Tips For Improving The Way Your Team Works

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Team Building|Tips For Improving The Way Your Team WorksDo you find that your team could be working much more effectively? There are many ways that you can improve the way that your team works, and these will depend on the kind of team that you are running and whether you are in the position to make some changes or not.
Here, we are going to give you some of our top tips for improving the way in which your team works. Keep reading to hear what these might be.

Introduce New Software

Is your team wasting time on things that could be done by a new piece of software? It can be easy to get bogged down by mundane tasks that need to be done but this can have a negative impact on the way that your team works. To combat this, you should try to invest in new software that your team can use to automate tasks and focus on the work at hand.

Improve The Working Space

If your team is being forced to work in a cluttered working space that is not good for aiding their creativity, then you might need to make some changes. To do this, you should spend a few days decluttering the workspace and call a junk removal service to come and pick everything up. Once you have done this, you can go about rearranging furniture and improving the working space that you have for your team.

Allow For Better Communication

Does your team know how to communicate effectively with each other and yourself? Communication is key in business and you need to make sure that there are appropriate channels that they can use to talk to each and solve problems quickly. Try to implement an open door policy and encourage team conversations to get your team working to the best of their ability.

Give Feedback

Our final tip for those who want to improve the way in which their team works is to try to give feedback. You should consider hosting weekly meetings with your team members to discuss their work and what they could improve on. This meeting should be a two-way conversation that allows them to discuss any issues. They should then take the feedback on board and improve their working style as time goes on.

Final Verdict

It is entirely possible to improve the way in which your team works if you know what to start with. Consider changing the work environment that they spend their days in and try to encourage communication in the office.
If you can follow the advice that we have given you in this article, then you should be able to get your team on track to getting results. It is important that your team knows how to work effectively together in order to have your business be a success. Follow our advice and you won’t regret it when you see a massive change.

Walk Your Way to Solving Your Most Complex Challenges

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Complex Challenges|Walk Your Way to Solving Your Most Complex ChallengesImagine an oil industry executive having a long, relaxed, open conversation with an environmental activist. Or a police chief casually chatting with a community leader. Or, within a company, a sales manager strolling and talking with the head of project development. What new ideas—ones that could potentially solve their most difficult challenges—might such encounters produce?

I had the opportunity to see the fruits of such an approach in 1998 in a lakeside town in the highlands of Guatemala. It was here that Hugo Beteta, a foundation executive, and Otilia Lux de Coti, an indigenous human rights campaigner, went for a walk.

They were an unlikely pair. Their country had been mired in a genocidal civil war in which the Guatemalan army had murdered hundreds of thousands of indigenous people, and Hugo and Otilia came from two worlds that were almost completely separated—politically, socially, and culturally.

But in 1996, the government and the rebels signed a peace treaty to end the war. On the day Hugo and Otilia took their walk, I was facilitating a leadership workshop on how to implement the peace accords, and I’d invited the participants to choose a partner who was most different from them and go for a 45-minute stroll outside the hotel.

I was sitting in the meeting room waiting for the participants to return when Hugo entered, looking stunned. He was almost staggering, and I asked him what had happened. “Otilia told me a story about her high school graduation that really shook me up. She’d received the highest grades of any graduating student and was given the honor of carrying the national flag onto the stage, but the school wouldn’t allow her to wear her traditional ethnic clothing to the ceremony. So, she was forced to choose between having her accomplishment recognized and offending her family and betraying herself,” he said. “I hadn’t grasped how we Guatemalans have built everyday mechanisms for perpetuating the racism and inequality that produced the genocide.”

Hugo wasn’t the only workshop team member to report gaining a deeper understanding of the situation in Guatemala as a result of the stories shared during the walking exercise. These shifts in perspective helped the group make progress.

Over the years that followed, the participants took many significant actions, separately and together, to build a better future for their country, including greater indigenous inclusion. Hugo, by the way, became minister of finance, and Otilia was appointed minister of culture.

A simple yet powerful exercise

I’ve used this paired walk exercise in many multi-stakeholder workshops around the world. It’s so simple, and yet it’s one of the exercises that participants say has the biggest impact on their understanding of their situation and their relationships with others. Why is this ordinary activity so fruitful?

On one level, the walk is effective because of its mechanics. Two people who want to connect move forward side by side, look at the world together, and talk casually, without any papers or other distractions. The walk offers people an opportunity to connect on a human level, as equals, and share their perspectives.

This experience can produce profound changes. Almost everyone who has gone on these walks over the years says that, like Hugo, they were surprised and affected to see the world through the eyes of their partners, with whom they expected to have nothing in common.

Lucila Servitje, a Catholic theologian who participated in this activity at another workshop I facilitated, offers a deeper explanation for why it’s effective. She suggests that the walk and the informal sharing of stories has an impact because they involve mutual acceptance, and this feeling of being accepted is what enables us to change our thinking and actions.

The sequence here—first, we’re accepted, and then we reconsider our position—is the opposite of the traditional Catholic confession, where, first, we confess, and then we’re forgiven. The walk, she says, is like God’s grace: love we receive that we don’t have to earn.

Creating a different space in the workplace

Pairing walking and talking is equally effective at work. In a typical workplace, people often feel unheard and judged and therefore act defensively. This makes it hard for them to change their thinking or behavior, even when they need to. The paired walk is an example of how to create a different kind of space, within which people can relax enough to see what they’re doing with fresh eyes and decide what they might want to do differently.

Even if you don’t send your employees on paired walks, you can apply the same principles in other ways by doing the following things:

Create opportunities for personal connection. Some teams can be effective in doing routine work as long as their relationships are professional or collegial. But teams that are doing tough work, or teams that include members with differences in perspectives and personalities, need to know enough about each other’s lives to be able to understand and empathize with one another even when they disagree.

At my firm, our in-person and virtual meetings always include time for sharing personal news and feelings. Enabling voluntary personal sharing helps diverse teams work together through their differences.

Require responsibility. Leaders of teams that are undertaking complex tasks have to go beyond telling people what to do. Leaders need their followers to take responsibility for what they’re doing and be self-reflective enough to learn and change. You can’t force someone to choose voluntarily, so managers must expect team members to make choices and take responsibility for the consequences of those choices.

Practice radical acceptance. When people are afraid that their colleagues, supervisors, or clients might think badly of them if they acknowledge their own shortcomings, it’s hard for them to be open enough to learn and make wiser choices. So it’s crucial for leaders to communicate radical acceptance. But don’t communicate this if you don’t mean it. Anyone can tell if you’re only pretending to care about them.

At work and beyond, most people want to be able to connect respectfully with others, to learn, and to make their own choices about how to deal with the situation they’re in. This is why the simple exercise of walking and talking is a potent tool for personal and systemic transformation.

About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Adam KahaneADAM KAHANE is director of Reos Partners, an organization that helps people move forward together on their most important and intractable issues. He has worked in more than 50 countries with teams of leaders from business, government, and civil society, and his methods have been praised by Nobel Peace Prize–winners Nelson Mandela and Juan Manuel Santos. He is the author of five books, including his newest release, Facilitating Breakthrough: How to Remove Obstacles, Bridge Differences, and Move Forward Together. Learn more at

5 Steps to Create a Happier, More Positive Environment at Work

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Positive Work Environment|5 Steps to Create a Happier, More Positive Environment at WorkOne of the most challenging parts about working is that you are stuck in an environment for eight to ten hours a day, five days a week. If your workplace feels like one big headache, it might be time to make some changes! The following blog post will teach you five ways to create a happier and more positive environment at work.

Talk To Your Colleagues

While you can’t always control your supervisor or manager, you can start by improving the environment at work to one that encourages happiness. One of the most effective ways to do this is through a simple conversation with others. Start small, but be consistent in your efforts to connect with people daily, both inside and outside of work hours.
People are happier when they feel heard, valued, and appreciated.

By making time to talk with your coworkers, you’re building rapport to lead to a more positive work environment that encourages happiness in all areas of life. Discussing career goals or how the family is doing helps make strong connections between people at work. It doesn’t have to take a long time. Even five minutes of conversation over a cup of coffee can go a long way towards making for happy coworkers and, in turn, more satisfied employees.
This is why it’s essential to make small talk with others during the day and outside work hours—chatting about topics from weekend plans to favorite restaurants builds rapport and trust among team members.

Create A Space That Makes You Feel Good

Pick an area to work on first. Maybe your desk is cluttered. You sit in front of a window that gets minimal sunlight, or the air conditioning never seems to be working just right for you. Something small might have a huge impact! Please make sure everyone who comes into contact with this space has access to their cleanliness supplies so they can keep it clean.

If you can’t change your environment, try to improve the way you interact with it. How do you handle stress? Do certain situations or people make this worse for you? If so, what could be done differently, and how would that positively affect others? It is essential to create a positive work environment for your employees. A happy workplace can boost the productivity, creativity, and engagement levels of workers. This will ultimately lead to more revenue generated by the company.

Appreciate Your Employees

The best way to create a happier work environment is by doing little things to make people feel appreciated. It’s essential for everyone at the company to feel like they are making an impact and knowing their efforts matter, so sharing positive feedback regularly can go a long way.

When someone does something outstanding, be sure to acknowledge it publicly – in a team meeting, through email, or even by sending out an all-company group message. This will let everyone know that their contributions are seen and valued, which helps create a happier work environment for everyone involved.

Another way to create a happier work environment is by doing something out of the ordinary. Just make sure you aren’t breaking any company rules when planning these activities! Bringing in donuts on certain days or taking everyone out for lunch can turn someone’s day around and help them feel appreciated at their job. People are much happier when they feel like their opinions matter, so try organizing brown bag lunches with employees where everyone has an opportunity to voice their thoughts and concerns about work. Appreciate your employees by looking after their employee wellness.

Being Open And Honest

Another way to create a happier work environment is by being open and honest. This includes having real conversations about how people feel, giving negative feedback when necessary, and not sugar-coating anything out of fear that it might hurt someone’s feelings. Just be sure to take everything you say, intending to help them improve rather than discouraging them.
When people feel like they can speak honestly and openly, it creates a happier work environment. No one wants to be told what to do or how to behave every minute of the day; we want constructive criticism that will help us improve our performance and build better relationships at work. When you open yourself up in this way with others, not only do they appreciate it, but you will also feel happier at work yourself.

Being Positive And Constructive

It’s essential to be positive and constructive in the workplace. This means always looking for ways things could improve (even when everything seems perfect). It’s much easier to find what needs improvement rather than that which is already doing well. This can be applied to everything in the office, from interpersonal relationships with colleagues or clients to how work gets done and projects are completed.

By being positive, you can help make the workplace a happier environment, which leads to more creativity. You also learn something new about your work or even yourself by looking for ways to do better. This is not only fun, but it makes good business sense as well!

Positive environments include having good relationships with coworkers, feeling valued and acknowledged by managers, an atmosphere of trust between employees and employers, etc. Employees who feel that their bosses care about them will be more productive than those under unappreciative or apathetic management. If you think that your work is not valued, then you will probably be less effective.

Positive attitudes also play a significant role in whether or not employees are happy and satisfied with their jobs. If they’re feeling great about what they do day-to-day, the chances are good that the positive feelings will remain long after quitting time. This can result in increased retention rates and even reduced turnover.

There are many opportunities to be more positive at work, both for yourself as an individual contributor or on a team where you’re responsible for the outcome of your project.

In conclusion, today’s workforce is filled with many different types of people who all have unique preferences and styles regarding how they like to work. While this can make for a very vibrant and exciting environment, sometimes the number of differences between employees’ personalities or working habits gets in the way of team cohesiveness and productivity, which leads to a less optimistic, more stressful work environment. To create happier and more productive employees, managers and team leaders need to implement practices that help build up employee morale while accommodating each individual’s personality traits and working habits.

A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & Fulfilled

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledSomething that should be clear when you are looking after any business is just how important the employees are. Without them there, there is nothing that could be done in the company, and you would soon find that it all falls apart. And yet, so many employers fail to really take stock in this way or to fully appreciate the power and importance of their staff, and this can lead to a business which is not moving in the right direction – or, just as bad, not moving in any direction at all.

There are three basic things that you need to be aware of and focus on in order to keep your employees in tact as a force in your business. Firstly, you need to make sure that they are happy to work there, with all that it entails. Secondly, you must ensure that their workplace is safe and that they are safe on the job. Lastly, you should help them in whatever way you can to keep them fulfilled and fully enjoy their work in the deepest sense, day after day. In this article, we will look at each of these in turn, and discuss what you might need to do to ensure that you are making the most of them. As long as you follow this advice, there is no doubt that you will end up with staff who are happy, safe and fulfilled – and who are therefore much more valuable to you, in turn.


Keeping your employees happy might seem like something that is out of your control. After all, they are ultimately responsible for their own happiness, and you might not even feel that it is something you need to concern yourself with. However, the truth is that you do have something of a responsibility in this area, and you should at the very least ensure that you are not doing anything to decrease their overall happiness or make their efforts to be happy any harder for them. This is something you can take on as a manager, and it will make you one of the better managers and leaders out there, so it’s worth thinking about. What exactly can you do, however, to ensure that you are actually going to help keep your employees happy along the way while they work for you?

First of all, you should aim to treat them like people as best as you can. It can often happen in offices in particular that staff get slightly and subtly downtrodden, until eventually the relationship between people is much worse than it should really be. You should aim to avoid this particular catastrophe at all costs, and the way to do that is to ensure that you are treating your employees as the people that they are, day after day, without fail. Saying hello, having polite informal conversations, and just generally respecting the human being that they are are all important towards ensuring that your employees can feel respected in the workplace, and that they can continue to feel like a real person, and not just another cog in the machine. Of course, there will be times of stress when everyone has to buckle down and be a little more like a machine, but generally you can always find time for this kind of genuine human interaction – and if you can’t find time for it ever, something is wrong somewhere.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledBut being happy goes beyond that, and you also need to make sure that you are providing some of the basic facilities that everyone needs at work. There are many of these which are legally necessary, of course, such as having bathrooms and break rooms. But as ever, you should make sure that you are going above and beyond these things, so that you know that you are actually providing everything that you can be in order to have happy employees. The break room should be free of anything which is likely to remind them of work – instead, it should be a safe separate place, and you should also allow your employees to go elsewhere for their breaks, of course, as it is their own time. This stuff is basic, but you also need to make sure that you are offering the right amount of break time, something which a lot of employers do get wrong from time to time.

All in all, keeping your employees happy means that you need to find a way to ensure that they are going to get what they deserve in their work and in the workplace. If you are keeping anything from them, they will inevitably end up feeling not happy, but a little disjointed instead. This is essential, so be sure not to overlook it.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledSafe

All employers know that safety is one of those legal and moral responsibilities which you need to take care of. You will need to take this very seriously, too, as it is the kind of thing that can quickly land you in some deep personal and professional trouble if you get it wrong. But that is not the main reason to be concerned about safety in the workplace. The main reason, of course, is that it is important for your staff, and that is what you need to focus on first and foremost. Whenever you are thinking about the safety in your business, you need to make sure that you are doing whatever is right by your employees firstly – as long as you do that, you should end up with the kind of safety that is actually going to work in the way it needs to. So what should be your primary concerns when it comes to keeping people safe at work?

First up, make sure that the office itself is safe. There are as lot of things you need to do here. You might want to have security installed, including a security team and cameras if necessary, to ensure that no intruders can get in. You will also need to have structural analysis of the building done every six months or so to make sure that there is nothing structurally wrong with it which could end up causing problems for anyone later on. Again, in order to ensure that the place can be kept safe, you will need to make sure that you are focused on having the essential in place in case of an emergency. That means knowing how many fire extinguishers, where they should be put, smoke alarms and the same, and ensuring that you have carried out a fire risk assessment every six months, with a clear plan for evacuation on the wall in every major area of the company.

Once the office is as safe as you can possibly hope for, you will need to think about keeping people personally safe. You need to have one person in a team who is first aid trained, and that should include someone who has been trained in CPR through the AHA instructor network. There should also be a fire safety marshal who can direct people out when there are drills or, of course, real fires. In order to really keep people safe, you will also need to think about training them regularly in their own safety concerns and responsibilities. The more you do that, the more likely it is that they will continue to be safe on the whole.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Managing Your People|A Guide To Keeping Your Employees Happy, Safe & FulfilledAs you can see, there is a lot involved to keeping people safe, but it is necessary to do so if you want to make sure that they are truly enjoying their work. Alone, however, happiness and safety are not enough. You also need to make sure that your people are fulfilled. And this is something that is much harder than the last two put together.


What does it mean to be actively fulfilled in a job? Probably, this has slightly different meanings for everyone, but you need to make sure that you are at least doing something in order to help your employees get there, whatever it might mean for them. Actually, there are a few factors which we might say are going to be especially common amongst employees, and as long as you are paying respect to these things you should find that you have a workplace full of basically fulfilled people. So what should you be trying to do to make that happen?

Generally, your staff will be fulfilled if you make a point of making it clear to them how needed they are, what their place is in the grand scheme of the business, and why it matters so much. You should aim to remind them of their importance, as well as giving them the right level of responsibility for it, and more and more as you trust them more. This alone is most of the work of making the job fulfilling for them, but you should also make sure that you speak with them regularly, and do whatever you can to make their work as fulfilling as possible, in whatever way they feel is necessary for them as an individual.

Tips For Being A Better Boss & Manager

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Better Boss|Tips For Being A Better Boss & ManagerBeing in charge is nice because you get to call the shots but can also be a very difficult position to be in. You have other people relying on you to improve the business and to make sure you’re all achieving your goals.

There’s a lot to think about and attend to, and it can be tempting to have your ego get in the way of doing what’s right. If you want to truly be a better boss and manager, then you have to commit to following through in a couple of areas in particular. Accept that you’ll make mistakes along the way, but what’s most important is that you learn from them and stay flexible with your approach.

Take Care of Yourself

You can be a better boss and manager by being consistent about taking good care of yourself. This includes controlling your mood by eating healthy foods and choosing to exercise regularly. Stay hydrated after breaking a sweat by stocking up on plenty of Halo Sport so you can replenish your body with all of your lost fluids. You’ll find you perform better at work when you have a lot of natural energy to carry you through the day and are committed to practicing self-care.

Have A Positive Attitude

It’s also important that as the boss and manager, you maintain a positive attitude around the office. Your employees are watching you and looking up to you and view you as a role model. Therefore, prove to them you’re the right person for the position by not letting your emotions get the best of you. Encourage others to keep up the good work and to continue on strong even when there are problems to tackle and obstacles to face.

Learn to Delegate out Tasks

You’re going to be doing yourself a favor when you learn how to delegate out tasks properly. You’ll be able to focus more on critical matters such as how to run a better business when you do so properly and regularly. You can be a better boss and manager by making sure your employees are staying busy and challenged on a daily basis.
Check in with them often and make sure they feel that the work they’re doing is putting their skills to good use and is rewarding. It’s your job as the boss to ensure everyone on your team is contributing to the bigger picture and aren’t sitting around with nothing to do.

Avoid Playing Favorites

While it’s okay to build relationships with your employees and subordinates, you do want to stay away from playing favorites. Recognize individuals based on their annual evaluations and daily performance versus whose personality you find the most appealing. You can be a better boss and manager and get more done when you avoid office politics and don’t cause or create drama around the workplace. Instead, focus on motivating the team as a whole and seeing who steps up and stands out all on their own.