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Believe it or not, sometimes an organization’s members are hesitant or averse to leadership evaluation and training. Or sometimes, a company can’t afford to conduct internal assessment or training at that time—especially in this economy. We’ve come up with some “sneaky” ways to evaluate employees leadership skills, create a community culture in your organization, and increase your team’s overall skills at working together. Check out our list for these undercover leadership tips:

Put the coffee in the middle of the room
Putting the coffee in a central location will allow employees to interact more, and will build camaraderie and trust. When you have a team that trusts each other, innovation and creativity are more likely to develop because of open communication and lack of fear of “what others might think.” Who knew an action as simple as moving the morning Joe could foster innovation?

Outdoor ropes course (not totally sneaky)
Ok, ok, so this one isn’t totally underhanded. It might remind you of college orientation, but ropes courses are a fantastic way to get a group of people to cooperate, innovate, and work together for a common cause. Leaders will emerge in teambuilding situations like these, and potential for development can be identified outside of the office. And who doesn’t like to get thrown through a tire 6 feet off of the ground?

Recycling is great for the environment, and getting everyone in the office involved will create a sense of common-good. You don’t have to start with an entire recycling setup; just have a box for paper, a trashcan for cans, and one for bottles. Encourage the office to help save the environment, and aim to recycle a certain number of pounds per month. You’ll be building a connected office culture while saving the environment—a win on both sides.

Have a trivia team for a local bar trivia night
Do you have an employee who is a pop-culture whiz? What about a U.S. history buff? Encourage your employees with special knowledge to combine forces to represent your company on trivia night at a local pub. Your organization will get exposure, a reputation for being “fun” and not stuffily corporate, and team members will bond over food, drinks, and fun. As for the rest of the company that isn’t involved? They can feel like part of the club by attending to cheer on their peers, or by checking out a weekly scoreboard to show how well (hopefully) your team is doing!

Build an office playlist (
“Music should always be a means of bridging gaps and uniting people. The beauty of music is that it can — and should — gather a wide variety of concepts in a way that’s universal.”—Gloria Estefan

“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel

Music is a universal language. It has a way of uniting the most opposite types of people under one belief, cause, or feeling. Sharing a company playlist is a great way to introduce your employees to new music, explore their music tastes, and collaborate to make a common shared creation. Will a playlist change anyone’s life? Most likely not. But having each employee contribute a song or two creates a shared internal product special to your employees. Start out by using a free service like, and then; depending on the success of the program, a CD might be in order!

Sponsor a Child
Sponsoring a child is a great way to have a community come together to support a social cause. A company can easily afford the monthly sponsorship amount that provides food, clothing, education, and life-saving medical supplies to children all over the world. A good place to begin your search is WorldVision Sponsors receive updates and notes from the children they support, which can then be shared with the company through email or on the organization’s bulletin board. This simple process not only basically saves the life of a child, but can have a lasting effect on company members and their sense of connection to others in the workplace. Just as an example, I remember our sponsor child from when I was in the 6th grade… and I am still proud of the work my class did to support him.

Can we guarantee that any of these actions will create the impact of a management coaching initiative? No. But we can say that these ideas are a great way to start building teamwork in your organization, and can lead to a smoother, more collaborative, and more satisfying workday for your employees.