We hear it all the time… cohesive teams produce better results. But what role does fun play in team cohesiveness?
First, what makes a team functionally cohesive?
Five critical elements bestselling author Patrick Lencioni advocates are:
Trust (the kind where you can be vulnerable about flaws, and let down your guard)
Productive conflict around ideas
Collective commitment to decisions
Peer accountability towards those commitments
Focusing on collective results.
There’s one more thing that provides a huge boost towards cohesiveness. It’s the icing on the cake.
What is it?
When we’re having fun, it lifts the group. Relationships flourish. Discretionary effort is given. People are more inclined to help one another. In short, we feel more connected as humans when we have fun together.
And that’s one of the things people want most in their work…for it to be meaningful!
How do you create fun at work?
Well, it’s up to you!
Here’s an example I love. Did you see the Lip Sync Challenge running through Facebook’s newsfeed over the summer? It’s a great example of people going beyond the bounds of normal work to be creative, even goofy, and have fun. This took them 30 minutes, a boom box and an iPhone. That’s it!
Some might say it’s non-essential, less than efficient.
I say look a little deeper.
Police officers’ lives are routinely on the line. Work escalates from steady one minute to deadly the next. Their ability to work well together can be the difference between life or death.
The time this team spent creating their video refreshed and reenergized the force. It was an investment in camaraderie that will yield lasting results. The people in the Lip Synch Challenge videos will surely remember this particular day at work well beyond their retirement!
Healthy, boundary-appropriate fun builds relationships and trust in subtle but powerful ways. It adds to the cohesiveness of teams. And fuels performance!
So, how can you build team cohesiveness by having fun at work? Here are a few ideas from Business Insider for simple inspiration!
It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be fun!
Does your team need help getting on the same page? Do your managers want to grow their ability to lead teams?