W I N T E R 2 0 2 1 7 BUSINESS solutions Strong Teams Make Strong Businesses Successful businesses recognize the importance of strong teamwork. When people work together cohesively to achieve common goals, both the company and its employees will thrive. The hard part can be building that teammentality. Here are five tips to help you: 1. Define the team. You may have several internal teams, each made up of rep- resentatives from different departments—or if your business is relatively small, your entire group may be working together on a special project. Either way, do your best to ensure that each team can provide a well-rounded viewpoint of the challenge at hand. 2. Set clear goals. Make sure each team member understands why the group was formed and what the expectations are for the group as a whole. Be sure to encourage collaboration, while giving ownership of specific tasks to individuals based on skill and interest. A collective vision that gives team members an opportunity to make a real difference in the workplace—from improved processes to expanding product and service lines—will help them stay motivated. 3. Build trust. When team members can trust each other and their managers, they’re more likely to commit to meaningful change and sup- port their colleagues in their efforts. Great teams allow each member to voice their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution. 4. Model the behavior you seek. It’s critical that senior managers demonstrate qualities of good teamwork, including: • Helping others when they need support to complete a task • Listening to input without judgment or criticism • Commitment to meeting challenges and finding effective solutions 5. Reward great teamwork. Bonuses, gifts, and public acknowledgement should be given as much for positive teamwork as for individual performance. By creating a work environment with a positive team approach, you’ll have happier employees—and very likely, a healthier bottom line. Five tips for building a high-performance team How to Respond to Negative Feedback on Social Media What does your business do when customers post complaints on your Facebook page or other social media? Hopefully, you view this negative feed- back as an opportunity to improve your products/services as well as strengthen community relationships. Consider these strategies: • Respond promptly. Post a short, public response acknowledging that you’ve seen the post, appreciate the honesty, and intend to reply more fully soon. This helps to establish your business as being transparent and attentive. It also gives you time to cool down and avoid posting an angry or defensive remark you’ll later regret. • After your public message, have a private conversation. Communi- cate with the person who posted the negative feedback via a private message. This enables you to gather sensitive information—such as an account number or other purchase details—and provide an appropriate resolution for the customer. When social media followers see you respond to negative feedback in a reasoned and mature way, it forms a positive impression of your business and can lead to stronger brand loyalty in the long run.