Coffee and Donuts to Build Teamwork
One of the toughest challenges you have as a manager or administrator or leader is the challenge of maintaining your team’s morale and finding ways to keep your people connected to one another so that collaborative conversations and profitable interactions can occur.
As a team building facilitator and teamwork speaker, this is an issue that is common in virtually every industry – whether it is educational, medical, governmental, or corporate.
And as simple as it sounds, there is an effective and easy to remember way to both boost morale and encourage collaboration from your staff.
The answer is coffee and donuts.
Yes, Really. Let me explain.
1. How does coffee increase team collaboration?
There is a coffee maker in virtually every office. People like coffee (or tea), so they brew a cup and keep working – and often remain isolated in their own rooms or working area to the neglect of building relationships and connecting with their coworkers.
Great leaders see the positive impact of banning individual coffee makers and encourage their people to talk and mingle and interact more in a common area where there is a coffee maker for everyone to use – and congregate around.
A nice pot of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) is a great invitation for creating community.
The more your people talk, the more they will eventually share information and ideas that are relevant and profitable for your business!
Coffee is the key to improving your team’s collaboration.
2. So what about the donuts?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Donuts are the secret to higher morale.
Not because you feed them to your people (everyone is more health conscious these days), but because you learn from them.
When I was a young coach, I didn’t see donuts. I saw donut holes.
Instead of praising my athletes and emphasizing what they did well as a springboard for them to keep getting better, I usually focused on what they couldn’t do well. I complained about what they weren’t saying or doing. I saw the hole, not the donut.
Now, I cared about my players and knew they were trying, but I seldom did a good job of communicating that to them – so morale diminished and eventually they were less enthusiastic about practicing… so we didn’t improve as much as we might have.
My consistent focus on what was missing led to lower morale and less improvement.
3. Positive Affirmations
Eventually I saw the power and impact of positive coaching – and when I began to look for things to praise – and when I began to communicate my appreciation and awareness of the skills and talents and unique gifts my athletes had – our program enjoyed much higher morale.
When our athletes felt valuable and appreciated, that led to better practices and more enthusiastic efforts. And more effort led to greater success and a better experience for everyone involved.
But I had to stop seeing the hole and focus on the donut that was there the entire time.
What we see is often the result of what we are looking for.
When I looked for things to praise, I saw more opportunities – and attitudes improved.
What I learned is that effort is almost always a symptom of attitude.
4. Building Game
So, if your team is struggling with morale issues, or if your team is not having the collaborative conversations because they are isolated as silos rather than being connected as teammates, perhaps your team would benefit from a team building event that would offer a fun catalyst for the strengthening the relationships and teamwork that you want to see more of.
Or, you might just consider the impact that coffee and donuts could have on your culture.
If you are interested in improving your organization’s morale and communication, you might be surprised with how much difference a single event or a small adjustment can make.