fear can spread like wildfire when it’s not used as fuel. Fear can be used as fuel by pushing teams ahead, while fear can be a setback when it stifles proper action. Know that fear will come when there are terrible market situations, or as your company is releasing a brand new product, or when you don’t feel you are matching or exceeding the offerings from similar companies, but fears like those should cause your team to become better, not to make you and your team hide. You’ll know if you are a part of a great team when fear comes. Great teams rise to the occasion, whereas not so great teams let their fears get the best of them.Don’t let fear get in the way. Use fear as a fuel to move forward. Click To Tweet
Fifth, do you have the right people on your team?
If there is a lack of relationship on your team that is negatively affecting team morale, and the people who are causing a ruckus won’t change, then you need to get new people on your team. When one person is toxic, it will spread, so it is imperative to find these individuals on your team and get rid of them if all else fails. Of course this is a last resort, but to help people, they must first accept the help you are offering to them.
In the end, people are your most important business asset. It’s people who create a great company culture, it’s people who keep your team moving ahead, and it’s also people on your team who keep clients coming back for more. Keep relationships at the center of your business model, and see how much it can improve your team dynamic.