Steve Norris, sales director and workplace channel lead at Nestlé Professional® talks to businesses about the practical ideas they have to bring their teams closer
Feeling part of a team is a key component to employee happiness and a sense of belonging in a business, according to nine in ten managers in the UK. The results form part of the Nestle Professional®‘Making Work Work’ research, which marks the launch of the NESCAFÉ®Dolce Gusto®Majesto coffee machine – designed to bring teams together, it offers over 40 different drinks to suit all preferences.
But half of managers also acknowledge that it can be increasingly hard to bring a team together. Factors that contribute to this may include geography and time pressures. As a result, businesses are increasingly coming up with innovative ways to foster team spirit and encourage collaboration. As part of our research, we spoke to three businesses which pride themselves on their happy and productive teams, and which place working together as essential to business success. Here they each share three practical tips into what businesses can do to bring their teams closer today.
“Invest time in your team” – Ceri Wilmott, director of HR at Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers:
- Organise away days:Foster collaboration by getting colleagues together outside of the workplace. Never make it just about work; include a fun and creative team building activity too. At one of our recent events, a team did a ‘sing-a-long’ workshop and were aptly named the ‘Bidfood Belters’.
- Learn from others: Bring people together, regardless of seniority, and encourage conversation. We offer shadowing business-wide and the opportunity for more junior staff to job shadow those in senior positions.
- Value your team: If you’re in management don’t just send bland emails to share news. Invest time in your team to show you care. We recently launched our new Vision and Mission and we urged managers to meet face-to-face over coffee and a bacon sandwich to get real feedback.
“Look at your physical space” – Leni Zneimer, general manager at WeWork, the co-working and office space:
- Physically break down barriers: Teams that are physically near each other are bound to feel closer. A sense of belonging is hard if you are always siloed at your desk. Look at the space you work in; it’s difficult to get to know your team if everyone is in separate offices or compartments.
- Take breaks: We encourage coffee breaks as an important catalyst for social behaviour. Having coffee machines in communal areas becomes synonymous with stopping, getting a coffee and chatting to others as you wait for the machine. Face-to-face communication builds teams.
- Social events: Beyond taking a quick break think about organising actual social events or activities in your office space. Consider ideas such as pop up yoga which will help your team to build much deeper connections.
“Get people talking” – Danielle Bacon, director of people and business services at Investors in People, the standard for people management:
- Establish opportunities: On Wednesdays we provide tea, coffee and sweet treats to encourage people to take a break and enjoy head space away from their desks.
- Digitise your strategy: In our organisation, a lot of people work remotely. This means we use digital platforms like Slack and our intranet to keep everyone in the loop. On Slack, we use an app called Donut which pairs people up across the organisation to go for a coffee together each month.
- Change the scenery: Building on the rationale behind our coffee morning, our internal Health and Wellbeing group decided to prioritise fresh air. As such, we launched our lunchtime walking initiative.
For more ideas on how you can get the most from your team, visit http://www.nestleprofessional.co.uk/makeworkwork/report