5 Ideas for Building Team Spirit at Your Startup

5 Ideas for Building Team Spirit at Your Startup

5 Ideas for Building Team Spirit at Your Startup

Maybe at this point your startup has grown from
thought to reality, moving from your apartment into a coworking
space, office, or perhaps just a larger apartment. Perhaps
you’ve even expanded beyond one or two founders to managing an
actual team that can execute more quickly than you can
on your own.

This can be scary, especially if you’ve
never managed a team before, or just never managed one in your own
startup, or maybe you have but you’re looking to motivate them
without overriding them, and allow them to focus on a common goal
rather than feeling they need to compete for attention.

Whether you want to build camaraderie, make new team members feel
welcome and excited about coming to work, or improve work quality,
here are a few very simple strategies for making your startup a
more enjoyable and productive place to work.

  1. Leave space to create. Ideas can creep
    up on us. But just as easily as they come, they can disappear in an
    instant when something else pops into your mind. In every office,
    it’s a smart idea to have a chalkboard, whiteboard, or easily
    accessible shared document where team members can just scribble
    ideas – no matter how small or outlandish. You
    never know what can come out of it, or if another team member can
    turn your jumbled thoughts into a usable idea. To encourage
    creativity, give your team space to think, create, and just

  2. Build traditions. When I
    first joined the Wamda team, knowing that I was not at all
    confident in my Arabic language skills, our CEO Habib
    Haddad decided to institute Arabic Thursdays. Every
    Thursday, the team only speaks Arabic and, though I struggle
    through it, the exercise has really helped me to learn Arabic words
    related to startups and entrepreneurship that I would never learn
    in a class. This theme has also inspired some other ideas in the
    office including Music Mondays and Eat-Out Fridays. Maybe there are
    some team members who could use some language practice, would
    benefit from learning other new skills, or should just spend more
    time with the team. Whatever the case, start instituting some
    traditions into your startup to make it feel more personal for
    those participating.

  3. Gamify your life. One
    major trend popping up across the region, and the globe, is

    gamifying a user experience to increase
    activity and interest in your startup. But why not make this an
    internal practice as well? Whether through incentivizing
    performance with competitions or offering new software or tools
    free for team members who prove themselves, gamification can
    definitely reshape your office culture. One idea could be to make a
    sort of badge system. For example, if a Wamda article is read in 50
    different countries, the author could get a “Global Audience
    Achievement” and be recognized with a colorful badge explaining the
    achievement in their online Wamda profile; I know I would want one.
    Gamification can be equally useful both within and outside a

  4. Check in with your team. Whether weekly, daily, or
    randomly, it’s important to bring everyone together to share, for
    just a few minutes, what they have completed recently and what they
    are working on. I find it strange when organizations don’t bring
    their team together to share experiences and see what
    each other are involved in. Sometimes team members may not even
    know what the person sitting right next to them is supposed to be
    doing. By sharing with the group, you can identify ways to build
    each other up, eliminate redundancies, and encourage partnerships by utilizing each other’s
    expertise, tools, and contacts. I can’t tell you how many times I
    have seen people hunting down a contact when somebody in the same
    office has a close friend that can help. Keep an open dialogue with
    and between your team.

  5. Celebrate often. In the hit U.S. TV
    series The Office, the party-planning committee is usually wasting
    time on pointless meetings to decide what kind of cake to get, or
    even who should be the head of the committee. When one character
    decides enough is enough and ends partying, the office is furious
    and morale suffers. Of course The Office is over the top, but there
    is something to be said for celebrating the good times. Taking
    entire afternoons off every month for a party may be a bit much,
    but celebrating successes, recognizing team members for their
    contribution, and even just high fiving team members for a small
    job well done can go a long way. Make people feel celebrated when
    they come to work.

Are there other techniques or traditions you enjoy at your
workplace? Share them with the Wamda Community in the comments
section below.

NOTE: Photo taken from The Office television series

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