Teamwork is probably the most abused word in office culture. It’s thrown in every meeting, seminar and conference but somehow, it still doesn’t get instilled within an organization.
The most probable reason is that teamwork is a process and requires effort from everyone.
Just because your manager or CEO asked you to show teamwork, it doesn’t mean it will get fostered that easily.
To begin with, everyone at your organization needs to be on board with the idea of teamwork. If you have colleagues that practice the blame game and don’t realize that everyone is working towards the same goal, then it’s quite unlikely to happen.
That being said, in this post, we will discuss what is teamwork, its importance and how you can instil it within your team or organization.
Let’s get cracking!
What is teamwork
The dictionary describes teamwork as “the combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient”.
In business terms, teamwork is when a group of people collaborate to achieve a mutual goal. This means that people within a group use their skills to overcome each other’s weaknesses and achieve a goal which was otherwise not possible.
Teamwork in business also means setting aside any personal conflicts and coming to a mutual conclusion that not only benefits the group but also the organization.
It involves constructive feedback and improving each other’s ability without any personal grudges and feuds.
What is the importance of teamwork
Now that you know what teamwork means, let’s get into why organizations stress on teamwork so much.
When it comes to the importance of teamwork, there are more than a few reasons why it’s significant in a company’s growth and success.
It builds a harmonic relationship between employees, it brings out the best within a team and obviously, the efficiency improves significantly.
So here are some of the top reasons why teamwork is so important.
Teamwork unites people
When a group of people work together in a healthy and positive environment, they’re more likely to bond and develop friendships. Such is the social behaviour of human beings.
In such situations, people cooperate much better than a hostile environment. A close-knit group of people are more likely to showcase healthy competition and a desire to achieve goals.
Speaking of goals, the best example of teamwork encouraging unity is the game of football.
11 players working together to achieve a goal (pun intended). The togetherness in a football team is known to foster life long friendships and that is the power of teamwork!
Teamwork promotes efficiency
When people work in groups, it significantly improves their efficiency.
The simple reason is that in a group, the workload is shared and doesn’t put pressure on a particular individual.
When a group has the same goal, they’re more likely to perform better by bringing out the best in each other.
It also increases efficiency because of different minds come together in performing the same task.
Teamwork fosters a learning environment
One of the important aspects of teamwork is encouraging a learning environment. When different people come together to work on the same project, there’s a chance of learning from one another.
For example, a single project which requires the input of different team opens up the path for employees to understand each other’s work. It also allows people to interact with each other and learn new things not only about their job profile but also others’ responsibilities.
This allows your employees to acquire new skills which help their individual as well as the company’s growth.
Teamwork offers better opportunities for feedback
Generally, employees don’t take criticism too well from their managers, let alone their peers. This creates a hostile work environment where it’s controversial to give feedback to peers.
So, manager and peers have to be very careful and diplomatic while giving feedback or pointing out mistakes. But when you have a teamwork culture at your organization, people are much more friendly and focused. They all know that their goal is pretty much the same.
This allows peers to openly address issues and give feedback to each other. This, in turn, rewards the organization with more informed and better-performing employees.
Teamwork helps in resolving issues faster
Teamwork environment promotes a more open and friendlier group of employees. This induces a better problem-solving workforce as everyone can share their different perspectives.
Different perspectives give insight into different aspects of problems. This broadens the scope of resolving issues, which can be done more effectively and faster.
Ways to promote teamwork at the workplace
Now that you’ve understood the importance of teamwork and how it can propel your team or business towards success, let’s see how we can induce a teamwork environment at our workplace.
Whether you’re a manager, an owner or an employee, you can use these tips to instil a sense of teamwork at your workplace. You can always share these ideas with your manager to start encouraging teamwork at work.
One of the common and yet highly ignored things is defining roles. When your team doesn’t have defined roles, there’s a high chance of feuds and resentment among your employees.
So, define the roles and responsibilities of your team and put it on a sheet which can be accessed by everyone. This way everyone will be on the same page.
It is also better to keep the roles and responsibilities of immediate teammates on the same sheet. This eradicates any chance of discrepancies.
Informal social gatherings
Team building exercises don’t live up to the hype. What is the point of making mandatory team-building exercises when employees don’t wish to do it?
It is better to have a small informal gathering of your team, where they can bond with each other without hesitation and on their terms.
Another good tip will be to hold such informal gatherings multiple times in a year with different activities. This will include everyone as people can pick and choose which kind of activity they want to be a part of.
This will promote a healthy relationship among employees who are not forced to interact with each other. This bonding is most likely to transpire at the office desk too.
Reward teams for their teamwork
A reward is probably the best way to lure people into doing something. If you don’t have a teamwork culture at your workplace, then the quickest and effective way to instil such culture is by rewarding people for their team efforts.
When an individual employee steps out of his/her comfort zone to help another teammate then officially rewarding that person will promote the idea of teamwork among others.
Employees will soon realize that helping others can make shine under the limelight. This will naturally improve the efficiency of your workplace and reduce a hostile environment.
You have employees that are adults, they can perform the tasks assigned to them.
You can’t induce a teamwork culture when your managers are trying to micromanage everything an employee is doing.
It’s better to set goals, deadlines and let the teamwork it out themselves. There should be trust among the management and employees to promote teamwork.
Nobody likes breathing down their neck, so give your team ownership of the project and let the teamwork it out.
Acknowledge individual performances
“There is no I in team” is probably the most overrated statement. There’s a difference between being arrogant and being a team player.
Just because a person is a team player, that doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t want to be appreciated.
As humans, we all want to be appreciated for our efforts, whether working alone or with a team.
So, when you have people performing excellently in a team environment, acknowledge them.
This will instil healthy competition among your group, which will improve your team’s performance.
Take feedback from everyone
When it comes to feedback, it is important to get feedback from your team as much as it is to give them.
When you want to take feedback on a project or operations, don’t go to your favourites. Include everyone!
During brainstorming sessions, include everyone! Ideas can come from anywhere from anyone. It is not a rule that when you want to come up with a new idea for your product, then you only need the product team members.
Similarly, it’s always better to include everyone in such brainstorming sessions. It will make your employees feel that they’re important and it will also bring your workforce together.
Concluding, teamwork is the essence and the DNA of success. Salesforce reported that over 86% of employees believe that workplaces fail because of a lack of collaboration. It’s not only important for the growth of an organization but it is equally important for a person’s individual growth.
Teamwork improves the efficiency of a workplace, makes the environment friendlier and encourages innovation. You can introduce teamwork at your workplace by doing simple things such as informal get-togethers, defining roles and rewarding teams.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success.”
- Henry Ford