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How to create a sense of togetherness within a team

After growing the carwow team from just three co-founders in 2013 to more than 100 today, we’ve learned a lot along the way. We unveil some of the approaches that we now take about fostering togetherness within a team given what we’ve learned.
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Adopt unique interview processes to boost togetherness within a team

Interviews can be nerve-wracking for candidates at the best of times, so we’ve devised some innovative interview techniques to make sure we get a grasp of the true personality of each potential employee and ensure. We invite existing employees to take part in the process because these are the people who will be spending the most time with them – and it’s important they click in terms of togetherness within a team.

The first stage interview is a relaxed chat because we like to encourage potential employees to get a sense of the people they’ll be working with. For a more casual element of the recruitment process, we invite one or two candidates to a speed-dating style interview. The job-seeker will sit down team members they’d be working. We take on board the feedback from staff to see how well the individual fits with the culture of carwow.

The right office layout

The way an office is laid out can really affect the sense of togetherness within a team. We’ve found open plan tends to be best so that everyone feels like part of one big team. When employees involved in different areas of the business can see and hear what others do day-to-day, it can help build more of an understanding of the business as a whole and they get to know each other on a better level. None of the senior team sits in an office, rather everyone sits together. We also do regular desk shuffles.

Regular social events

It’s important for the team to spend time together outside of the office, and social events are a great reward for hard work. As our team has grown, we’ve had to split the team between two floors, so ensuring everyone has enough time to get to know each other really makes a difference. Even a few drinks after work on a Friday can do the trick. We budget for monthly team socials and monthly company socials and always try something new and fun such as shuffleboarding, a quiz or a city treasure hunt.

Lunch and learns from teammates

We hire exceptionally smart people at carwow, each with their own hobbies and interests. We encourage people to share their knowledge with the rest of the carwow team during weekly “lunch and learns”, whether that be learning about Justin Bieber’s rise to success from a digital marketing perspective or learning about the greatest conspiracy theories of all time. These kind of opportunities really help junior members of the team work on their confidence and presentation skills in a more relaxed and informal environment, definitely forming a sense of togetherness within a team along the way.

Keeping everyone in the loop

We have a weekly company breakfast meeting where we share anything big going on company-wide, including product changes, and individuals have the chance to share things they’re working on. We also go through monthly targets and what we’re doing to meet them. These meetings ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what they’re working towards. Team members can submit questions for the CEO or the rest of the team to be discussed in the meeting. This is also an opportunity for us to celebrate success and make sure key achievements are acknowledged throughout the team. We also use Slack for more regular updates.

Building a strategy together

One of the great things about working at a startup is that everyone is involved in making the company a success. The team works closely with the detail every day so they’re best placed to form the learnings into a strategy. So, the whole team works together to create a company strategy and work out how we’ll achieve our goals. Because every team member is involved in creating our strategy, everyone is bought into making it successful.

By actually caring

Nearly every company out there claims its people matter the most. But how many companies really mean it?

James Hind is CEO of www.carwow.co.uk

Image: Shutterstock

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