4 rules to promote Team cohesion

Team spirit

4 rules to promote Team cohesion.

Since February 28, 2022, employees are back on site at the office and teambuilding workshops can be organized again. COVID has brought new hybrid ways of behaving and working which means that coaches are back in business to help build much-needed “hybrid team cohesion”.

More than ever and to achieve objectives, employees need to pull together as a team. The stronger the team spirit, the easier it will be to achieve and even exceed objectives.

To promote Team cohesion, 4 rules are essential:

1 – Creating a shared story 

Emotions and memories promote bonding.

Shared experiences help to create a bond: it’s easier to communicate when we know each other better, and to share anecdotes. When a group is close-knit, members like to share stories… The aim is to take a break, to see things in a different light and to share things outside of the scope of pure daily work. These shared times can be formal, such as regular or ad hoc work meetings, or more informal, such as a shared meal, an outing or a team-building session led by an outside speaker.

2 – Defining the vision

Vision provides a common direction and favorizes cohesion.

For example, if one person’s aim is solely to earn money, and another’s to have a career, they may not get on well together, and this can have a detrimental effect on team cohesion: the former will want to prioritize the most profitable decisions, while the latter will want to prioritize decisions that satisfy their hierarchy, in order to obtain a promotion. 

These opposing points of view can lead to conflict.

Having a common vision allows each person can have their individual interests and priorities but within a common, stronger vision. In the event of disagreement, this vision is the point of reference that enables decisions to be made and ensures that everyone’s egos are at the service their department, company or group.

A Vision is always stronger if it’s co-constructed.

For a vision to be truly powerful, it must be co-constructed by the whole team.  This means everyone has and feels buy in.  Everyone agrees on it and feels part of it. Participative management makes it easier for teams to adhere to a vision. If the vision has already been written, why not suggest rewriting it with the new team? The advantage: each group, department, or division will roll out the same vision but adapted to their level and environment.  The next step is to translate the (long-term) vision into (short- or medium-term) objectives, which can be used to define the day-to-day tasks and work of the teams and of course foster team cohesion. 

3 – Facilitating interaction and developing shared values

Developing communication

Developing cohesion also means facilitating relations between people. A good working atmosphere fosters mutual respect and a strong team spirit. It is important to define common rules of conduct and communication based on shared values.  Communication plays a central role, as you need to know how to listen sincerely to others, and to remain benevolent under all circumstances to take everyone’s personality and needs into account. Clarification is key!  Don’t hesitate to rephrase and have someone else rephrase to ensure that what you say is being understood without interpretation.

Defining shared values

Shared values bind a group together, because they guide individual behavior in a predictable and reassuring manner. In the event of vagueness, we can refer to them to regain coherence. To ensure that these values are not simply one a pretty poster, they need to be brought to life through positive shared experiences, or the establishment of team symbols and/or rituals.


Managing conflict

Despite the definition of values, vision and rules of “good conduct”, conflicts can arise. The problem is not the conflict itself, but rather the failure to manage it. You must make sure it doesn’t take root. 

4 –A leader who sets an example,  promotes cohesion

 The team needs a guarantor to ensure that values are respected and look to the leader to set an example. This means respecting the values and rules defined by the group.

Example: if solidarity is an essential corporate value, the leader must show solidarity. If equality is an essential value, he or she must give up advantages such as a reserved parking space. The leader is a point of reference. His or her attitude will set norms for the team. The more consistent his behavior is with the values and vision, the stronger team cohesion will be.

To support your teams and encourage cohesion, you’ll find the “5 creative supports for my team cohesion” animation kit in the store.

(cc) Outilsducoach 2022, articles may be freely copied and distributed subject to mention and link to the original source.

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