For those of us in large enterprises, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of employees. With the rise of mobility, virtualization, and BYOD, many of us in the tech industry work from home, other offices, or even other countries. Because of this, many of us miss the chance to build good relationships with other team members. People with good work relationships are more productive, and tend to stay around longer.

Recently, my team had a major re-org, and helping new team members feel at home has been on the forefront of my mind. Here are some tips I am following to build a happier, healthier, and even more efficient team: 

Team Gathering, May 2013

Take a break from the office and hold a team gathering elsewhere.

A change in scenery can help spark inspiration and creativity. Last Friday I hosted a get-together for my team at my house, and it was a success. Regular office employees, remote workers, and some out-of-towners were able to meet and socialize. The relaxed environment helped team members get to know each other better and meet others that weren’t in their core group.  It was also a great way to end a busy week!

Create an environment where team members feel respected, regardless of job level.

Team members shouldn’t feel worried about sharing their ideas and opinions. After all, in the fast changing world we live in, bizarre ideas can often be the best. Addressing concerns in an open, honest, and direct manner lets people know that their voices matter.  For certain topics, anonymous surveys are a great way to measure how people truly feel. Recognizing positive results and team wins also helps keep morale up.

Encourage team members to be healthy –both mentally and physically.

We spend so much of our time at work that we must remember to take care of ourselves. Every month my team gathers for a morning chat. We check in with each other and discuss what’s going on in our lives, activities we are participating in, and occasionally have fitness competitions. When people are healthy in mind and body, they are generally more productive and inspired.

Recognize how different types of people work together, and use it to increase efficiency.

Not everyone works the same. A team needs a variety of personalities to handle the various types of tasks that arise. Recently, each person on my team took the Fascination Advantage Test, a measurement of personal brand. The report it provides explains how to be the most efficient with our personal strengths and weaknesses. As a team, we went over our results and it helped us understand how the different types of personalities we have work the best.

Positive work relationships help let individuals know that they are an integral part of their team. When this happens, we are more passionate and excited about our work, providing better results. Go and try the above with your team and see how it improves morale and efficiency. If you have additional tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Follow Marie on twitter @MarieHattar