How to Create a Working Team that Feels like Family

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The most successful work teams are those that work together collaboratively and efficiently. They work together as a team, rather than in competition. They’re professional, reliable and respectful of the company and the company’s values, as well as each other. And at the end of the day, they feel like family. But you need to build this kind of team; it doesn’t just happen overnight. There are things you need to do from a leadership perspective to foster this close, supportive and friendly ‘family’ feeling at work. Platinum Electricians are proud to work this way and have put together some ways to develop this environment at your workplace.

Start at the top

Employees will often look to those in leadership positions regarding how to act and what is appropriate in your particular company culture. If you treat everyone with common courtesy, with respect and with appreciation, this will be mimicked down the line. By making people feel like family, they will respond as such.

Say hello to everyone you see, listen to employees when they speak to you and consider their ideas, rather than just brushing them off. Offer to make them a cup of tea when you’re heading to the kettle. Simple things like this will ensure your staff know that they are valuable and that you appreciate all that they do.

Encourage team building activities

Both informal and formal team building activities foster the idea of working together. These can be as simple as a monthly team lunch so everyone can casually chat about their lives (rather than work), or can be as complex as a full day out of the workplace doing exercises and activities. Even a company picnic will do wonders for your team. It’s also a lovely idea to use the key calendar days as fun time for your staff. For example, on Melbourne Cup Day, organise a dress-up lunch, watch the race together and conduct an office sweep. Another fantastic idea is to give back to the community together. Work with a charity and take the entire team off-site for a day, whether it be feeding the homeless or visit the Children’s Hospital to put a smile on some faces. The Platinum Foundation is a great example of this, giving the company and staff a greater, broader purpose for their work.

Give everyone autonomy

There really is no need to micromanage or breath down people’s necks. By giving your staff autonomy, you’re showing them that you trust them to do their work in the required time. Not only will this encourage people to work harder, it will also foster a sense of self-achievement and self-worth. Your staff will respect you more for letting them get their job done, and chances are they’ll reward you with more efficient and effective work. By simply letting them do their job, you’re showing them that you have confidence in their ability. Working this way also promotes independent collaboration between staff, encouraging them to work together to take responsibility for their work, and ultimately achieve a better outcome.

Responsibility and accountability

It may also be worth giving each employee a certain responsibility in the office, so they feel that they are in charge. Giving each staff member something to be accountable for ensures the running of the office really is a team effort. If you think about it from a familial perspective, it’s one person’s job to do the dishes, and one person’s job to dry the dishes. It’s the same in the office – one person may have kitchen duty for a day, another may be in charge of scheduling and another may organise the errands. With each person pitching in, everyone will realise that it’s ok to rely on each other and, in fact, working together results in a much more efficient office.

Treat everyone the same

In most workplaces, there is a hierarchy. But this doesn’t mean people need to be treated according to their place in this order. No matter how senior or junior a person is, treat them the same. Most junior employees will be working towards a more senior position, and if they see that you respect them, no matter what their status, they’re much more likely to work that little bit harder.

Additionally, in every workplace, there will inevitably be some office politics. No matter how hard you work to eradicate this, personalities will clash (just like siblings) and people will disagree on things. Steer clear of the gossip, and if people do approach you asking for solutions, encourage communication rather than cattiness.

Reward and recognise

Everyone loves to be recognised, regardless of how small the accomplishment. Acknowledge when a staff member exceeds expectation or successfully completes a project. If you can, do this publicly and encourage the rest of your staff to congratulate their coworkers.

On the flip side, help those who are struggling. Whether it’s a particular job or something to do with their role in the company, make sure your staff know that it’s ok to make mistakes and that you will be there to help fix them. Ensure your staff know that you will support them no matter what – just like a family would!

At the end of the day, nothing feels more like a family than everyone being proud of your achievements, and supporting you when you’re down. Fostering great working relationships between your staff is important for productivity, innovation, and in the end, your business success.