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The secret to making teamwork less stressful and more enjoyable

February 18, 2020
If you only do one thing in 2020: Ask better questions to improve your one-to-ones!

The vast majority of us don’t enjoy going to work (of course, we try to make sure that’s not the case at Saberr, but we all have our off days!) Considering we spend most of our lives — on average 6.9 hours per day — in the office, it’s a pretty bleak statistic.

But the good news is that the secret to making work more enjoyable lies within our control and it’s all about how we communicate.

More opportunities for informal collaboration, outside of meetings or work events, are proven to have a positive impact on social connections within teams, and thus boost team performance.

The rise of messaging platforms like Slack, which we use a lot at Saberr, have been great for encouraging us to engage in a daily stream of communication with colleagues. However, the real power of connecting comes from regular face to face contact and with more face to face team-based activity comes the need for a better understanding of how we best communicate with one another.

Bringing your whole self

At Saberr, we’re passionate about helping managers improve the performance of their team and develop as leaders. Why? Because teams impact outcomes far more than individuals and if we want to see progress in the world, learning to work well together is key. Part of this means creating working environments that encourage people to bring their whole self to work rather than a contrived, ‘work ready’ persona that inhibits a person’s true personality. Companies, like Google, have already started talking about the importance of psychological safety, where people can be themselves and take risks — whether it’s pitching a new idea or asking for a pay rise — without fear of being criticised or intimidated by their colleagues.

Psychological safety & trust

Our research has found that teams perform best when they are aligned around values or at least tolerant of each other’s values and external sources show that lower performing teams tend to include dominant members, while it’s the teams that talk and listen in equal measure that perform better. Much of this comes down to trust. If colleagues are shielded by mutual trust for each other and an understanding of each other’s social values and habits, office conversations can quickly feel less like work and more like social problem-solving. At Saberr we are working on a new tool that both measures and helps to improve the strength of relationships of teams in a way that doesn’t feel false or a burden to connectivity between co-workers and leaders, and makes work easy.

As we spend so much time at work we want it to become an activity that we enjoy and one that involves real engagements and honest relationships with our coworkers. We are all more likely to thrive in a workplace that’s interactive, respectful and allows us to be us.