Small businesses don’t usually have huge amounts of capital to work with. They cannot afford to spend too much on advertising and the only way for them to succeed is to focus on providing great customer experiences. If a customer is happy with a certain product or service, then they are much likely to recommend it to others. This type of personal brand word of mouth marketing is highly efficient and cost effective. It plays an integral role in drawing customers to businesses such as plumbing, roofing, electrical repairs, tutoring, and the legal profession, among others.

In order to create a great impression on any given customer, a small business must have a cohesive team. With so many other companies competing for customers’ attention, small businesses rarely get a second chance and this fact further reiterates the importance of team work. Team work is perhaps the most underrated aspect of a business structure. A well-coordinated team is instrumental to the smooth running of every organization – be it a multinational conglomerate or a local retail business. In light of that, below are a few simple tips to help you inculcate a strong sense of team spirit among your employees.

Improve team work

1) Encourage your employees to take responsibility: Establish a standard protocol for carrying out procedures. Your employees can use this protocol as a guideline to make the right decisions whenever necessary. If employees keep approaching you over petty issues, you will never be able to focus on your own job. Empowering your employees or ‘team members’ to make independent decisions makes them feel part of the business. It creates a strong sense of purpose and improves productivity.

2) Character is more important than skills: This is especially true when hiring new employees. Skills can be taught and acquired but it is quite difficult to change a person’s character. For example, if you want someone to work in a high pressure situation, you need to employ a cool, calm, and collected individual. If you hire someone who gets flustered easily, they will not be able to handle the pressure. Similarly, you cannot afford to have hot tempered customer service executives as this job requires patience and a polite disposition.

Fit is more important than skill set. [tweet this]

3) Test the employees: Present your employees with new challenges and motivate them to push the boundaries of their comfort zones. Your business will only develop when employees demonstrate a progressive trend in their professional abilities.

4) Reward results: If employees respond well to challenges, reward them with incentives and bonuses. Rewards breed healthy competition among co-workers and consequently increases their output.

5) Reach out to your employees’ families: Organize parties, shows, and events which promote a sense of camaraderie among employees’ family members. Friendships, bonding, and a feeling of belonging are crucial for job satisfaction and employee retention.

6) Be open to suggestions: This is a highly coveted and rare leadership quality. In order to manage your business well, you need to communicate with your team. Without communication there will be no trust and this is detrimental to team work. Be a benevolent leader – assume the role of a compassionate teacher and not that of an irate boss. Hold team meetings where everyone gets an opportunity to express themselves. Pay attention to the suggestions, problems, and aspirations of your employees. It shows that you care, plus you can learn a thing or two from them. You hired them for their expertise; listen to what they have to say.

7) Avoid internal office politics and ego problems: There is no place for ego in a professional environment as it imparts a negative influence on the team spirit. Create a work ethic wherein everybody respects each other.

A business is not structured upon money. Rather, it is built upon people, and team spirit is the bond that keeps all those people working together. Even multi-billion dollar companies like Microsoft, McDonald’s, Apple, and Ford rely heavily upon team work. Therefore, if you hope to generate positive brand word of mouth publicity for your business, pay extra attention to team work. Remember that the word TEAM stands for: Together wE can Achieve More!


Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

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