The best company environments are often those in which the workforce feels genuinely united. While it’s important to maintain a sense of hierarchy and authority, anyone in charge of a business should also take steps to make the entire workforce feel like a proud, cohesive team. When employees feel like they’re part of something official and bigger than themselves, they may just be more inclined to take a deeper interest in work.
That said, things like retreats, meetings, and corporate team-building exercises can only take you so far. In some cases they’ve been proven to work, which is why they still happen in so many offices. But they often feel a little bit forced and artificial as well. Here, we’re going to put forward a few more subtle steps you can take to provide a sense of team unity among your colleagues and employees.
Build A Communications Hub
Perhaps the best way to foster a sense of community and teamwork in today’s workplace is to make communication open at all levels. There are online programs that make it easy to manage workplace communication this way, such that different channels or groups can be opened for different branches of a company, private messages can be exchanged, general announcements can be made, and files can be shared – all within a single program. It’s a great way to make sure everyone’s included. Even if there are private groups within the program, the general sense is that everyone who wants to be can get in on one conversation or another. Sometimes these systems even help colleagues to get to know each other better.
Get Everyone On The Same (Mobile) Page
There’s no getting around the simple fact that we conduct a lot of our business through mobile devices these days. At a minimum that just means reading and sending emails, but sometimes it can mean conducting financial transactions, sharing large files, communicating with clients, etc. One nice subtle way to provide a sense of team unity is to make sure everyone has the option of doing all these things on a company device. Enterprise mobility can be tricky to manage at first, but an IT department’s job is actually made simpler if everyone is on the same company mobile plan with the same range of devices. And employees gain a sense of closeness to each other and to the company once they have devices explicitly meant for work usage.
Give The Company A Symbol
This might almost sound silly, but a name isn’t enough. Think about it: from a young age, we’re taught to be loyal to symbols and mascots. In school we wear shirts showing off our school nicknames; in college clubs and living groups we often design emblematic symbols; even in our personal lives these days, we learn to recognize our favorite companies by app icons that trigger positive responses. Consider looking into logo design for your company so that you can provide something similar for employees to latch onto and be proud of. A good logo – something that’s not just the company name in a given font – can make people feel more like they’re part of an official team.
Provide Business Cards
This is a little point we’re attaching to the logo idea: make sure even new and low-level employees have ways of identifying themselves in connection to the company. Providing business cards with names and company logos on them is a way of saying “welcome to the team,” and incentivizes employees to go out and represent the company in a positive way.
Consider A Newsletter
This is an idea that shockingly few modern companies take advantage of. Sure, the occasional newsletter or memo makes its way around, but usually the purpose is to spread bland company updates and things of the like. Instead, if you or someone else in the business has a little bit of writing ability, consider doing something more creative and inclusive. Mention employees by name, recognize successes people have had, and then provide the general updates. It’s a nice fun touch, and a good way to keep everyone in a good, communal mood.