Unless you are working with robots (which is entirely possible) you are likely to work within a group of diverse individuals; all with unique personalities and skill sets. Folks often compare their work teams with the makeup of sports teams, and because we live in Canada, we’ll use hockey to set this one up.
A hockey team has a number of different roles and positions all responsible for a certain task on the ice. The first line centerman should be scoring goals, the big defensemen keeps the opposing team away from the net and the goalie keeps the puck out of the back of the net. The grizzled veteran may not be putting up points but can offer a lot of experience to help the team grow.
Ok, enough sports chatter. The point is that the individuals on our teams all have something unique to offer. It is important to find ways to draw out the best in others and showing gratitude in a few different ways can help your team achieve that Stanley cup… (AKA your work goals).
Here are a few ways to make your team will a strong sense of belonging:
Know their strengths and when to bring them out.
Taking the time to work directly on the development of your team will not only help you foster a positive working relationship, but it will help you understand when your teammates are at their best. The quietest person in the room may simply require more time to develop a well-formed opinion or idea – and that is OK. But by knowing that, you can give them the time they need and call upon after the meeting, in an environment where they excel!
Someone on your team is good with numbers, someone can recite the daily news, and guaranteed someone has some hidden creative ideas. Take the time to understand who they are and when to call upon them.
Group activities with contributions from all.
There are little things you can do as a team that can go a long way to promote inclusiveness. Simple things like starting a team playlist can bring teams together while letting individuals share something personal about their style and influences. Team lunches (when they are allowed again) are great way to celebrate and bring the group together. The most important thing here, however, is to make sure no one gets left behind. Show your complete gratitude by extending an invite to the full team!
There’s comfort in gratitude.
Gratitude is the foundation of the My Big Idea program, because we know that when kind acts are shared it sets the tone for a positive and productive workplace. There is no better way to establish a sense of belonging than to make those around you feel appreciated for the work that they do.
Whenever you get the chance, let your teammates know that what they do as part of your team is valued and watch how quickly your team comes together!