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How to encourage team thinking

Your employees are the most valuable asset to your company. They can make many positive contributions to your company. Creating an environment that encourages creativity, trust, respect and team thinking will ensure these types of contributions, which will ultimately benefit the company.

You can create a positive work environment for your employees by encouraging them to provide input and make choices that directly affect them and the work they do. You may ask for their input about things like selecting office furniture, computer systems and simply selecting the radio station. It is important they feel their opinion matters and that they feel comfortable where they work. Humor can help make a more positive work environment. Add a bit of humor to situations when it is appropriate. Be willing to laugh at your mistakes. This will let your employees know that you also make mistakes. Be sure to use humor that is appropriate and that will not offend others. Do not use or tolerate offensive or racial types of humor, this includes jokes.

You must also have respect for your staff. Trust is developed when a company is supportive, honest and accountable for their actions, mistakes and decisions. Provide your employees with an environment that help them develop respect for the company and for each other. To establish a team that has high standards and goals, they must be willing to help each other achieve these goals and they must feel everyone is working together and towards the same vision to set those high standards. People are more willing to do this in apositive and supportive work environment.

Encourage team thinking by solving problems together. Involve them in the problem solving process. Employees want to be part of the solution process. Let them do this as a team. To stimulate creativity and out of the box thinking hold staff meetings in new surroundings. Don't let staff meetings become mundane. Be sure to thank your employees for their opinions and ideas, even if they are not implemented. Never belittle an employees idea or opinion, no matter how crazy it maybe. And do not tolerate other's to do so as well.

Establish monthly goals as a team and develop a reward or incentive program if the staff completes and accomplishes their goals. It can be round of golf, a gift certificate or even concert tickets. Try to make it something that they want and enjoy so they become excited about reaching their monthly goals.

You should always thank your employees for their efforts as a team but also honor their individual strengths as well. Be aware that each employee has special abilities and strengths and use those strengths by shifting leadership for projects or to handle specific needs of a client. Be sure to express your appreciation to your staff individually or as a team. You can do this with a simple pat on the back or surprise them with pizza at lunch for the entire team.

When ever possible offer training and career development opportunities to your employees. Encourage them to develop their strengths and talents. By doing so they can continue to grow and advance in the company. When ever possible give your staff assignments that challenge and stimulate them. This will help them to continue to be productive and efficient in their work. When a mistake or error is made by a staff member, don't just point it out, help them to find ways of correcting the problem so it does not happen again.

Set an example for your staff to follow. Be positive and care about your staff because they are your most valuable asset. Remember, a team is only as good as it's leader.

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