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The Sykes Group
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Team Building Article

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Five Team Building Secrets to Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding Results

By Ed Sykes


Towers Perrin, the corporate benefits consulting firm, surveyed over 1000 American workers and found the following:


§         Only 51 percent of all workers trust their organizations to tell the truth in employee communications

§         Only 48 percent of all workers with more than five years of tenure believe their companies are honest in their employee communications

§         Only 44 percent of all workers over age 50 trust their organizations to tell them the truth in employee communications


Organizations then wonder why worker productivity decreases, employee loyalty is at an all time low, and human resource situations increase.  Your employees see everyday, at least in their eyes, the following:


§         Record profits, yet massive layoffs

§         Hearing how important they are, yet having their jobs outsourced

§         Experiencing changes to their jobs, yet not being asked for their ideas

§         Being told how they are doing a great job, yet being yelled at for mistakes in front of colleagues


No wonder there is tension in the workplace.  When I work with organizations, the following three concerns are the ones usually express:


“My supervisor, manager, etc., doesn’t know how to communicate with me.”

“I am the last to hear about bad news.”

“He/she never asks me for my ideas.”



Because of these concerns, there is a divide, professionally, emotionally, mentally, and physically between the employees and their supervisor/manager, etc., which leads to lost productivity.


The following are five team building secrets that will increase your credibility with employees and produce outstanding team results for your organization:


1.     Be Honest for Better Team Building

You owe it to your team members and to colleagues to be honest. Tell your team members exactly where they stand within the organization.  Be positive, yet don’t sugar coat it.  Once your team members know where they stand, use this as a stepping stone for improvements and solutions you can work on together.


2.     Be Consistent for Better Team Building

Be consistent with your communication among team members.  You will lose credibility with team members if they see you communicate differently with different team members concerning the same situations.  For example, if you berate an team member (which I’m sure you would never do) for a mistake, yet say nothing to another team member for the same mistake, you will lose credibility will all of your team members. 

Also, be consistent with the way you communicate your moods.  Remember, if you project a professional manner, no matter the situation, your team members will emulate your behavior.

3.     Communicate Bad News ASAP for Better Team Building

There is nothing worse for team members than hearing bad news from human resources, shareholders, the news, friends, family, and even their religious leader, but not from you, their manager.  The biggest reasons I hear for not telling team members are the following:

“Management asked me to keep it secret.”

“I don’t have all the facts yet.”

“I don’t think the employees can handle the bad news.”

Well, guess what:

§         Employees always find out about bad news (sometimes before their supervisors/managers, etc.).

§         Employees always appreciate when you share whatever information you have with them as long as you are honest with them.

§         Employees can take more than you think if you are sensitive to their concerns and express these concerns with them.

Will some of team members be unhappy in the short run?  Some team members may not be happy; however, they will respect you as a manager that respects them and keeps them informed of all news, good or bad.

4.     Give and Receive Constant Feedback for Better Team Building

Team members want feedback on, “How am I doing?”  By giving constant feedback, you are developing a bond of trust that improves the performance of your team.


Remember, your team members are always doing something well.  Make sure you come from a positive position of improvement when giving feedback.  Let your team members know that you appreciate their efforts and the difference they make each day.


Also make it “safe” for team members to give you feedback.  Let them know that no one is perfect (I know we think we are) and that you value their feedback to make the work environment a “win-win” situation for all involved.  Teach your team members how to give feedback, both positive and constructive.  Remember, as a leader, you are constantly developing your team members for the next level.

5.     Ask for Employee Solutions for Better Team Building

People go to work to succeed, not fail.  Employees also go to work because they want to make a difference at their job.  One of the best ways for team members to feel they are making a difference is to involve them in the solution creation process.


Make asking for solutions from your team members an ongoing process.  Whether during staff meetings, one-on-one sessions, etc., make it safe for team members to develop their own solutions.  If given the opportunity, your team members will come up with solutions that are innovative, proactive, and in some cases better than any solution we can ever develop.


To motivate your team members to create solutions, you must do the following:


§         Give them credit for the solutions

§         Create reward systems for solutions

§         Make it easy for them to communicate solutions

§         Massage solutions for positive results


Very importantly, if team members share a solution with you, please, please, please, give them feedback ASAP.  You will lose team credibility if they think you don’t care or are taking credit for their ideas.


Apply these team building techniques now and you will gain team credibility and increase team productivity with your team members while developing a high performance team environment that achieves outstanding team results.


Source: Towers Perrin, Enhancing Corporate Credibility-Is It Time to Take the “Spin” Out of Employee Communication?  January, 2004


If you follow the five team building steps mentioned, we guarantee that you will see an increase in team morale, be well on the way to a motivated team, productive employees, self-directed teams,  with less team turnover and team retraining. 

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Suggested team building reading:


Are You Singing Your Song of Success? Five Secrets to Following Your Dreams and Achieving More Success in Your Life

Leadership Starts with Tough Decisions:  Five Leadership Skills for Outstanding Team Building

JumpStart Your Employee Motivation: Ten Motivation Secrets to Empower Your Team

Appreciate to Motivate (The Key to Successful Team Building)

 The Secret to Living Your Dreams: Five Success Techniques to Achieving More Success in Your Life!

Seven Change Management Secrets to Creating a Winning Culture of Change
Are You Building Your Foundation of Success: Six Secrets of Motivating Yourself for Success

Employee Motivation, Don Imus, and Team Building: Five Secrets of Motivated Teams

Motivate Your Customer Service Team for Outstanding Customer Service: Six Secrets of Customer Service Motivation

Life Before Downsizing: Six Secrets to Managing Change and Creating Opportunities for the Future

Success Starts with a Can Do Attitude: Three Secrets to Creating More Success

Coaching: How to Succeed in Half the Time Using a Personal Coach

Leadership Techniques for Anyone: How Kermit Shared Five Leadership Secrets with the World

Eight Leadership Techniques for Outstanding Teams

Motivate Your Team! Eight Quick Tips to Motivate for Success

Adversity: Your Seed of Greatness (Three Secrets to Using Adversity to Become Great)

Connect the Dots! Your Roadmap for Success

Every Super Hero Needs Theme Music. What’s Yours?

Seven Secrets to Being the Leader Everyone Wants to Follow

Have You Appreciated Someone Today?

Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can Help You Run Outstanding Meetings

How Appetizing Is Your Feedback? (5 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback)

Ten Techniques for Motivating Others Through Chaos

10 Action Steps to Motivate Yourself to Great Accomplishments

Eight Ways to Motivate Part-Time Employees

Delegate to Accelerate Success (How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Success)

The Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment

Leadership Secrets for Challenging Times  

Goal Setting Secrets to Jumpstart Your Life


Want to learn how to build a powerful, self-directed, high producing team employees? Our Team Building, Life After Downsizing, How to Develop the Leader Within You, Time Management Skills to Achieve More, and How to Handle Workplace Stress and Master Your Life team building training programs can help you take team members to the next level.  Please read our team building articles on motivation, team building, and goal setting, etc.  Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at

Ed Sykes is a professional speaker published in the areas of leadership, change management, customer service, motivation, and teamwork. He works with business and government organizations who want to reach the next level of success and individuals who want to perform at their best. You can email him at, call him at (757) 427-7032 or visit his Web site at


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Last modified:
10/09/2011 07:42:15 PM