Teamwork is key to success. When all the hands that touch your business work together, your day-to-day workflow becomes airtight. But, a disconnected team can be disastrous to your small business. There’s no denying the importance of teamwork in an organization to grow your business.
Teamwork and productivity are connected. A united workforce has positive effects on many aspects of your organization, including creating brand awareness. From making products to providing customer service, each employee should have a good grasp on what your business is about.
But, sometimes, your employees and brand don’t align perfectly. For example, here at Patriot, we needed to connect our millennial-heavy marketing team to the brand identity of our payroll and accounting software, which represents small business owners and is centered on our startup story.
Our company began on a shoestring budget in the basement of a factory. During the early years, the basement would flood when it rained. There was no air conditioning and little heat. There were, however, birds, rats, and spiders.
Like our small business customers, our early business efforts were difficult and allowed us to learn valuable small business lessons. We needed to convey the brand to our marketing team, who do not share the same experiences.
To help the team create brand awareness, we sent them, during paid work hours, to see the movie “Joy,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. A little unconventional, I know. But, the result ended in creating connection within the team and to the company’s brand.
“Joy” is the story of a young inventor who turns her entrepreneurial ideas into realities. When she starts her journey, she is broke. She faces challenges at every step, from failed sales attempts to lying business partners. The movie depicts some very authentic struggles of becoming a successful business owner.
We wanted our employees to gain perspective on the realities of business ownership as a team. Our customers share similar backgrounds to Joy, and we wanted our team to understand what makes them tick.
Sure, we spent $200 on tickets and refreshments, not to mention the loss of half a day’s productivity. But, the movie shed light on the customers we serve and try to reach. On top of that, the team got to spend time together outside of the office.
As a leader of a company, I cannot stress the importance of teamwork enough. Creating connection can improve many aspects of your business. Here are a few reasons to promote teamwork:
A team that works together cohesively thrives. When employees help each other overcome challenges, problems get solved efficiently. Your workflow gains an extra layer of reinforcement, which reduces errors.
When you create connections, you get to know which employees are good at different tasks. This understanding is extremely valuable for assigning roles. Your business’s output improves by understanding each employee’s strengths and weaknesses.
The importance of teamwork in the workplace is clear when it results in open communication. Problems are met with resourceful solutions when employees are comfortable speaking openly.
Employees become more apt to share ideas when you create connection. Your business’s weak points are met with fixes from diverse perspectives. When employees bring their viewpoints to the table, your business is never stagnant.
Teamwork and motivation go hand in hand. A disconnected and unenthused team can spell trouble for any business. When morale is low, employees are unhappy. And when employees are unhappy, they quit. High turnover rates can cost you a lot of money, from the hiring process to a loss in productivity.
Teamwork creates a sense of togetherness that promotes employee retention. You can increase the number of loyal, long-term workers on payroll by encouraging teamwork.
Creating connection takes effort from both leaders and team members. Here are three steps you can take to promote teamwork as a small business owner.
Goals give employees a common objective to work towards. Setting clear, measurable goals creates connection and moves your business forward. Goals establish milestones and point out weak spots before they turn into large issues.
As your team works together, measure their progress for reaching the goal. Hold reviews and give feedback frequently. As a team, discuss how you can make improvements. When your team meets a goal, reward your employees to encourage progress.
As a leader, you are part of the team that keeps your small business going. Be an active part of your workforce and a present leader during operating hours. Listen to what employees have to say and respond with open, honest replies.
Getting to know employees builds trust. At Patriot, we hold team-building activities to get employees out of their everyday routines. These events range from fall festivals to having employees bring in covered dishes. Taking workers out of the office to interact encourages teamwork. Another way to improve teamwork is to encourage informal social events among employees, even if the company doesn’t play a part in organizing them.
If you’re like many small business owners and leaders, you tend to forge your own path. You are comfortable with the unknown and listening to your instincts. But, employees often want clear expectations. Setting up processes can improve your workflow and promote teamwork.
Organize methods for tasks within your business’s daily operations. Employees can use the procedures to create a unified workplace. When you hire new employees, current workers can show them the ropes, making onboarding a smooth process.