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4 Team Building Hacks to Create a Dream Team

4 Team Building Hacks to Create a Dream Team

By now, you must have figured that the people you hire have a lot to do with how successful your company is going to be. This is why you can see many companies out there trying to personalize their recruitment process to look for the specific character traits and skillsets that can be easily teamed up and allow people to work together efficiently.

Yeah, that can certainly be a difficult task. And let me tell you something, even if you manage to do an excellent job during the recruitment process, it’s going to be hard to get to the dream-team phase.

All of the HR manuals out there make this part of business sound too boring and generic. It seems that somehow, in the process of increasing revenue and cutting down expenses, people have forgotten that it’s the connection that matters; that spark that ignites productivity when there is chemistry within a team.

Without further ado let’s get down to business. Here are some tips on how to create a team everyone would like to be a part of.

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1. Reshape Interview Process

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    In the last couple of years, we have seen some really interesting questions that were standard during job interviews in some of the biggest companies in the world. Many of you may have thought to yourself, “Why didn’t I come up with this? It’s so cool!” Well, to be honest, it’s good that you didn’t. Even, Laszlo Bock, former head of human resources at Google, admitted that those have proven to be terrible tools to identify the best potential employees.

    You won’t make any mistake if you sit down and write some of the questions. In the end, if you create a question, you will be the one who knows best what kind of response works best. A good start would be to write down your business goals and what it takes to achieve them, as well as what it took to get to the current state of your business. Check if the candidates have the same mindset as yours, as it is really important to be on the same page.

    2. Create a Positive Working Atmosphere

    There are several crucial things that you should always keep in mind when trying to create a dream team. Organizational culture, relationships between team members and supervisors and, of course, the possibility for personal development.

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    Everything should start and end with a conversation. This is why, right from the start, you need to encourage co-workers to exchange all the information that has value for team progress. The best way to make the employees feel that they belong in the organization is to feed their need to feel like they are contributing in more than one way. If you keep an open form of communication with them, especially during meetings, there is a great chance that their paycheck won’t be the only incentive in their motivation repertoire.

    Also, try to bring diversity to the workplace. There are some really cool software tools that can lift the team’s spirit by spicing things up with mini games. For instance, you can use time-tracking software like Toggl, Hubstaff or RescueTime to create multiple “timed goals” for each team member and organize a competition with symbolic rewards. This game will also increase time-management skills for both you and the team.

    3. Become a Great Leader

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      You already possess most of the qualities that make a good leader. You just need to embrace them and let them work out for you. Just wait and you will see, some of them are embedded in our human nature.

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      Let’s start with honesty. Honesty is a characteristic found in all great team leaders and when you practice it, it leaves you with that great feeling in your chest. When you make honesty a key virtue, you can expect that your co-workers will follow your example. Honesty is a pillar of every helpful and friendly workspace.

      Next in line is confidence. I’ve already mentioned how your behavior reflects on the team as a whole. Well, confidence is something very important, especially in times when things aren’t going according to plan. If you remain calm during difficult times, team morale will flourish and everyone will be working and moving ahead with their crosshairs on a larger goal.

      4. Reinvent Team Building

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        Team Building is a time when your employees should not feel like it is another “business” day. The emphasis should be on spending time together and sharing some unique experiences, even if that’s something a bit outside of someone’s comfort zone.

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        When you are planning a team building activity or creating one, you should also set some goals. You can organize events where people can discover what motivates and demotivates other team members. Or, play a game that shows the value of everyone’s ideas. Also, don’t restrain from trying the good old get to know each other games. Not only will your co-workers get the chance to find out something new about their colleagues, but you can also use this material for future team building events.

        Team building games are also an excellent opportunity to improve problem-solving skills and to inspire creativity. These types of games are popular by the name “Use what you have”. For newly formed teams, a scavenger hunt game can improve collaboration and teamwork, and you can always make it more interesting with clues and riddles.

        Conclusion

        As you can see, building a good team is a process and it can be hard at times. But, let those “hard” times and how your team passes through them serve you as a key indicator of where the team is going. Feel free to make adjustments on the go. In the end, you will see that it’s all about the soft skills and the chemistry that

        Feel free to make adjustments on the go. In the end, you will see that it’s all about the soft skills and the chemistry that develops between team members when it comes to increasing productivity and morale at the workplace.

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        Ivan Dimitrijevic

        Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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        Last Updated on April 19, 2021

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

        Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

        The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

        Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

        In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

        When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

        Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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        1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

        When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

        As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

        That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

        The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

        What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

        Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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        There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

        So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

        2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

        When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

        No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

        3. Move Your Body

        A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

        It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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        So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

        4. Connect With Another Person

        Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

        One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

        Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

        5. Use Your Imagination

        When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

        That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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        And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

        Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

        Final Thoughts

        Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

        Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

        More on the Importance of Taking a Break

        Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

        Reference

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