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How to Encourage the Sharing of Information in Your Team

Building a team is not always an easy thing to do. Not only do you need to find people who share common goals, but you need people who each bring something unique to the table. Unfortunately, the corporate environment has not always been one that fostered working well together, and so these two factors alone are insufficient for putting together a team willing to share information. In order to overcome this obstacle, it is first necessary to look at why we have so much trouble sharing what we know and then to find ways to encourage the sharing of information.

The Down Side of a Competitive Spirit

A little bit of competition is a good thing, but when that competitive drive to reach the top at all costs consumes you, it can be detrimental to working well in a team. Some people are overly competitive from a very early age, indeed, even toddlers are seen vying for mom’s attention. They will strike out at each other, bite, kick, scratch and scream their lungs out to be the one mom sees first. You might say this is normal behavior in a child that young and you might be right if it isn’t taken to extremes and if it is corrected by an astute mother.

But what of highly knowledgeable professionals who will do anything to claw their way up the corporate ladder? Have they somehow gotten themselves stuck in a juvenile mentality in terms of how they handle competition? This is the personality type that will work very hard to guard the information they have and will only share bits and pieces on a need to know basis. However, that could hold up a team for weeks, if not months or years if the information they are sitting on is a vital piece of a process that can’t continue unless all the pieces are fit together in tandem.

What You Can Do As Team Leader

After weeding out candidates who simply won’t be good team players, you are left with a group of individuals who, although willing to work together, may never have been briefed on the importance of sharing their piece of the pie. Understanding that you are working with individuals, sometimes it helps to have a non-confrontational way in which they can share what they have without fearing negative reactions of others in the group.

Some corporations even encourage team members to blog about their research on sites like presscave.com where you can write under a pseudonym if you want honest comments from other team members to whom you remain anonymous. There’s no threat there!

Some Companies Are Setting up Teams in the Cloud

Many companies have gone to setting up work spaces in the Cloud. Each team member is given access to the area he or she needs to work in and that is where they will leave what it is they know and where they expect to be within a given timeframe. These group spaces can be set up in a number of ways, either through dissemination of information through email, an online ‘conference room,’ or even a chat room where members can speak with select individuals, rather than the entire team, if that’s what they prefer.

In other words, by working in the Cloud you can meet briefly if need be, leave information for other team members to work through when they have time, and even access when they need your piece of the puzzle. This will often break down barriers so that team members have a sense of security when dealing with others.

The best way to encourage the sharing information is to provide a non-confrontational setting for the dissemination of knowledge. Most often, that space is in the Cloud.

Why It Is Time to Invest in Professional Development of Your Employees

One of the biggest challenges in today’s market landscape is finding the right team members. The growth of your business depends highly on employees supporting that growth. Filling key roles and managerial positions are even more challenging; it is more expensive too, especially with the market being as competitive as today.

Now is the perfect time for businesses – your business included – to start investing in the professional development of employees. There are a lot of benefits you will get in return for the investment. We are going to take a closer look at some of those benefits in this article.

Improved Productivity

Studies have shown that employees whose professional development is fully supported by the company are more motivated at work. That sense of appreciation and the support of the company are among the biggest factors that help employees stay motivated for longer.

In return for your investment in your employees’ professional growth, you get engaged employees who work with passion and who feel very connected to the company. Motivated employees put more into ensuring the smooth operations of the business, as well as helping the business grow at a faster pace.

Engagement is the keyword here. Employee engagement is something that needs to be developed naturally, and one of the best ways to do that is by encouraging – and supporting – professional development. Engaged employees will soon be your company’s biggest assets.

Experience and Added Resources

It is always better and more affordable to fill mid- to top-level management positions through a clear career path for all employees. When you promote a sales executive to the position of sales supervisor, for example, you shift the employee’s experience in the field and the employee’s ability to understand clients towards skills that are useful in the new role.

The trend can be seen in the healthcare industry. Many hospitals and medical institutions are encouraging their employees to pursue a health science degree online. The presence of online courses makes investing in your employees’ professional growth easier because they can still perform optimally at work while pursuing a higher degree.

Sustainable Growth

Another great advantage of investing in the professional development of employees is loyalty. Many businesses shy away from helping their employees grow out of fear of losing the best employees to other, better-paying companies. It is a justified fear, but one that must not hamper your efforts to help employees grow alongside the business.

Further studies have shown that employees whose pursuit of a master’s degree are supported by their employer have a higher loyalty to the company. They are more invested in helping the business grow and achieving great things together. The impact is clear; your business will benefit from a more sustainable growth, driven by capable people who are committed to delivering their best.

The market is evolving and the best way to stay ahead of the competition is by investing in the people around you. There are so many other benefits to gain from putting employees’ professional development as a priority. Now is the perfect time for your business to start.

3 Ways to Lift Morale with Team Building in London

None of us like feeling like outcasts, least of all when we go to work. In order for a team of workers to perform at their absolute best they need to be comfortable around one another and have a good sense of community.

Creating a happier and more productive work environment should be a constant consideration for any good manager. Studies have repeatedly shown that happier workers are more productive.

Even if your employees have worked alongside one another for quite some time there is still value to be found in organising a team building event. Working through activities, puzzles, and challenges as a team isn’t just an effective method for breaking the ice with new acquaintances, it is also an excellent way to foster and reinforce the connections that your workers have developed with one another.

There is an endless array of potential team building activities which have proven to be effective training and motivational tools. By encouraging your workforce to bond with one another, you will be ensuring that they function as effectively as possible when operating as a team.

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of working in a tense or less than friendly work environment. These kinds of places can be intimidating, even for experienced workers, and an unfriendly atmosphere will have an effect on how all those who work within it perceive their jobs.

Team building is therefore a very effective tool for raising the morale of your workforce and of encouraging every employee to give their absolute best effort all the time, and you’d be surprised at the wide range of different options for team building activities in London that you can find if you know where to look. In this article we take a look at three of the team building exercises which produce the best results in terms of raising morale amongst your staff.

Cooking

Even if we don’t have any first-hand experience of working in a kitchen, we all know that a chef’s job is stressful. Remove the customers and commercial imperative, however, and cooking food instead becomes the kind of thing that we might do to relax at the end of the day. Some groups like to add a competitive element to their cooking, perhaps by organising to have any food produced judged by a panel.

Cooking is an effective team building exercise because it requires participants to identify their own skills, and those of the rest of the group, so that they can efficiently organise themselves.

Treasure Hunt

No matter how old you are, treasure hunts are always good fun. The urban sprawl of our capital city makes it the perfect location for a treasure hunting activity. Whether you decide to give participants a list of clues to lead them to the location of physical objects, or instead send them out to gather photographs of various landmarks, a treasure hunt will encourage the participants to work together.

Treasure hunts make for great bonding and morale boosting exercises, in large part due to the fact that, while it encourages your workers to come together and practice working as a team, it is more relaxed and less immediate than many other teambuilding exercises. Sometimes it is beneficial for everyone to take things slower.

Graffiti Workshop

Art, in all its forms, is a powerful tool for therapy. Both individuals and groups can benefit a great deal from engaging artistically with one another and the world around them. Graffiti is more than just obscene scrawling on the wall, it is one of the purest forms of street art around and London provides the perfect backdrop for indulging in it.

The only limit on the kind of activities that you can undertake with your workers, in order to boost morale and foster the relationships between members of your staff, is your own imagination. The above activities are just a small selection of the endless opportunities that exist.

3 Easy Ways You Can Improve Employee Engagement – Starting Today

While a small fraction of the workforce says it is thinking of quitting at any moment, surveys have found that a large majority of the workforce is “disengaged”. They are at work, putting in the minimum to get by, but not fully engaged. An engaged workforce is more productive, creative and emotionally healthy. Here are three easy ways you can improve employee engagement, starting today.

Ask Their Opinions and Then Act on Them

Forget the suggestion box or brainstorming session once a year. Review all the ideas you’ve been given to improve the workplace and start implementing them. If you’re faced with a problem, before you rush to an outside consultant, ask your own team how things could be improved. Even better is when staff are given the authority to improve things in their own area, whether better organizing their work area or altering process flow.

Give Useful Training and Coaching

It is amazing how many workplaces assume that a new hire is ready to go as soon as all the HR paperwork is filled out. New employees should be connected with someone to ensure that they are fully on-boarded. How do they get what they need to do their jobs? Who should they ask for guidance when they aren’t sure about something? How do you get an account for every piece of software you use in the course of the day, and how do you learn how to use it? You’ll see far greater engagement from new hires when they feel supported in their integration into the team.

Offering training that upgrades one’s skills so they are suitable for higher positions dramatically increases engagement. If the company wants to see even greater engagement and increase in productivity, pay for continuing education outside of the workplace. For example, the company’s benefits program paying an employee’s tuition for an executive leadership masters online is training a future manager, while requiring the person to work for the company for several more years to pay back that favor.

Apply Lean Principles to Everything

One way to improve employee engagement is to ask employees for their input on what to streamline. You can start small. What company rules and regulations could be removed today and dramatically increase productivity, assuming the rule isn’t required for legal compliance or public safety? Then eliminate the rule. Employees see that management isn’t just asking for advice but taking it. They feel empowered and start giving more feedback on ways to improve the organization. A good masters in executive leadership should discuss multiple process improvement methodologies that teach you how to make systematic small improvements while making sure you sustain the gains with each change.

Conclusion

Employee engagement can be improved pretty quickly if you use the proper procedures. Start by providing useful training to new hires and existing employees so that they are better able to do their jobs and move into better ones. Ask employees their opinions and then heed them. And try to streamline work processes so that procedures don’t become hindrances to getting work done.

Top 3 Reasons Why Happy Employees Are Good for Business

Employees are your business’s biggest assets. Your company can only grow as rapidly as the growth of the employees that support it. In a market as competitive as today, employees also act as a competitive advantage.

Recent studies have shown that keeping employees happy is a great investment. Businesses whose employees are happy produce better results and can be more agile on the market. Aside from the boost in agility, there are other reasons why happy employees are good for business.

Higher Employee Engagement

Happy employees are 12% more productive according to a study by University of Warwick. The spike in productivity is a great thing for your business, especially when you take into account the collective effect that spike produces when the majority of the employees are happy.

It doesn’t stop at productivity either. Happy employees have higher employee engagement in general. This means they are more likely to take initiatives, come up with creative ideas and solutions, and make steps to further contribute to the success of the company.

Higher employee engagement also leads to lower friction within the organization. Engaged employees will speak up about issues they come across in an attempt to maintain a healthy and pleasant working environment. The business will run at a much higher efficiency this way; the 12% boost in productivity we discussed earlier will have an even bigger impact at this stage.

Fewer (Costly) Errors

The biggest cost for a business isn’t the cost of production or operations, but the mistakes employees make along the way. A simple mistake can lead to a much bigger cost too; when a sales officer failed to meet the customer’s deadline, for instance, the loss in sales can be catastrophic to the business’s growth.

This is where keeping employees happy comes into its own. Happy employees have better ability to stay focused. They are result-oriented and goal-driven too. Pair these traits with the higher employee engagement, and you have the perfect recipe for minimizing costly errors in business operations.

You can use online resources such as SalariesHub.com to find out more about what employees expect from a position or a career. Creating a better compensation package and providing employees with clear career paths are among the best ways to boost employee happiness and increase their ability to perform well at work.

Healthier Team

Lastly, there is the added benefit of having a healthier team when your employees are happy. Happy employees live better and longer. They tend to take fewer sick days and are more economical to insure too. These may seem like small advantages to gain, but they are advantages worth pursuing nonetheless.

The attempt to boost employee happiness can go hand in hand with that of creating a healthier team. By introducing a corporate fitness program, for example, you can help employees stay healthy and happy in the long run.

At the end of the day, you don’t need researches and studies to come to the conclusion that happy employees are good for business. Through a better working environment, a clear career path, and a supportive organization, the right investment in employee happiness can produce a great return for the business.