Sunday, May 17, 2015

Can Team Building Beat Workplace Stress?

Hands InIn the high-pressure “now” culture in almost every work environment in the 21st century it seems stress is almost inescapable. To a certain extent stress in the workplace is needed. A reasonable amount of stress is natural to ensure employees are constantly meeting deadlines, reaching appropriate standards, and keeping organized within individual roles and job descriptions. A team with a strong infrastructure can combat internal stresses.

Stress at Work Can Have An Effect On Revenue
There are many common causes of stress at work but when that stress becomes excessive employees tend to cease to function, become chaotic and make mistakes. This in turn can have a catastrophic effect on company processes, systems and productivity as well as affecting the individual’s health and safety. Those people in your team who you consider team players are more likely to cope with the stress of every day confrontations because they have more effective resources than those who are more likely to work alone and in isolation.

Why Team Building is Essential
Where employees feel safe in sharing ideas, experiences and tips, innovation is sure to follow. In the same way, inter-staff trust and reliance also leads to opportunities to share stressful situations, grievances and enjoy peer support. Working in tandem with a much needed element of competition is effective collaboration which leads to a much happier workplace and a productive environment.

Clearly investing in ways to help your employees work successfully within teams is absolutely essential for streamlining company strategies in order to maximize long–term returns. There are numerous professional companies which offer team building opportunities. The great thing is “team building days” can be de-stressors in themselves as well as giving your team a whole different concept on work relationships and how to enhance working together.

Team-Building Days Can Reduce Stress
Just like a holiday or vacation can relieve stress – so can a team building day. It can be a welcome departure from the daily grind and still be productive for corporate goals. Unlike mandatory training it is likely to have nothing to do with work tasks and if administered professionally will challenge participants in a fun and unique way. Even more so the team are meeting the challenge together and so form fresh alliances, trust, and new skills in a safe environment. Where stress has worn down staff, a day of team building can really be a boost to confidence and offer new gateways for support.

Team building days are very effective when they happen outside of the work environment and are focussed on fun skills. So consider the opportunities of a professional team building company, who can offer a wide selection of days out. But also remember the value of the types of challenges which involve the team working together for a single goal.

8 ways to get your team to listen (when you don’t have a whistle)

The truth is that whistles aren’t necessary.
As a young coach, I thought I needed a whistle to get my players’ attention and ensure they were listening to me.

metal WhistleTurns out, a few years into my coaching career I learned that it wasn’t the whistle that truly earned their attention.  Sure, it was disruptive and caused them to stop and look at me for a moment – but it wasn’t the reason they listened to me. 

I eventually began to coach without a whistle – and my teams responded to my voice… but not just because I was their coach. 

They listened because I built trust and was concerned with helping them succeed.
Your people won’t REALLY be invested in listening to you because of your whistle or your title.

Whistles and titles are only a crutch for inexperienced leaders, and they don’t inspire lasting attention or loyalty.
If you want to earn their ears and ensure that what you have to say is really being heard and valued, there are 8 ways you can get your team to listen:

1 Stop dancing around the issue –be clear and get right to your point.  People appreciate directness.

2 Talk with them, not at them –don’t turn them away by being an angry preacher who just yells

3 Deliver it in a relevant way –say it so they know how it affects them and their values

4 Know what you are talking about –be informed and experienced enough to gain their confidence

5 Demonstrate your resolve –let your actions prove that you will follow through with your words

6 Cut out the complaints–don’t waste their time with whining if you aren’t going to take action

7 Connect with your people –get out of your office and interact enough to build relationships

8 Be committed to your common cause –if you aren’t energized and passionate they won’t be either

All of these ways to get your team to listen can be summarized in two words – build trust.

Trust is a three legged tool, and Like Rapid Teamwork, it is something you can establish in minutes instead of years if you understand how it is created and maintained.

If you and your teammates are struggling to listen to or interact effectively with one another, you may need to step back and address those communication issues by scheduling a custom teamwork or fun team-building event that will energize and equip your people with useful tools and ideas.

Don’t depend on your title (or your whistle) to inspire hungry eyes and ears.  As a team leader or teammate, with a title or without, focus on implementing all of the above 8 ideas to ensure your people are truly listening to and valuing your words.