How should an owner encourage teamwork

How to promote team spirit

"TEAM WORK" is capitalized in most practices. And that's good. Because: If all practice members treat each other with respect, value each other, support each other and work "hand in hand", everyone benefits!

If the climate in practice is good, the employees come to work with pleasure, are more involved and stick together even in difficult, stressful times. A sense of togetherness grows and with it the connection to practice. If, on the other hand, there are tensions and unresolved conflicts in the team, it can be very exhausting and nerve-wracking. The motivation drops and with it usually also the performance. An unhealthy climate is psychologically stressful and, in the worst case, even makes you sick. A situation that can pose great challenges for the practice owner.

It is therefore worthwhile to deal with the topics of "working atmosphere" and "teamwork" at an early stage. Here are eight tips on how you can strengthen and encourage teamwork:

Tip 1: Rely on heterogeneous teams and appreciate the differences

The strengths and skills as well as the personality and behavior of your employees can be very different. There may be one employee who is very open and communicative, and another who is more objective, calm and prudent, but has a good technical understanding. Depending on the areas in which one or the other is deployed, it can develop its full potential or remain below its potential.

Recognized personality models, such as the DISC model, often differentiate between "extro- and introverted" and "people- and task-oriented personality types". Assessments that can be very helpful in and of themselves. Why? Some employees concentrate more on the task itself and put it in the foreground, while others focus more on the personal and people. A finding that can be very valuable for practical operations.

Practices with a mixed age structure benefit on the one hand from their young, dynamic and change-motivated employees, who are often more confident with digital media, and on the other hand from the experienced and experienced employees who are better able to assess risks and ensure stability in the practice.

Tip 2: lay the foundation for a motivating practice culture!

Even if you now have the impression that your team gets along very well and works according to the motto "Total commitment of all participants", sooner or later the constellation of your team will change again and, with the change, possibly also the working environment. Ask your practice team how they would like to be treated, what values ​​they have and what common rules can be laid down in the sense of a team code for everyone. This is how you lay the foundation for a healthy and good practice culture. For this purpose, brainstorming is a creative and motivating technique that you can use to collect results and summarize and visualize them on a poster.

Tip 3: Inform your team regularly about changes!

If organizational or structural changes are pending in practice, it will motivate employees to find out about them at an early stage and to be able to participate themselves. Make sure that you inform your employees equally. Employees who are not or poorly informed otherwise feel left out and put back, which is demotivating. Important information should therefore be structured and not passed on "between the door and the hinge". The regular team meeting or the daily three-minute "round table" offer optimal implementation options. For the "update" in between, the creation of an "info sample patient" or a simple Excel table, to which everyone has access, is also suitable. In this way, part-time workers, trainees and employees can also keep up to date after sick leave or vacation periods.

Tip 4: Encourage private exchanges too!

Use the breakfast time or the common lunch in the attractively furnished social room to exchange ideas on a personal level. A question about the well-being of your employees when you return from sick leave or the question about your planned vacation destination when you start your vacation has a greater effect than expected.

Tip 5: Be just, fair and impartial!

Make sure that you treat your employees fairly and that there are no reasons to give the impression of being disadvantaged. Areas in which it can quickly lead to this are, for example, sick leave, working hours and vacation planning. If there is injustice here, this can quickly lead to tension in the team and seriously disrupt the peace of mind.

If you have problems within the team, you should be approachable and provide assistance, but let your employees resolve conflicts themselves and stay as impartial as possible!

Tip 6: Strengthen your team through organized team building measures!

In addition to the classic company outing and Christmas party, there are many other refreshing and motivating opportunities to exchange ideas and share experiences. Whether guided team events, team days on the farm or geo-caching. The chance to get together outside of practice, to experience connections, to work on a common task and to exchange ideas about other topics is fun and motivating. Such activities are felt to be valued and strengthen the sense of community.

Tip 7: reflect on team development!

According to the US psychologist Bruce Tuckman, a team goes through four, possibly five phases. These consist of forming (= introductory and finding phase), storming (= disagreement and dispute phase), norming (= organizational phase), performing (= service phase) and, if necessary, adjourning (= dissolution phase).

The aim is to get an orientation about which phase the team is in, where possible problems are hidden and what needs to be done in order to get to the next team development stage. Each of these phases should be prepared and followed up accordingly. In each of these phases it is important to keep talking and, if necessary, to look for conflict solutions and redefine agreements.

A newly hired employee is initially always in the forming phase before she is then integrated into the team via a (possible) storming and norming phase and can fully contribute.

Tip 8: Live an open error culture!

Those who make a mistake and fear the reaction or the consequences will tend to cover it up. Too often it is still about the culprit and not the really target-oriented questions "How did it happen?" and "How can we do better in the future?" It is not uncommon for the cause of the error to lie in the organization itself and indicate an existing grievance, such as poor familiarization, lack of information or high time pressure.

Living a positive error culture means accepting errors and appreciating and appreciating error messages. Then to research the cause and to look for solutions together in a team in order to ultimately reduce the probability of errors in the future. This can create a practical climate that is free from fears, cover-ups, justifications and accusations. A climate in which the team can feel comfortable and develop further.

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