Team building exercises are a wonderful and fun way to establish and promote a sense of togetherness within a workplace, but it is only part of the process. In order to maintain and further nurture a sense of teamwork and cooperation during the times between team building activities, it is imperative to implement the right practices and policies within the workplace. The wrong policies will only serve to undermine trust and communication, thus eliminating the positive vibe in the work environment and creating a hostile environment in its place. No amount of team building exercises can compensate for bad office practices and policies. Thus, it is vital to make sure the right ones are in place.
Transparency in the Office
One of the best policies to have in order to maintain positive morale in the work place is the open door policy. This encourages any employee to feel free to speak to supervisors at any time regarding any matter. Whenever a strict chain of command is implemented, communication between staff and supervisors becomes restricted and a rift is created that causes a sense of disconnect between the two. Therefore, in order to maintain a sense of togetherness, an open door policy must be in place. In addition to creating trust and open communication, this policy will also allow more senior members to have a candid view of how the company is working, which can enable them to make better decisions overall.
Eliminating Time Clocks
Sometimes it’s not just a matter of putting the right policies into practice, rather it can also be a matter of removing the harmful ones as well. Certain policies and practices that we take for granted have actually been found to be highly toxic in terms of trust and a sense of self-worth among employees. One such practice is the use of a time clock. While it can be argued that time clocks can protect employees from errors and abuses with regard to their pay it can also be demonstrated that they can also create a sense of not being trusted. Every time an employee has to clock in it can feel as though ‘big brother’ is watching. Furthermore, any policies which obsess over time clock etiquette can also engender a sense of mistrust between supervisors and their employees. Thus, removing these policies is of the utmost importance.
Encouraging Employees to Speak Up
Finally, there is the matter of feedback. Many times regular employees can wind up having the most amazing ideas regarding how to improve something about the company they work for. Unfortunately, most of these ideas never see the light of day. Either supervisor is too busy to fuss over such matters, or they simply try to avoid any changes in the status quo. Even worse, most work places lack an efficient method for an employee to make their ideas heard. By allowing and even encouraging such input, a company shows how much it values the opinions of its employees. Furthermore, this kind of policy will make employees search for ways to make improvements. Even if only some of the suggestions prove worthwhile, it can still go a long way to improving every facet of the company, in terms of morale, efficiency, and even profitability.