Cohesion is very important in any workspace, whether it be an office environment or a less traditional place of work. Creating a cohesive work environment from the very beginning is far easier to achieve than trying to fix the issues and habits that exist in a disjointed and conflicted working environment.
How do you create a cohesive work environment?
If you’re serious about creating cohesion in your work environment, start off with the following:
Define your goals
If everyone knows exactly what they’re working towards, you’re more likely to reach your goals. Ensure that you communicate the company goals often and effectively. Vague instructions and lack of clarity can be the downfall of a working environment.
Take interviews very seriously
When interviewing people to bring into your current work environment, really take your time getting to know the applicants. Not only do you want employees that are technically skilled and experienced, but you also want them to be a good fit for your specific workspace and gel with the other members of the team.
Ensure everyone has what they need to do their work effectively
Take time to check in with all of your employees to ensure that they receive the tools and the support they need to complete tasks assigned to them effectively. Some employees may be shy and reserved and may need that initial nudge to speak up. Checking in with your employees also shows that you care and allows you to get to know them better.
Employ a qualified HR manager
The majority of companies that have between 50 and 100 employees have an HR rep. It is recommended, though not a legal requirement, to look into getting an HR manager once you reach 40 employees to help you deal effectively with human resources issues. If you cannot afford to employ a full-time HR manager, you can always make use of the various one-off HR services there are available to you.
How do you build a cohesive team that works well?
One of the most important aspects of workspace cohesion is how well your team works together. A cohesive team works contentedly and enthusiastically towards a common goal. While that may sound simple enough, team cohesion can often be very difficult to achieve and maintain, especially in workspaces that have clashing personalities.
Some of the ways in which you can build a cohesive team that works well together are through:
Most teams work best if they are made up of team members from diverse backgrounds with different skill sets. A diverse team will be able to provide many different points of view, and you may be able to come up with some truly remarkable insights and solutions to problem-solving.
Team building exercises help create bonds, identify team members’ strengths and weaknesses and build the skills needed to work in a group effectively. It also helps to bring reserved employees out of their shells and allow everyone to get to know each other a little better. Natural leaders will also emerge in team-building exercises. Most team-building exercises are quite enjoyable and will be a welcome break from the usual office life.
Whether it’s a simple ice-breaker that you found online, or you’re taking your staff for a day out on an official team-building excursion, ensure that giving your employees sufficient opportunities to work on their teamwork outside of the corporate projects that they may be working on together.
Identifying and using personal strengths
Team building exercises and assessing work done on projects will help you identify the individual strengths of specific team members. Ensure that you are playing to your strengths by giving out roles and tasks to the right people. Not only will they feel noticed and fulfilled by doing something they’re good at, but this should also improve project success and efficiency.
Practice effective communication
Open communication is very important for a cohesive team environment. It helps to nip problems in the bud instead of having them fester underneath the surface until they reach boiling point—practice open and honest communication with your team and lead by example.
Create healthy feedback loops
Throughout the project milestones (not just upon completion), you should be providing your team with feedback and constructive criticism. You should provide individual feedback as well as feedback for the group in general. You should also ask for feedback to see what team members think about the processes and what can be improved upon.
Celebrate when goals are achieved
Most people work well when there is some sort of incentive involved. If you’re able to provide an incentive such as a day off, an office party, or a small bonus when certain goals are achieved, you can bet that even a team that struggles to work cohesively together will find some sort of way to make it work. The incentive could be just what your team needs to push themselves to develop their teamwork skills.
How can you contribute to workplace cohesiveness as an employee
Are you an employee looking to add value to workplace cohesion” You can do so in the following ways:
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something
- Aim to get your work done in time
- Make an effort to get to know your colleagues a little better
- Provide feedback on projects
- Try to bring an enthusiastic attitude with you to work
- Speak up if you have a problem
How do you achieve a cohesive work environment when employees are working remotely?
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people out of the office and into situations where they had to work from home. While many of us have gone back to work, there are still numerous employees working from home.
Remote working situations have the potential to turn the tables on even the most cohesive teams. The first thing you need to do is ensure that you are communicating on a platform that is easy to use and that all remote employees have secure and reliable internet connections. Trello, Skype, and Zoom are all great tools for keeping in touch with teams and hosting virtual meetings.
You’ll also want to maintain a similar routine to the one you had in the office environment. If you always had a Monday morning meeting in your conference room, you should still have a virtual Monday morning meeting.