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The Clurgo Way: Team Leaders and Project Managers on Building Team Spirit

4/22/2024 Maria Ferreras-Tascón


In an ideal world, the Leader or Team Leader tailors and modifies the work environment to fit individual team members, ensuring the development of skills and shaping employee attitudes in line with the company’s mission and vision. The role is to provide an appropriate level of autonomy at work, so that employees feel valued and can freely experiment with tasks…

Putting theories aside, it’s worth looking at how, in the daily grind, a Leader actually stands up to the challenge of creating a positive atmosphere in the workplace. In this blogpost and the next to come, I will walk you through this issue from the Clurgo’s team leaders and project managers perspective. Remembering the words of Piotr Drajski CTO at Clurgo: leader leads the team. He navigates to a common goal, offering support and solving problems. And project manager is a step above – he manages the entire project, including the budget or client contacts.

The saying “People join organizations and leave managers” didn’t come from nowhere! The person in the leading role becomes accountable to both the business and the team. From experience, we know that the goals and expectations of these two groups are not always aligned. So, what should a good Leader do to connect them? Who are they and what practices do Leaders in Clurgo use? We asked our experienced practitioners these and other questions.

Team spirit – what is it and what it is not.

A healthy work environment or teams where people just seem to feel good, it’s mostly about the atmosphere. Our Clurgo experts have no illusions that it’s not only them who create it. The team spirit hovers over all its members. A Leader is not a showman, a celebrity showing how to behave so now everyone will act the same way. It’s the members that define the team. The group must work well together. The leader defines the rules of cooperation – Grzegorz Futa, IT Team Leader says.

This doesn’t mean that when a noticeable change in team spirit occurs, the Leader is left to fate. There are many ways to subtly and concretely manage the team’s atmosphere. All team members must talk to each other. It’s impossible to create an atmosphere if each person has an assigned task and is separated in their own field. – explains Kamil Korga, IT Team Leader and branch manager in Lublin. The atmosphere is built through daily relationships. We build it through our personality, approach to people, approach to problems, solving those problems. How we help the team, how we advise, but also through support. – adds Karol Lach, Project Manager.

Creating a space for discussion and sharing experiences and opinions strengthens bonds within the group. The support of a Leader or Project Manager and their interest in the team’s situation can result in increased motivation and efficient teamwork. How to do it? I encourage discussions within the project to be open. – explains Kamil. Often the whole team stays, when we have a topic to discuss, not just the people it concerns. This way, every team member feels heard and not left out of the discussion. It has a positive impact on building the atmosphere.

Team in the office vs remote team

There are also other practices, because, after all, man does not live by work alone. The team must also have space for more relaxed conversation, digression, distance, and humor. Bartosz Manicki, branch leader in Gdynia, focuses on integration and regular meetings named “Kawa Gdynia.” Meanwhile, Krzysztof Dekarz strategy is regular communication, meetings, and sweetening daily routine in the form of Sweet Friday in Białystok 🙂 It’s important to talk with the team about work, but also about more personal matters – adds Krzysztof.

Creating a good atmosphere is one of the factors that build cohesive teams. However, it’s difficult to achieve without developing relationships, especially in the era of remote work. We work remotely all the time, and if we stop talking to each other, focusing only on task execution, it will be hard to communicate in a crisis situation – says Michał Chmielarz, IT Team Leader. First, you have to create an atmosphere for everything to really come together. To have a nice, positive melting pot where good things happen and people talk to each other. That’s very important. Without it, as a Leader, you constantly have to put out fires, run around, and explain contentious issues.

Work-life balance

The right attitude towards separating professional and private life is important at Clurgo. Our Leaders understand the principles of work-life balance and aim to create space for slowing down as much as possible. If there’s no pressure in the project, I try to ensure that employees take care of their work-life balance. Let’s do as much as we can, be as engaged as possible, but leave work at work – Krzysztof explains.

And Grzegorz adds on the subject: A good leader’s role is to show a subtle boundary in the workplace climate. We work, but at the same time, we don’t forget that we are humans who sometimes need to take a break. And that’s the atmosphere. We are humans, not robots. By nature, we are not machines, so we have the need to release tension. It needs to be balanced. Another Project Manager at Clurgo adds valuable inside here: I believe that sometimes it’s necessary to react to situations where it’s clear that stress is starting to take over work.

How about integrations?

Integrations and team meetings are also a time to create team bonds. Clurgo practitioners advise becoming an equal partner in fun during such outings, remembering to take care of the comfort of all meeting members. I try to step out of the leader’s role and be a participant in the meeting, talk to everyone – says Krzysztof. I try to talk to everyone, so that no one is excluded. I care that no one is left to fend for themselves – Bartosz seconds him. At Clurgo, we’re not a company where positions and hierarchy are strongly highlighted. We all treat each other very much as partners here – Kamil adds.

Autonomy and a space to share knowledge

At Clurgo, we respect the opinions and ideas of each team member. Therefore, in our teams, you can find autonomy in action and encouragement to share your knowledge. I have a rule: team members should freely ask other people. There are no stupid questions. It’s worth asking – shares Krzysztof, and Kamil adds: I’m lucky to be in a project where we have a lot of freedom in terms of technology selection. So, here, right from the start, all technology choices and solution selections are consulted with the team. Michał also has a valuable insight here: Autonomy is also a chance for development. Often, for example, I leave it open to choose a way to implement a solution. We hold joint discussions on ways to solve problems. I’m also open to criticism. I want my team to feel co-ownership of the project thanks to a sense of agency.

In conclusion, the person at the helm of a team significantly influences the atmosphere within it. Thanks to open communication and building daily relationships, it creates a space for conversations, exchanging opinions and experiences, as well as private digressions that strengthen team bonds.

At Clurgo, we focus on a professional approach and expertise. We become partners for our Clients, as well as Clurgo members. We strive to enjoy work and achieve increasingly better results. And our Team Leaders and Project Managers only make it easier for us!

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