WITH the global economic downturn hitting the news every day, it is normal for you to go to work feeling anxious, frustrated and worried about the future.

These feelings can start to affect your workplace relationships and lead to conflict, a lack of motivation and a reduction in your overall performance.

However, all is not lost. A practical exercise in refocusing and reframing negative thoughts and feelings can have a very positive impact in a creating a harmonious working environment. Here are some solid strategies for keeping a sense of team spirit alive in the workplace.

1. Keep momentum

A team-building programme will give new insights into colleagues and reveal better ways to work with them. Instead of dwelling on what you do not like about them, you should now understand why they react in certain ways. The more you know about your colleagues, the better you can strengthen relationships with them. Focus on what you like about them and use that to address the areas where you would like to see improvement.

2. Share vision

A team must always be working towards common goals, yet few team members are aware of what these goals are and how to get there. Ensure that your team knows the mission statement of the company. That simple step should ensure that everyone is aiming for the same target.

A set of company values will differentiate you from your competitors. Research has proved that successful companies are those with employees who live by these values every day.

3. Celebrate "wow" moments

Moments of delight, "wow" experiences and exceeding expectations are keys to creating a happy workplace where all the teams feels valued. Make it your goal to tell people when they are doing a great job and inspire them to achieve much more. Go the extra distance for your colleagues and the enthusiasm generated will put everyone on the road to success.

4. Keep socialising

Team building works because you get out of the office and learn to have fun with the people you see every day. It does not have to stop when you get back to the office.

Start making plans to get together regularly with colleagues out of office hours. A fun night out with the team provides good conversation in the office, solidifies team spirit and means you are not talking shop all the time.

Let a different person organise the gathering each time. That will tell you what he or she likes to do in their spare time.

5. Build team commitment

During a team-building event, people get enthusiastic about communicating better, sharing resources and inspiring leadership. But be careful, because it does not end there.

Make a strong commitment to take back the valuable insights and apply them daily. This is the best way to make the team spirit components become natural and intuitive. There is no magic formula; it just takes commitment and practice.