From my perspective, the leader builds the team, and the actions of a leader define how the team will work. A great example of good leadership is this email from Elon Mask to his employees. Clear and honest communication with me is leadership and leads to team synergy.
Here are a few steps I think we need to account for before rushing into forcing a group of people to be a team:
Define: What does a team mean to each employee. What are the top 5 attributes of a team? To some it may be knowing what their colleagues did over the weekend to others it may be getting the professional support they need, doing what your teammate said they were doing to do. Trust, Honesty, Inclusion, and Appreciation that to me defines a team.
Understand: The dynamics of the team, do you have a mix of introverts and extroverts? Sharing the office space picture may be very easy for an extrovert, but it is asking for too much from an introvert. Take the time to understand the group dynamics and come up with a list of items that will work for everyone on the team. Here are a few activities that will work for all.
Input: Before jumping into activities make sure everyone has a chance to provide input on what will work for them and what they are comfortable sharing. As an introvert, my limit of sharing personal information is very limited compared to the extroverts on the team.
Consistent: Once you define what a team means to your employees and the steps you are going to take to continue working on team building be consistent. The leader needs to be consistent to ensure his/her commitment to the team.
If you have other suggestions, please share: firstname.lastname@example.org