The Power of Teamwork for Employee Retention
Employee retention is an overwhelming challenge that organizations will have to continue dealing with in the coming years. In 2021, the number of American workers voluntarily quitting their jobs reached "highs not seen since the start of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey program in December 2000." In the second half of the year alone, more than 25 million workers quit their jobs. While employers believe this level of resignation is due to compensation and work-life balance, employees identify reasons like not feeling valued and not feeling a sense of belonging for their decision to leave a company.
One specific aspect that has broken this resignation trend in productive companies is teamwork. But how can teamwork contribute to better work culture, higher job satisfaction, and higher retention rates? In this article, we discuss some initiatives that can strengthen teamwork and enhance employee retention, as indicated in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Let's get started!
● Foster shared empathy
When team members develop shared empathy, they accomplish more together. Shared empathy occurs when team members build trusting relationships in which they have each other's back while respecting one another as individuals who have their own needs, aspirations, and joys. They care about their peers' experiences and take a genuine interest in each other's professional and personal lives. Research indicates that discussions on topics that are not work-related offer significant advantages because personal conversations help colleagues identify shared interests that foster authentic connections and more profound liking. High-performing teams invest time connecting in genuine ways, which results in closer friendships and better teamwork in the long run.
● Activate the power of shared goals
"Under the right conditions, people can accomplish more together than anyone could alone." Shared goals are powerful tools to enhance the strength and integration of the team. Challenges can bond teams together when they share the belief that the effort to win unites them. The satisfaction of accomplishing the goals and learning through the process magnifies when teammates push the boundaries together to achieve a greater objective.
● Promote values like humility and curiosity
Bonding within a team improves when the members share a set of values that promotes the feeling of being part of a special group. Two such values worth promoting within your team are humility and curiosity. The former helps identify our limits, while the latter fuels the excitement of experimentation and learning. Employees should be encouraged to recognize opportunities to practice humility and stay curious. Leaders must create a psychologically safe environment where team members feel safe to exchange ideas, take risks, and fill other members' gaps.
● Celebrate good results together
Celebrating small and big wins is powerful! Shared happiness reinforces bonds and helps the team stay focused and progress. The stress of high productivity can often drain their energy. Team wins promote shared joy and reinforce bonds. Let's not wait for the big win but rather enjoy every little victory that the team achieves during the journey. That will strengthen their belief in what they can do together in the long run.
Additionally, high-performing teams give and receive appreciation more frequently. The open demonstration of appreciation should become a cultural norm. This means that leaders and work colleagues should be encouraged to regularly express their satisfaction with their team members' and colleagues' work. In a study reported in a Harvard Business Review article, participants of "high-performing teams were significantly more likely to express positive emotions with their colleagues."
Every employee is an individual. Thus, leaders should ensure that every member of their team is valued, heard, and cared for. Leaders must strive to help team members realize how their performance contributes to collective success. At the same time, they need to promote the power of the team as a whole unit. They should encourage the development of genuine and authentic relationships. Finally, organizations should work towards specifying a meaningful 'WHY' that every employee can relate to. People want to identify personally with their organization's purpose, which is a highly relevant retention driver.
Did you find this post helpful? Let us know in the comments. Also, don't forget to check out other informative posts in the blog!
Leader Essentials Group can help your organization develop the skills necessary to strengthen teamwork and assist your leaders in integrating your company's purpose into their everyday practices and decision-making. Email us at email@example.com to schedule a meeting and learn more about how we can partner with you to develop and execute strategic leadership outcomes for your organization!
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Dr. Vera Alves is the Chief Consulting Officer at Leader Essentials Group, with extensive experience in leadership development and business management. With over 12 years of experience as a C-suite executive, Vera is highly skilled in leadership, strategic planning, operations management, organizational behavior, and change management. She possesses highly developed communication, training, and linguistic skills reflective of a very strong and charismatic leadership style.
_________________________________________________________________________  Gittleman, M. (2022). The “Great Resignation” in perspective, Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, July, https://doi.org/10.21916/mlr.2022.20.  Thomas, C. & Delizonna, L. (2022). How teams are retaining employees right now. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from How Teams Are Retaining Employees Right Now (hbr.org) on 07/14/2022.  De Smet, A. et al. (2021). “Great attrition” or “great attraction”: The choice is yours. McKinsey Quarterly. Retrieved from How companies can turn the Great Resignation into the Great Attraction | McKinsey, on 07/14/2022.  Friedman, R. (2021). 5 things high-performing teams do differently. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from 5 THINGS HIGH-PERFORMING TEAMS DO DIFFERENTLY.PDF on 07/14/2022.