You may have read about team spirit in the workplace, but what is team spirit, how do you measure it, and how can you build it?
Let’s answer these questions one by one.
What is team spirit?
A quick Google search pulls this definition from the web – “feelings of camaraderie among the members of a group, enabling them to cooperate and work well together.”
Basically, a team in high spirits can boost the morale and motivation of employees to increase productivity, job satisfaction and also help with employee retention.
It may look different based on the size of the organization and the type of industry. For instance, in marketing, you can make your own t shirt and have the entire team wear it in social events and award shows, whereas this may not work for team spirit in, say, the construction business.
However, overall there are some universal ways you can measure team spirit and the impact of better team morale.
Measuring team spirit
If you consider what increased motivation is supposed to help you achieve, it becomes easy to measure the current state of your team’s spirits. You can look at various metrics, like:
- Employee churn rate – How long do employees typically stay in an organization. If the churn rate is unusual for your industry, it may stand to reason that motivation and incentive to stay on are lacking.
- Billable hours – If you charge your clients based on billable hours, this can be an indicator of how well the team is collaborating on big projects or performing individually. An increase in billable hours is usually a positive sign.
- Quarterly goals – See how far ahead or behind you are with respect to your quarterly goals. This is not a clear metric, but if you are crushing your quarterly goals, then it is a good sign that the team is productive.
- Revenue – Revenue is a clear indicator of how well the company is doing. An increase in revenue can signal good team spirit, and an upward trajectory suggests you should continue doing what works for you.
- Participation – Are employees active or passive during meetings. If no one speaks up during meetings or people are afraid to voice their views, it needs to be addressed to increase employee participation. When employees feel like they belong, that is when they do their best work.
- Feedback – Most companies have a system to take in employee feedback at regular intervals. If you want to understand employee sentiment, this is the best way to understand it. Go through their feedback and see if there are any pressing concerns that have not been addressed or if there are issues that multiple employees have raised.
No matter what your metrics for success are, you can measure them against your team spirit index to see if the spirit of collaboration exists and employees are happy and motivated.
How to build team spirit
There are many ways you can build team spirit. Some may not be possible or applicable, given your work situation and industry. For instance, if you are a remote-first company, a lot of in-person team-building activity can prove to be difficult. Or, if you are in the event industry, more events for socializing may not be the answer to building team spirit due to fatigue caused by work.
So you can pick and refine some of these tactics and make them work for you –
- Go out on team lunches
Nothing bonds people together better than breaking bread together. It gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about their team members’ culture and food preferences. And it also gives people the chance to socialize and connect with other members. When you hire a new employee, one good way to introduce them to the rest of the team is to take them out on a team lunch.
- Host game shows
A little competition can actually be good to boost the team spirit. Divide your employees into different teams and let them battle it out on different games like charades or movie trivia. As an employer, you can also join in and establish that you are approachable.
- Organize sporting events
Some corporations have a company bowling team or baseball team, and they play against other companies. If you are not quite there yet, you can still organize sporting events on a smaller scale and have employees unleash their competitive spirit and blow off some steam at the same time.
- Organize workshops
Workshops on team building, either in the office or at a retreat, can go a long way in boosting team morale. You can also organize workshops to help employees upskill and stay on top of industry trends. By helping them succeed, you help move the company forward as a whole.
To sum up
Team spirit is not something you can build in a day. It takes time and consistency to be able to have employees that truly enjoy coming into work and doing what they do.