1. Establish strong working relationships
We’re all human and we’re not going to get on with everyone but having an environment built on trust is essential for success and optimal happiness.
If you’re in a relatively new team, try getting together as a group at least once a month to do a relationship building task. If you’re in a more established team, get team members to suggest activities and vote for their favourites. Whatever team you’re in, the most important thing to remember is to include everybody – irrelevant of roles or hierarchy.
Studies have shown that team building tasks can help mitigate conflicts, encourage communication, increase collaboration and improve quality of working conditions.
2. Build a positive workplace
It’s important that we create positive workplaces, whether that’s in a physical setting such as a care home or ward, or virtually. It’s been proven that a positive work environment can make us more motivated, which in turn increases the quality of work.
To get started, why not suggest some improvements to staff areas or plan monthly social activities?
3. Communicate and manage expectations
Communication really is key and ensures everyone’s on the same page and knows what’s expected of them.
There are so many ways to keep people updated, from handovers and communication apps to team meetings and daily huddles. In practice, it doesn’t matter what route of communication you take as long as you get everyone involved.
Don’t forget, you might need to change the way you communicate to adapt to the individual needs or preferences of your colleagues.
4. Give constructive feedback
Constructive feedback is the cornerstone of all development and it can be much easier for this to come from somebody else rather than reflecting on our own performance (it’s one of the most difficult things to do!)
For many services, feedback will only be given by managers or senior staff, with little or no peer-to-peer feedback. In my opinion, the best insights are those from people you work with day-in day-out, so encouraging an environment to openly share this is really important. I’d recommend trying to give regular feedback to some of your colleagues in a more informal setting, like a coffee break – this tends to be well received.
Whatever feedback you get personally, it’s important you take this onboard and put development plans in place to build in these areas.
5. Recognise and praise excellence
Telling somebody they’ve done a good job can go a long way, whoever it comes from. Praise and recognition can boost self-confidence, making us feel recognised and encouraging us to strive to achieve that once again.
I don’t think I’ve met anybody who doesn’t like being told they’re doing amazing work!
6. Make it easy to raise concerns
Being in social care, it’s very rare that somebody isn’t pulling their weight, but when this does happen, it’s important you feel comfortable to come forward and raise your concerns.
This could be done through a weekly scheduled drop-in or anonymously.
A home from home
We spend more time at work than we do with our own friends and family, so being in a happy workplace with people who understand us and communicate effectively, makes life much easier!