Building Team Chemistry and Why It Matters for Your Business
Author: Jeremy Harrison
Consider this: you’re playing for your favorite baseball team. It’s the bottom of the ninth inning and you’re pitching. With two outs already you’re just one away from winning the game. You don’t pay attention to the signals your catcher gives you and instead go rogue with your pitch.
The batter strikes the ball, hitting a home run with bases loaded. You’ve lost the game.
Looking back, you didn’t do anything wrong, technically. You pitched a fair ball and the batter got lucky. Sure, your catcher tried to communicate with you, but you don’t really connect with him or trust his judgment. You took matters into your own hands and did what you thought was best.
But was it really the best move for your team?
You can have all the talent in the world, but without team chemistry you won’t be successful.
What Makes “Good” Team Chemistry?
If you’ve ever played sports or participated in some sort of group activity, you’ve experienced teamwork. Each person’s role contributes to the overall goal of a team: to win.
You want your business to win. Nurturing team chemistry takes work, just like practicing together as a team takes work. Here are some ways to build good team chemistry. Incorporating team building exercises doesn’t have to be cheesy and awkward. You’ll find your employees actually want to get to know each other. After all, 78% of people working 30-50 hours a week are with their coworkers more than their actual families.
Set Annual Goals as a Team
Take the time to come together with your team annually to set goals for the year. Setting up quarterly meetings is a great way to touch base with everyone and make sure you’re on the right track to reach those goals. It all comes down to everyone knowing their role in the bigger picture and that no job is too small.
Expectations Based on Generation
As time goes on, you’ll start to have a diverse age range of people working for you. Different generations have different definitions of teamwork. Openly communicating the goals and vision amongst each other is ideal to keep everyone on the same page and find new ways to work together that take advantage of everyone’s skill set, whether you’re old school or digital age.
In-Office Team Building
Sometimes schedules and budget can limit the activities your team can participate in together. Depending on your agenda, you can keep a formal/educational vibe for your activity or make it something more lighthearted. The choice is yours!
- Team lunch (or breakfast)
- Weekly staff meetings
- Share goals/vision for year and/or quarter
- Reward each other for accomplishments
- Lunch and Learn
Outside-of-Work Team Building
Getting together with your staff outside of work matters for a few reasons. People carry themselves differently at work than they do outside of the office. The energy will feel more relaxed and people won’t have work-related obligations pulling away their attention. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- Annual Ice Cream Social
- Weekly sport leagues
- Seasonal fun – hayrides, haunted houses, donations
- Adventurous activities like ziplining, rock climbing, hiking
How Team Chemistry Helps Your Business
Every person serves a purpose. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? If not, you can learn about it in detail here. In short, the summary to the right can help you out.
The 80/20 Rule means that in any situation, 20 percent of the inputs or activities are responsible for 80 percent of the outcomes or results.
When you have good team chemistry across your organization, it empowers you to do the work of the 80/20 rule. Spire’s President, Jeremy, has built his business using this rule. Jeremy and his lead team work together to set the vision, strategy, and systems that are needed to drive growth and productivity across the rest of the business. By paying attention to team chemistry at the lead team level and then encouraging the lead team to do the same with their teams, everyone finds a productive groove within their strengths.
As the lead team member or business owner, this investment in your team might only take you 20% of your time, but it will yield significant outcomes—in productivity, efficiency, overall work satisfaction, and business growth!
The key here is to help your team know their role, why it matters, and how it plays into the bigger picture. Helping your team see that everything is intertwined to accelerate the business creates an environment where everyone is working together.
The end result? You have a team standing behind you ready to do whatever it takes—together—to make things happen. Think back to the baseball scenario from earlier. Your catcher gave insight to help win the game—your goal. If you would have taken his advice, odds are you may have had a strike instead of a grand slam. You need to stand behind your team just as much as you need them to stand behind you. Trust is invaluable here.
Collaborate. Communicate. Conquer.
A sound team uses communication every step of the way. This is how people form relationships and understand one another and ultimately work together. Depending on the dynamic of your team, you may find it’s easier to help everyone bond during the workday, like at lunch. There’s also special occasions where getting together outside of the office allows everyone to loosen up.
Effective communication is the DNA of your team. It’s up to you to set the tone to help your team, and thus your company, succeed.