Fire up Your Team!: How to Build Strong Team Spirit (as taught by 7 and 8 year olds)
When was the last time a 7 or 8 year old gave you treasured insight into running a successful business? Last weekend, after the season-ending awards ceremony of my daughter’s 8U softball league (our Lil Falcons finished 2nd place!) all of the coaches took the field to participate in a friendly “Coaches Game.” Little did I know what expert advice I would be spirited home with!
Many coaches were hurled out of their comfort zones, not used to being on-field as the “center of attention.” But we were met with a lively roar; spirited dancing and enthusiastic cheering followed our every move. We felt like rockstars! The limitless support quickly brought smiles to our faces, banishing any anxiety and pumping us up with the extra confidence needed to excitedly take on something new. When was the last time you felt that cheered on?
“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
That “rockstar” feeling carried me into Monday, feeling intensely inspired and motivated to take on the week’s challenges. The feeling even extended throughout the entire week. Building a cohesive, well-supported team is one of our cornerstones at SPSG, and I began to consider the true weight of this aspect of our company culture.
Team Spirit in the Workplace
Extending this attitude of unrelenting team spirit into workplace culture has immeasurable benefits. When individual contributions are cheered and respected as part of the overall business goals, people become more impassioned and excited about the overall business. In a recent Forbes article, Kimberly Roush crystallizes it this way, “Give energy rather than draining people’s energy.” What if we could all bottle up the intense positive energy exuded by my 8U Softball League and share it with our work teams?
In a study described in Harvard Business Review , a research team found that “positive” and “virtuous” interactions had a wildly positive impact on productivity. Interactions like “inspiring one another at work” and “providing support” helped improve inter-office teamwork, increased employee loyalty, gave employees the confidence to take on new challenges, and trained employees not to negatively dwell on hardships. These interactions not only increased productivity, but increased profitability, employee interest and even customer satisfaction too!
The power of team spirit! What are some ways you infuse a little “rah-rah” into your corporate culture?