Building cooperation after a merger

February 15, 2008

In a practice merger, our office recently joined with two other offices. Some staff members are having trouble working with their new co-workers. What do you think about holding a retreat to encourage team spirit?

In a practice merger, our office recently joined with two other offices. Some staff members are having trouble working with their new co-workers. What do you think about holding a retreat to encourage team spirit?

Engendering true "team spirit" at a one-time event is hard to do. But a picnic or a beach party is a good place to start, possibly with team games, mixing staff from each practice. That will give them a chance to get to know each other better-in a fun situation.

However, whatever good feelings your outing inspires, you'll have to reinforce them back at the office. Try the "Kudos List." Say one person can't find a chart, and another person pitches in to help look. On a big "Kudos" poster in the lunchroom, the one receiving help writes a short thank-you note to the helper. As the list grows longer, it raises awareness of how important teamwork is, and cooperation can become contagious.