How to Create Team Synergy

Getting your team to meet the organization’s goals and mission is one thing, but having your team thrive and excite one another to achieve more is quite a different thing. Creating excitement and a shared “synergy” among team members is something that every leader should strive for. Synergy defined is the interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects. Here are a few ideas on how to create synergy within your organization:

1. “Power Hour” – Dedicate at least one hour a week to brainstorm new ideas with key team members. To further develop relationships and create “buzz” in your organization, rotate team members to participate in this process so new and different ideas can be explored and shared throughout the team. Talking is great, but make sure that you are putting the best ideas into action so as to not kill the flow of good ideas.

2. Capitalize Upon Individuals’ Strengths – Use Strengths Finder to asssess the strengths of each of your team members. After analyzing the results, pair up people based on these strengths and create projects that they will find exciting and rewarding. It is more fun for people to work on things that they are good at rather than struggling to fix things they’re no-so-good-at.

3. Create a “Woo Crew” – I had my staffers take the Strengths Finder assessment online and share their results with everyone on our team. One staffer ended up being a “Woo.” In order to capitalize on her trademark strength, I appointed her to be in charge of the fun “staff development & recognition committee.” When I told her this, she said, “Yes! Let’s call it the Woo Crew!” Use this committee to come up with ideas and plans for educational and social staff development activities. They can also come up with great ideas on how staffers would like to be recognized for outstanding achievements.

4. Develop Innovative Contests & Competitions –  Teams can stagnate because new ideas are not encouraged and rarely if ever implemented if explicitly expressed by team members. Creating collegial and fun competitions between team members is an easy way to develop synergy. There should be a simple rubric or guidelines as to what makes for good ideas in terms of solving problems, creating or eliminating processes, and / or enhancing the product(s) and service(s) that your team offers. Kudos and rewards can be given at team meetings and even through social media announcements. 

5. Set Expectations that Specifically Address Synergy – When recruiting, selecting, and training new team members, make it explicit what your expectations are when it comes to teamwork and contributing to the good of the organization. Don’t be shy when stating that complacency is not part of the team’s culture.  

What are some specific examples that you have used in the past to create team synergy with your own team members?

All of those who share an example as a comment will enter into a raffle to win a Team Success Kit from Student Life Consultants. The raffle will occur on 01/06/12 at 8pm (EST) and the winner will be announced via Twitter @studentlifeguru and through this post’s comments. 

3 thoughts on “How to Create Team Synergy

  1. RC

    Great post – I believe you hit it right on the head with number 3. “Woo” Crew. I strongly believe in recognition and celebrating small wins as well. I always take time with my staff to reflect on our week and recognize one another in order to see the small ways we succeeded this week. Last year I was an assistant residence director and by recognizing that the students were at timed drained I purposely took time to recognize each community assistant individually in order to pep them up. It truly works every-time and allows for a conversation about how we can get even better as a team!!

    Wonderful post again – will be retweeting!!

  2. theweiser

    This is very interesting. These are all very great ideas, I shared this with a colleague of mine named Mike who has a blog over at (or @teambuildingny) with similar thoughts and themes as far as creating community. Keep writing and I look forward to learning with you!


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