When you think about how to improve teamwork in the workplace, holding meetings may be the last thing that comes to mind. Employees usually want fewer meetings, not more. But, when done properly, meetings can help to create a culture of teamwork, inspiring your employees to work together, lean on each other for support, and push each other to do great things.

Just like a rock and roll band, your employees need to play together to make successful music.  As Marvelless Mark® tells his clients, the music doesn’t happen without everyone’s participation.

Meetings give you the opportunity to foster trust and companionship among your staff. They provide a safe place for employees to air grievances (and brainstorm solutions), create a feeling of camaraderie, and get to know each other on a different level.

How to incorporate teamwork into your regular meetings

There are several things you can do to improve teamwork through your scheduled meetings. You can:

Include team building exercises

You don’t have to climb walls in the middle of the woods to foster teamwork among your employees. There are exercises you can do at the beginning of your meetings to get team members working together and thinking as a group. These can include Follow the Leader, creating a story as a group (one word at a time), or for you rock stars, throw on some music, start a band and have everyone jam out on their air guitars. It may seem silly, but play allows people to loosen up and work together.

Play Show and Tell

A big part of working as a team is knowing who your teammates are and what they like to do. Do you remember playing Show and Tell in school? You brought something in from home and had the chance to tell the class a little bit about yourself. Encourage your employees to do the same. They are all individuals with interests and experiences outside of the office. Sharing those with the team will help them bond.

Celebrate team successes

Who doesn’t like to celebrate? After a great gig, you can bet that the rock stars will be partying hard on their tour bus, congratulating each other for a successful show. It’s not much different at work (though there are fewer groupies). People want to be acknowledged for the work they do. When you acknowledge what a team has accomplished together, you encourage them to work in harmony to reach their goals and fulfill the company’s vision.

Create teams to tackle challenges

If your company is facing a difficult time or must overcome a setback, put employees together in teams to brainstorm and work on solutions. When an employee is responsible for solving a problem by his or her self, it puts a great deal of pressure on them and can stifle their creativity. However, when a team is responsible for coming up with a solution, the pressure is off, the creativity is flowing, and the team will uncover ideas that no one would’ve thought of alone. It’s like a jam session where musicians play off of each other to create new music.

Host a “fake” meeting

Now this one may sound silly, but wouldn’t you love it if you walked into a meeting that you were dreading… and the only thing on the agenda was pizza? Throwing the occasional fake meeting will improve morale and give employees an opportunity to chat and get to know each other on a personal level. Chances are that at some point they’ll even start talking about work and some problems might get solved because there is no pressure on them to do so.

Here are more tips for hosting an effective meeting.

In order for your team to create rockstar results, they need to play together as a band. Fostering teamwork among your employees will improve morale and increase your bottom line.

“Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it.”          – Keith Richards

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.

You spend 1/3 of your day at work. That means that your coworkers are an extended family and learning to improve teamwork in the workplace will go a long way to creating a peaceful, satisfying environment in which to spend your time.

In Rock and Roll, your band members are your team, and if you can’t work together… you’re not going to survive life on the road. Musicians talk about those awesome moments where the sound is “tight,” where all the instruments and vocal elements blend together to create something greater than anyone could create alone. Marvelless Mark® tells his clients that: “If you want to rock, your band matters as much as your attitude. You have to surround yourself with the right people, you have to create the right relationships with them, and you have to work together.”

Strategies to Improve Teamwork

There are a number of strategies you can use to improve how your employees relate to one another. These include:

1. Create a vision

A vision is a unifying force that everyone on the team works toward. When you communicate your vision, your team members have something larger than themselves to focus on.

“All the big bands began as little bands with a vision.” – Steven Tyler

2. Commit to the long haul

Harvard psychologists found that the longer a group works together, the more effective they are. Select team members that are future-focused and are willing to do what’s best for the company.

3. Be clear about roles and responsibilities

Does your drummer think he’s responsible for playing bass? If so, your bass player is likely to get irritated. Clearly define each team member’s roles so they know what they are responsible for and what should be handled by another employee. This prevents one employee from doing the brunt of the work (and becoming resentful) while another shirks his responsibilities.

4. Celebrate wins

When your team hits a goal or works together to overcome a challenge, celebrate! Creating a festive work environment and celebrating teamwork will help your employees feel like a band that makes beautiful music.

5. Schedule regular meetings

One-on-One feedback is important, however, holding team meetings allow you to gather staff together to remind them that they are not alone on their journey.

6. Hire as a team

A lead singer wouldn’t bring on a guitar player without consulting the other band members, so why would you do that to your team members? When employees are asked to provide input regarding new team members that join the department, they are more likely to work cohesively. Holding group interviews is a great way to see if personalities will mesh.

7. Encourage socialization

Provide opportunities for employees to spend time together outside of the office. When team members get to know each other as people, not just coworkers, they are more likely to develop empathy and treat each other better in the workplace.

8. Set goals

Employees should have individual goals and team goals to work towards. Having team goals will encourage them to work together and support one another to create rock star results.

9. Avoid micro-managing

Many employees don’t do well in an environment where they are watched constantly. Trust your team enough to give them the space they need to rock out, build relationships, and reach their goals.

10. Encourage open communication

Do your employees feel comfortable approaching you with new ideas and challenges? How about voicing their concerns with their peers? Foster a culture of open communication and head off conflict before it arises.

11. Handle conflict quickly

Anger, frustration, and resentment that’s allowed to fester can destroy a team from the inside out. Encourage employees to come to you with any challenges or complaints they have regarding other employees so the conflict can be handled before it damages the relationship.

12. Discourage gossip

Gossip spreads like wildfire throughout a company leaving victims in its wake. Let employees know that “water cooler gossip” won’t be tolerated and that if conflicts arise, they should be brought to your attention immediately.

13. Respect each other’s differences

Just like a band, your team is made up of different personalities, different skills, and different preferences. Everyone on your team should be kind and respectful to one other or they shouldn’t be on your team.

14. Educate and motivate

Sometimes it takes an outside party to recognize the challenges in your department or business and create a plan to improve the teamwork going forward. A motivational speaker and consultant can help you determine what changes need to be made and how they will be implemented.

15. Lead by example

If you want to have an excellent team, you have to be an excellent leader. Model the behaviors that you’d like to see from your employees.

Teamwork is one of the most important aspects of making a company (or a band) work. When you get the right people together with the right attitude, you’ll be sure to hit the top of the charts.

“I owe everything to the musicians I work with.” Robert Plant

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.