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Ways to increase team bonding and create a more cohesive workplace

While the main goal of any workplace is to get the job done, it is important to not overlook team bonding.

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Bonding, team bonding

It’s no secret that the biggest strength of any team is synergy. The frustrating point about synergy? It can’t be forced and often takes time to develop.

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Think about when you first started at your job: while people may have been nice and welcoming on the first day, it is unlikely that you joined their cohort full-heartedly in the first week. Even after working somewhere for a decent amount of time, people may feel disconnected from the people they work with.

Getting to know you

While it is by no means necessary to be best friends with your coworkers, having some semblance of a good relationship (at least while in the workplace) often equates to team success. Therefore, it is important for those in position of authority or management to help aid with team bonding.

Many companies will host out-of-office working outings that treat employees to dinner or drinks in an effort to boost cohesiveness. Now, just like synergy, these outings cannot be forced and shouldn’t be mandatory.

Work outings boost inclusivity

However, if properly executed, they can do two things. First, they can help employees get to know their coworkers in a more casual environment. Second, they show said employees that they are valued at the company.

Both of these things are likely to translate to motivation and productivity in the workplace.

Now, these outings can be simple, such as the aforementioned dinner and drinks brouhaha. They can also be a little more involved and mentally stimulating.

Critical thinking

Escape rooms have recently become a popular group activity that stresses group collaboration in order for success. Essentially, you are locked in a small room and have to find clues in order to earn the key out of the room. This is great for small teams. Rooms generally take around six people, and help explore problem solving skills and teamwork.

But, since you cannot do team outings everyday of the week, it is also important to develop in-office means of bonding and cohesiveness. By developing a culture of inclusivity, recognition, and respect, this instigates a desire for motivation.

Develop a collaborative culture

While it may sound trivial or even middle school-ish, implementing an employee of the month or spotlight board can make employees feel appreciated and accomplished while inspiring motivation.

And, because now teams are able to be spread around the world while still working together, virtual team bonding is just as important. Setting up group Skype chats in order to discuss work, or simply to just get to know each other, can help build cohesiveness.

Play nice with others

There is no perfect recipe for creating a successful team. But keeping an open mind and being willing to work with, and get to know, others can go a long way in developing synergy.

#TeamBonding

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Francis Norman

    June 18, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Great article Taylor. I would sum up your points that the development of trust in the workplace is essential to a successful modern workplace. Thankfully the days of command and control are being replaced progressively by more inclusive workplaces where employees are seen and valued as colleagues not regarded as expensive pieces of office machinery. I work with companies in the space of interpersonal communications in virtual teams and many of the points you raise are as applicable there as they are in more traditional co-located workplaces, though they can be harder to implement.

    • Taylor

      June 24, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Francis! It is definitely more difficult to implement a workplace culture in a virtual sense but it is becoming easier with new online team technologies. It should be interesting to see where it’s at in 10 years!

  2. Pingback: The problem with individually rewarding your team's rockstars - The American Genius

  3. Pingback: How to 'Lean In' while maintaining your balance - The American Genius

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Scammers are out to prey on MLM victims and small businesses

(ENTREPRENEUR) MLM pyramid schemes are already predatory enough, but for victims trying to get out of the cycle, scammers are waiting on the sidelines.

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Thieves Young Living MLM Oil

Predatory, scam, rip-off, shady, trap… all of these may be words that rightfully come to mind when I mention pyramid schemes, multi-level marketing campaigns, or “MLM.”

It probably conjures images of annoying messages from the one gullible high school friend you haven’t quite had the heart to unfriend on Facebook. Perhaps you know someone who got put through the wringer themselves. The one thing victims of these predatory marketing schemes have in common is being in the hole of a lot of money. Usually money the victims can’t afford, since these scams prey on the economically vulnerable. Truly, there are few things more universally detestable than MLM pyramid schemes… but I found one.

Did you know there is an entire secondary scammer market to recycle victims of MLMs?

A new spin on the idea of ambulance chasers, there is an entire demographic of scammers out there that trawl social media such as Facebook and Reddit to find recently victimized people looking for a way out of the pyramid-shaped hole they’ve found themselves in, offer services to these victims to “assist” them in recovering lost investments or liquidating their almost valueless inventory, and then ghosting the victims – taking them for their non-existent money a second time. They often pose as legal representation or consumer relief of one flavor or another.

Here is an example posted on the subreddit r/antiMLM:

That website doesn’t exist. That is not a real law firm. The premise is a scam looking to make a sucker twice out of the same victim. One commenter using the user name ‘lemontest’ shared the following account:

After my relative got scammed by a company that promised to help her set up a drop-shipping business, another business magically appeared that promised to get her money back. She gave them money and never heard from them again. I’m sure there’s a lot of money to be made selling contact lists of people who fall for get rich quick schemes.

How incredibly filthy toxic is that? Be vigilant out there, the scammers are creative.

If you (asking for a friend of course) or anyone else you know has fallen victim to any online scam, I recommend this light-hearted, and a little bit cheeky, recovery guide found on the Federal Trade Commission website and authored by Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D. of the Consumer Awareness Institute.

Any stories to share about MLMs or other comments? I’d love to hear from you.

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The BEST report to gain perspective on all sides of the media (bye bias!)

(ENTREPRENEUR) We all want to stay informed, but American media has both obvious bias and hidden agendas. Sign up for these reports to see all sides.

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Getting no bias breaking news media.

Especially near elections, politically-charged business decisions, and on highly controversial topics, it’s hard to find non-bias media nowadays. Every news site or TV show seems to have a hidden agenda, but this new report aims to show all sides.

Ground News aims to give readers an opportunity to reduce their own media bias by aggregating news from many different sources in a way to showcase stories across the political spectrum. The Blindspot Report identifies news stories from both sides of the arena, helping readers see how bias is impacting the information they receive. This newsletter can give you a different perspective to understand both sides of the issue.

Is media bias even a thing?

Technology may have revolutionized the way we share information, but it has also exacerbated the divide between different views. Americans seem to be more polarized than ever before. It feels as if there isn’t any common ground for civil discourse. Although most Americans are getting better at identifying fake news, media bias often gives us a slanted perspective on the news. Media bias occurs when journalists or producers allow their own opinions to impact the way they report the news. A study out of UCLA found that media bias is real. When you get all your news from one source, you may not be getting the entire picture.

Sign up for the Blindspot Report

We’re all biased, regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum. We want information that supports our morals and ethics. We want someone to confirm what we believe. It’s human nature to want to listen to people who agree with us. Reading alternate sources to get your news isn’t about changing your own point of view. It’s about helping you compare different perspectives to let you think more clearly.

Ground News has three newsletters that help you stay informed. Sign up for the Blindspot Report to see what you’re missing.

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Small businesses angry at depletion of COVID-19 relief funds without warning

(ENTREPRENEUR) Small businesses are in shock when they find out COVID-19 relief funds are no longer available, with an email update from the SBA.

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Small businesses are no longer offered EDIL loans from the SBA.

In May, the Small Business Administration (SBA) sent out an update to borrowers of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 relief. The EIDL program is now out of funds, according to an email sent to borrowers.

The loan program formally closed back in December 2021, but there was a period when small businesses who had already received funding could request additional money. That period is now officially over, and the $345 billion that was allotted for COVID-19 relief is gone.

The impact of EIDL

Many owners and entrepreneurs are outraged and frustrated with the lack of transparency from the SBA. There was no warning that the funds were almost depleted and many businesses were relying on that loan money to keep their businesses afloat as the economy rebounds. However, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman praised the program,

“The SBA has delivered historic economic relief to millions of America’s small businesses through the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program…”

According to an SBA press release, over $390 billion in aid was distributed to nearly 4 million businesses.

Small businesses still need help

In May, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), told health ministers that COVID-19 and its effects are not over. Here in the United States, life seems to be getting back to normal, if you discount the horrific inflation and gas prices, which are further impacting the recovery of small businesses.

Congress has been wrangling with legislation (H.R. 3807) that would offer more funding for those that were hit hard due to covid. Getting the House and Senate to agree on this legislation is expected to be difficult. So, no guarantees that more help is coming.

The SBA recommends that businesses who need more resources contact their local SBA office. Virtual appointments can be made for those who wish to avoid contact.

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