As we get buried in our day to day activities – sourcing talent, scheduling, interviewing and advertising – it can become easy to lose sight of a simple truism in the staffing industry: teamwork is paramount. In order for any recruitment or staffing agency to run on all cylinders, it takes a cohesive, strongly interconnected team of individuals, working together synergistically. This is because every member plays a key role, upon which the roles played by other members are entirely dependent.
Talent cannot be sourced if headhunting does not occur or adverts are not perfectly crafted. Adverts cannot be crafted unless a thorough analysis of the position has been carried out. Vacancies cannot be filled unless the sourced talent has been interviewed and hired. And so on and so on.
However, building a strong team is easier said than done. Teams rarely arise naturally and without any effort. Instead, they’re actually the result of a conscious effort and the mindful, dedicated effort of all parties involved.
So, how shall we go about building a strong team?
First thing’s first
First, let’s look at some obstacles that can impede the development of a happy, harmonious team. The biggest obstacle is often related to personalities. And while it is not impossible (and not necessarily even desirable) for colleagues to amend their personalities in order to build a team, there are some traits we can actively work to minimize and excise.
The main thing members must eliminate is passive aggression. This is the act of venting grievances in a seemingly friendly, yet indirect and subconsciously angry manner. It is the post-it note on the fridge on the break room that says “thanks for eating my pickles!”. The group e-mail that ends with, “... that would be great”. It is all sarcasm and thinly veiled hostility we encounter throughout the day.
It’s an easy trap to fall into, especially if we don’t like direct confrontation. But it must be avoided at all costs. It simply breeds resentment and distrust. And nothing does quicker and longer-lasting damage to the effectiveness of a staffing firm as resentment and distrust.
So, the take away here is this: It’s much better to be direct, open and honest. It is also much more effective and meaningful. If you want a team, and want better results, actively strive towards eliminating the passive aggression.
Arrange for team building exercises
There are many ways you can do this, both in and out of the office. One of such ways that is now highly popular are escape rooms. These are attractions in which all participants are locked inside a room. In order to escape, they must work together to solves problems and puzzles. Now only does it foster cooperation and team, it is also highly entertaining.
A simple Google search of “team-building exercises will reveal an array of more you can participate, some of which you might be familiar with from school, such as “the human knot”. In fact, even these, as juvenile as they may seem at first glance, can still be vitally useful.
However, there’s probably no better team-building exercise than old fashined “after-work drinks”. A few pints and banter between the crew will bring you worlds closer than you’ve ever been before. Better still if you can make it a weekly event, as this will eventually bring you even closer, like a family, and make you more solid.
As mentioned before, the antidote to passive aggression is communication. It is also the key to strengthening bonds in any group as well. In addition to the staffing and recruitment apps you’re using on the job, it’s wise to also use a messaging app that allows for the creation of groups in order to continually stay in touch with one another and coordinate, both during and outside of working hours.
A staff management app with a messenger feature allows this. All work-related communication to the admin and back to employees should be done through the app. Communication should be transparent and managers should be approachable.
Slack and other communication channels can be used for banter and in-jokes. In fact, the cornerstone upon which all tribes are founded are shared in-jokes, impervious to outsiders. Don’t be afraid to mix work and laughter. In fact, the more you mix it, the better of a time you will all have and the happier employees will be!