Promoting unity is an important component of managing any successful organization with more than two members. Sharing a common belief and having a sense of a common purpose are crucial for unifying a team of coworkers, sports players or members of a religious organization. Establishing a sense of cohesion can help your team more effectively achieve their common goals.
Develop a Common Goal
Having a common, clearly-defined goal lets your team know what direction you want to move in. Have a team meeting and ask everyone what their idea of the shared goal is, if appropriate. Write down everyone's ideas and validate them. See if there is a common thread. Decide on your common goal and establish parameters, such as the date the goal should be achieved.
Arrange Team-Building Activities
Depending on the type of organization, team-building activities can be an enjoyable, light-hearted way of fostering a sense of unity and cooperation. Plan a group scavenger hunt, throw an informal barbecue, have a potluck lunch or sponsor a company softball team. Have a picnic or a party in the warmer months and invite everyone to bring their families. Arrange activities, such as volleyball or tug-of-war, to make it a fun experience for everyone.
Encourage Open Communication
Encourage everyone in your organization to communicate in an open, honest manner. In order to promote a sense of unity, every member of your team needs to feel valued and acknowledged. If people have complaints or suggestions about the team's operation or activities, let them voice these concerns in an open forum without criticizing or judging. You might do this in a public forum setting, where everyone can voice their concerns or grievances or contribute suggestions in a group, or have an open-door policy, letting team members know that they are always welcome to discuss these issues in private.
Celebrate Important Events
Celebrating important events together, whether it's birthdays, holidays or organizational achievements, can promote a sense of unity in your organization. Have a small party to celebrate these types of events. Plan your party accordingly, and make it a festive, cheerful occasion. Buy decorations and hand out flyers to your team members announcing the party.
Solve problems when they arise. Nothing kills an organization's sense of unity faster than problems that go ignored by managers, leaders, coaches or supervisors. Attending to problems and addressing the concerns of team members lets them know that you care about them, that they are not just a number to you and that you have a commitment to promoting unity and cooperation.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.