Many people in the workforce spend more of their waking hours with colleagues than family. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shared a survey that people between the ages of 25-54 spend an average of 8.9 hours at work per day. That adds up to a lot of togetherness in the workplace! Let’s do a little math:

 8.9 hours/day x 5 days/week= 44.5 hours/week x 52 weeks/year= 2,314 hours dedicated to work!

This equation isn’t to make you feel depressed (I promise!). It is to make you aware of all the time spent in close proximity to your colleagues and the opportunity for team connectivity as well as productivity.

Teamwork is an essential part of a successful workplace environment. It leads to accomplishment, innovation, efficiency and an overall feeling of contentment in the workplace. The most successful managers and business owners recognize the benefits of ongoing training and continuing education for their team members. So what can you do to foster teamwork?

Top 3 Rules of Teamwork:

  1. Understand the learning styles and personalities of staff.
  2. Use your teams’ talents to deliver information.
  3. Recognize and reward to keep staff motivated.

Teamwork Activities: Understand the learning styles and personalities of staff.

  • During a staff meeting, have employees take the Meyers-Briggs test to assess their personality type.
  • Use the “Right Brain, Left Brain” staff exercise from the 15-minute webinar on Child Development 101: Cognitive in ASTRA’s Business Resources to learn their brain dominance.
  • Use the “Child Learning Style Questionnaire” from the 15-minute webinar on Child Development 101: Sensory in ASTRA’s Business Resources to uncover learning styles—auditory, kinesthetic or visual?

Teamwork Activities: Use your team’s talents across all levels to deliver information.

  • Have staff give a 2-minute “TED talk” on an area of expertise. For example, how to wrap a gift in the fastest and most visually appealing way possible or how to deal with a super angry customer.
  • Allow staff to lead a game at lunch or share a craft creation. After the activity is complete, allow the team to brainstorm top takeaways from the game or craft to create selling points for consumers and trade shows.
  • Use the “Improvisation Pointers Activity” from the 15-minute webinar on Child Development 101: Communicative to have your most enthusiastic staff members put on a theatrical performance of staff encounters.

Teamwork Activities: Recognize and reward to keep staff motivated.

  • Exposure! Recognize staff for a job well done. Create a “Wall of Fame” or post a monthly staff spotlight on social media or company website to show appreciation.
  • Pass out raffle tickets for staff to put their name on and into a jar. Raffle tickets can be given out for keeping safety first with a spill on the floor or staying late to finish a project. At the end of each month a raffle can be drawn for anything from candy to gift cards.
  • Provide staff with opportunities! Empower staff to sit on a panel, run a meeting, attend an industry conference (ahem, ASTRA Marketplace & Academy!) or register for an education opportunity. The employee is sure to feel their value and advance their skills.

Remember the 2,314 total hours of work you commit yourself to each year? All of this time adds up to valuable opportunities for teamwork. The activities shared in this blog add up to one common result: happy employees who are naturally a more productive team.

Do you reward staff? Click here to take the poll and see the results!

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Ahren Hoffman, CTRS, CPE is the Director of Education & Training at ASTRA. Ahren has been a member of the toy industry since 2007 developing content for toys and play products, contributing to publications and actively taking part in the lecture circuit presenting to organizations and professionals in the field of child development as well as members of the toy industry. Ahren oversees the development and enhancement of education and training materials for ASTRA members to keep a pulse on topics shaping the toy industry. Contact Ahren at