Employees need to have autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When work cultures enable employees to experience these three components, quality performance is accomplished by happy employees. Relatedness is the component most difficult to achieve. HR professionals can encourage connectedness between employees. The following are five actions you can take to achieve a high performing team.
1. Pick up the telephone and talk! Phone calls strengthen relationships, and cut down on misunderstanding.
2. Be strategic when planning meetings. Require pre-work from participants, utilize an agenda, and start meetings with team members providing updates of their contributions.
3. Build time into the day to discuss non-work-related topics. Bonding over shared interests creates genuine connection. Discovering similarities both during work hours and while meeting outside of work creates a foundation of trust. When differences arise, team members are better able to reach resolution with someone who they know and like, rather than with a “work colleague.”
4. Liberally give and receive appreciation. Recognition is a more powerful motivator than monetary incentive. Each of us wants to be valued, appreciated and respected by those with whom we work.
5. Keep things real with each other. Don’t confuse lack of expressing emotion with professionalism. Employees should be encouraged to express positive emotions toward one another. It’s good to find the humor, to joke with one another. Allow for the expression of negative emotions as well. When negative emotions are not released, they drain cognitive resources, and leave less mental power to accomplish work. Create a psychologically safe environment for expression of emotions. Be sure to equip employees with a model of emotional expression that includes venting, but then taking steps toward problem solving.