“Leadership is not about being in charge. It’s about taking care of those in your charge and creating a sense of unity and purpose that moves the team forward” (Simon Sinek).

This type of unity or team cohesion is defined as “the extent to which group members are attracted to the group and its goals. Cohesion can consist of feelings of interpersonal liking, task commitment, and group pride” (Paulus et al., 2011). Developing this type of team culture is undoubtedly aspirational for anyone who leads teams, and there are other benefits. For example, higher levels of cohesion have been shown to promote organisational learning, innovation and performance (Karabulut, 2019; Montes et al., 2005). So with this in mind, here are some strategies to achieve higher levels of team cohesion:

1. Promoting an atmosphere of open communication

Creating an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their ideas, opinions, and concerns is essential for building trust and understanding, which leads to greater cohesion. Implementing regular feedback sessions or anonymous feedback where team members can offer constructive criticism and identify improvement areas can help facilitate this.

2. Setting clear goals, expectations, and roles

Having clear goals, expectations, and roles for each team member helps to provide a sense of purpose and direction for the team. This can help to foster a sense of unity and shared purpose. Clear expectations ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same objectives. This prevents misunderstanding and conflict between team members, which can harm team morale.

3. Building relationships through social activities

Social activities are a great way to help team members get to know each other better and create a closer bond. These activities can also remind team members of the overall mission, which can help reinforce team goals and develop a sense of unity. Team building exercises, group outings, team lunches or dinners, shared hobbies, and team sports are just some things you can do to leverage social activities in your teams.

4. Providing opportunities for professional development

Professional development can help build team cohesion by providing a standard set of skills and knowledge that team members can use to work together more effectively. It can also help foster collaboration and communication between team members by giving them a platform to discuss ideas and express their opinions. Additionally, professional development can help team members become more familiar with each other and create a more cohesive working environment, thus improving the overall team dynamic.

If you’d like further information on how BExceptional could help you and your team improve your well-being, sense of unity and purpose,  click here for my leadership program dates. You can also click this link for further information on my leadership and performance coaching services.