By Mike Kaeding – LinkedIn
I laughed so hard. In fact, I think this was the hardest I have laughed in a long time.
Let me back up.
Our company supports a non-profit organization called Stepping Stone Emergency Housing. They do incredible work helping the homeless get back on their feet and thrive in society. We are passionate about creating a better way for people to live. Supporting Stepping Stone and the homeless is one way that we live out that passion.
Stepping Stone hosted a charity golf event. Because of our partnership we got a few tickets. The event was going to be a day of golf followed by a dinner.
I wasn’t sure if it was worth spending the day at a golf event. But I luckily kept my thoughts to myself and supported the event. I’m so glad I did.
One of my employees asked others if they wanted to go.
But she did something brilliant. She played it up as a way to see who had the best golf game. She developed a little friendly competition between the two sides of the office.
The day came and the employees who went had a great day of golf. I came just for the dinner.
But when I saw them, I instantly saw how great this event was for our team. They were laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
We sat down for dinner.
The staff started up new playful banter. One employee mentioned how she couldn’t even figure out how to hook up the keyboard, mouse, and power cables to her computer. Another employee, from IT, was in shock. He suggested that the first employee try a job in the IT department. It would be quite humorous to see how she did for a day.
Everyone was laughing, and we were really enjoying our time together.
It was powerful to see our staff come together like that.
Building a Team that Loves to Work Together
It can be hard to build a team that loves working together. But I think there are a couple important steps.
The first step is to hire the right people. This is a challenge. But first you need to know who the right people are by defining the core values of your company. This makes it clearer what kind of people will work best for your culture and what kind of people will work better for other company cultures.
The next step is to build relationships. The key to building relationships is time. Quality time spent between people will naturally build the relationship. We have formalized processes, like one-on-ones, to guarantee that people will get time together. But it’s also important to support the spontaneous events that also give people quality time together. This leads me to my last point.
My last point is to not get in the way of building relationships. It’s so easy as a leader to make a slight offhand comment that demoralizes people. But great leaders work hard to instead support people. So, be careful not to inadvertently hold people back from spending quality time together. Once people feel comfortable to spend that time, then magic really starts happening within your team.