Teamwork is a vitally important to practically all businesses. From pitching for new clients to completing projects, working together as a group is key to company success.

A happy team could be 12% more productive, according to research by the University of Warwick

But how can you ensure your teams are working together as well as they can? How can you motivate them?

From avoiding cliques to increasing social sensitivity, here are some actionable ideas to help your teams bond, work harder, be more inspired and ultimately be more productive.

1. Invest in team building

While many people might roll their eyes at the idea, team building is a very effective tool for bringing your team together and establishing closer bonds. According to research that looked at data from 103 studies between 1950 and 2007, there is clear scientific evidence that team building exercises can give a measurable positive impact on the performance of your team.

2. Encourage social sensitivity

According to research from MIT, teams with strong social skills perform better.

Being able to read and understand other team member’s emotions is key to performing well as a unit. After all, if you can tell if someone’s getting frustrated or angry you can modify their behaviour accordingly.

Try to establish a culture of social sensitivity in your team, for example by insisting on taking turns when speaking.

Invest in storytelling

A great narrative can have a huge positive impact on your team’s morale. According to author Adam Galinsky and professors of ethics and decision in management at Columbia University Morris and Alice Kaplan: “institutions that can communicate a compelling historical narrative often inspire a special kind of commitment among employees. It is this dedication that directly affects a company’s success and is critical to creating a strong corporate legacy.”

Work on developing your story to help inspire your team.

Avoid cliques in your team

While friendships are an important factor in building a team, it’s important to make sure your team doesn’t fracture into different groups. According to research by Dr Doris Fay, of the Work and Organisational Psychology Group, at Aston University, cliques in multidisciplinary teams hinder their performance.

Make sure your team remains united as one and doesn’t have any sub-groups if you want it to perform optimally.

Build psychological safety

According to research by Google on team productivity, psychological safety means that “team members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other”, explains Google People’s Operations Analyst Julia Rozovsky.

Create an environment where team members feel able to take risks and put themselves out there, without the danger of being embarrassed or insecure.

Understand how they’re working

With different people all working together it can sometimes be difficult to get a handle on who is doing what when. Using employee monitoring software can help you get a great insight into your team’s activities.

Installed onto each of your members devices you can see exactly what software and websites they are using and you’ll soon get a picture of what they’re working on when.

Software such as KnowIT also allows you to set individuals websites and apps as productive or not for each team member so you can also get an idea of how productive they are being.

With a clear top down view you can quickly tell how your resources are being used and how the team is progressing and working together. To learn more about KnowIT click here.

Got some ideas about how to create a killer team?

Let us know in the comments section below!