Having a strong, cohesive team, is the dream of every Project Manager.
Working in a team has become common in many organizations, but working with others may not always be easy, especially when team members disagree with each other.
This can lead to serious consequences, such as not finishing a project on time or breaking the budget.
Instead of angering in case of disagreements, groups should therefore learn to stick together and communicate in every situation.
If a group is cohesive, members are more motivated to work together towards a single goal, which will lead to success.
What is the working group cohesion?
Group cohesion results when a group of individuals feel connected and moved to achieve a common goal.
Team members respect, trust and support each other.
While cohesive teams are often made up of people with different skills, what unites them all together is a strong sense of identity drawn from the organization itself where they share values, goals and processes.
In a way, a cohesive group can be compared to a group of fans following the same sports team in search of a collective victory.
Team cohesion is important because this social and professional connectivity can create a culture that inspires employees to remain loyal to the company.
How to increase working group cohesion
Team cohesion isn’t always immediate and is generally the result of targeted actions taken by managers to promote positive group dynamics.
1. Set objectives and values
Before beginning to work on team dynamics, it is important to have the team’s goals and values in mind.
If the organization does not already have a clear mission or vision, now is a good time to create it.
2. Provide training and development
In order to maintain a strong team cohesion, each member of the team should feel qualified enough to contribute to the overall objective in the first place.
Upon recruitment, employees should be provided with clear information on their responsibilities, as well as adequate training to ensure the efficient performance of their work tasks.
Over time, employees should improve their work and to do so, they will need opportunities to develop their skills.
This can be achieved through cross-functional collaboration within the organization itself or through company-sponsored conferences, programs or training courses.
3. Support team building
Part of team cohesion is also based on the self-esteem and morale of individuals.
Embarking on team building activities can be a great way to build the empathy and respect needed within a successful team.
As employees interact with each other and get to know each other beyond their work roles, team cohesion will increase.
4. Promote and enhance communication
Team building only works with unambiguous and continuous communication and the project manager is in charge of providing the appropriate resources to accomplish this.
Everyone should be able to connect easily and comfortably with their colleagues, without blockages or interruptions.
Here’s how establishing different communication channels to help the team stay productive and involved becomes essential, such as choosing project management software that includes an instant messaging feature, so that even remote teams can remain easily connected and cohesive without distractions.
5. Build trust
When establishing channels for interaction, it is important that team members feel comfortable with open communication.
Whether they are discussing with the project manager or a colleague, no one should be reluctant to express their thoughts and ideas.
6. Celebrate success together
Celebrating success – big or small, as a group or individually – is key to maintaining the cohesion of a team.
When the entire organization works towards shared goals, it is appropriate to share the results as a group.
7. Have fun
Lastly, have fun.
This does not mean that work has to play second fiddle and that time has to be spent telling jokes, but seeing the workplace not just as a boring, dull office can boost employee morale.
At minimum you work 8 hours a day and if every now and then, for about ten minutes or so, team members find themselves telling funny stories about their lives, the project manager doesn’t have to worry, on the contrary.
Opening up and getting to know each other can only be seen as a positive element.
Group cohesion is therefore the best way to ensure that all talent is maximized while increasing employee commitment and satisfaction.
This lasting bond will keep the team productive and more effective than ever before and projects can only succeed.