Business and team leaders manage resources at their disposal, including the dynamic human element, for the best possible outcome. While a series of things could hamper such best possible results, 86% of employees and executives accept that ineffective collaboration and communication lead to workplace failures.
That is mainly concerning, showing why team leaders need to develop team-building skills to drive better outcomes.
But this number cannot be taken in isolation.
So, how important is team building as a leadership quality – and how do you get there as a leader?
1. Retain Talents for Longer
Employee churn is one of the biggest causes of corporate failures.
Losing an employee to the competitor means they take all of their experience and training gained with you to your rivals, setting you back a bit. You also have to invest time and resources into finding their replacement, training such replacements in your ways, and getting them up to speed.
All of that points to time and resources that could have been used better.
However, leaders who have mastered the art of team-building don’t suffer high employee churn rates or any ill situations that come with it. After all, more than 54% of employees claim they’ve stayed at a job that they should have left only because of the great sense of community they felt while at the workplace.
This is not a call to stubbornly hold on to employees that are willing and ready to leave, but it shows you how excellent team spirit can keep your best talents in-house for a while longer.
2. Attract Newer Talents
Gone are the days when the best talents only cared about how much you’re paying them. Millennials and the new generation labour force are more interested in an outstanding work-life balance; this spans their benefits and time off and how they fare during working hours.
Already, up to 33% of millennials strongly desire collaborative workspaces. Evidence suggests that this workforce category won’t even consider applying to your roles if they feel they’d be working in isolation or for a brand that doesn’t practice good team culture.
The biggest concern for leaders here is that this generation continues to inform the coming age, so those numbers will only go up. For better context, a 2021 Builtin study found at least 15% of job seekers declined a job because of the company’s culture.
Therefore, promises of the best pay and benefits alone won’t cut it, but an added slice of great team collaboration, inclusiveness, and budding culture.
3. Improve Productivity and Output
Team building aims at boosting motivation levels, helping individual employees see themselves as part of a team, and synergizing effortlessly to meet brand goals. These are the recipes for a high-performing team member, but why should you care?
A B2C 2021 report found that high-performing employees outperformed the lower performing ones by as much as 202%.
Here’s why those numbers are interesting:
Even without team building, there would be low and high-performing team members. While the latter group is pulling their weight, the former is pulling the organization back. Thus, the overall brand performance evens out at below average.
Almost every worker is motivated by team building since they’re part of a motivated team. The least motivated member in such units are still high performers in their right and help to drive the brand forward. Overall, you get an above-average performance.
To put that in numbers, McKinsey’s 2012 research shows a 20-25% productivity increase in teams with connected employees.
Leaders should learn to shift from having single or a handful of high performers to levelling the gap via team building; this improves overall productivity and helps with company output in the long term.
4. Create Team Trust
The benefits of team trust within any organization are relatively straightforward.
With higher levels of trust comes better collaboration which allows team members to get more done and faster. Each team member also knows that the other has their back so that they can do the best job possible.
But is that all there is to team trust? HBR suggests otherwise, showing how improved team trust helps the organization’s leadership.
For example, employees working at companies with higher levels of team trust exhibit the following unique traits:
- 74% less stress than their colleagues in other companies;
- 13% lesser sick days;
- 106% extra energy at their jobs
- A 50% boost in productivity; and
- 40 less burnout, among other things.
These are all impressive numbers that a leader should want on their sheets.
It’s interesting how you don’t have to go out of your way or do anything beyond the business scope to get this. After all, team building should be an essential part of the organization’s game plan anyway.
5. Drive Novel Innovation
Many businesses, including yours, could survive the next few years on the status quo. The majority of what you’re doing is maintaining the current customer base and looking to attract more.
Still, there’s always a burning desire to innovate and launch a new product or service that redefines the company’s approach and revenue.
Luckily, team building could be yet another unconventional way to get there.
Research shows that team building builds up work ethic and improves innovation by 10x. That’s a 1000% increase in the speed at which you would have customarily approached innovation, helping to ensure something tangible comes of these innovative drives.
It’s not difficult to see why this is. Once employees work well together and feel at home with their leader, they can better apply their skills to achieve company goals and ensure consistent growth.
In line with the earlier points, you also retain employees better, so there’s longevity in the teams working on innovation rather than constant shake-ups. On top of that, you have a well-synergized team that understands one another better, working as one towards a common goal.
How Leaders Can Mould Team Building Skills in the Workplace
The importance of team leadership skills within any leader’s ranks cannot be overemphasized. The buck stops with team leaders to re-learn crucial management skills to include this crucial one into the mix.
If you’re ready to start maximizing the potential that you stand to gain from team leadership, here are some core approaches to start taking today.
Know That It’s an Everyday Thing
Team building has been reduced to that one day off when every employee is almost forced to go out on a corporate event and have fun. Besides that, little else is actively done in team building.
Some companies allocate more than a day per year to such events. However, this doesn’t take away that these are the only days when team building is concentrated upon.
Since teams work together every day or almost every day, team building activities should also be daily.
Find ways to help teammates work together, trust one another more, and bond during every workday. This is not a call to force things but a note to pay more attention to areas where you can step in to help a team feel better glued.
Is there an underperformer in one team? Does a teammate feel left out? Do you have a teammate that believes they perform better in another team? Pay attention to such subtle details and cues, stepping in to smoothen the situation before it causes further friction.
Communication skills are a part of team-building skills. Sadly, most managers feel like custodians of information, only releasing sensitive information in bits on a need-to-know basis. This already shows the team that you don’t trust them to handle all of the information, further driving down their trust in you and one another.
Already, managers are causing 70% of deviations in team engagement, showing you just how much of the buck stops with you. It’s also sad that only 5.9% of organizations communicate their goals daily, leaving most employees in other organizations in limbo.
With 80% of employees left feeling stressed on the back of ineffective communication, you have your work cut out for you on what to do.
Humans are social beings, and we love to be recognized for our work. This is so much so that over 40% of employees stated that they would probably apply themselves more at work if they got the fitting recognition. With such numbers, it’s disheartening to see that only 1 in 3 US workers gets recognized weekly for their work.
Interestingly, employees are not interested in recognition from managers and leaders alone. AnSHRM report concludes that peer recognition can have a 35% more positive impact than manager recognition.
That sounds logical from a personal relationship standpoint. Since these employees work in the same teams as their peers, they appreciate the recognition more because their peers see what efforts they put in instead of simply supervising from above.
So, where do you come in? Building a habit of social recognition in the workplace starts with you. Openly recognize and appreciate stellar work, and you’ll slowly trickle that habit into the rest of the teams, too, boosting entire team morale.
Bring in the Experts
The human resource is the most dynamic factor of production and requires effective handling. Otherwise, the other three factors go to waste, and organizational goals are left unachieved.
You should save time, money, and resources by working with leading experts who help your team leaders understand their teams better. With this understanding comes better extraction from individual skills and team effort, leading to a more successful team and a winning organization.