Why do some workgroups seem to work well while others struggle to achieve their objective as a team? The answer may depend on several organisational factors, including its culture.
If you work with a team at your workplace, own a business with employees, or run a project, you undoubtedly have heard about the benefits of teamwork. Working as a team is essential for efficient performance, a motivated workforce, and maximum output. Below are my 10 practical ways to succeed in working as a team.
Have a clear goal and mission
If you want to enhance teamwork at your organisation, you should set clear goals and be committed to achieving those goals. Clear goals help the team to know the direction to take so that all employees work for a common purpose. Team members must have the organization’s mission in mind, explaining what the team is trying to achieve.
Effective teamwork is only possible when each individual knows what is expected of them. Goals must be as precise as possible and measurable to enable you to determine if they have been achieved.
Create a suitable working environment
Team members should feel comfortable airing their views without the fear of judgment. The working environment should also make it possible for team members to take reasonable risks to achieve certain goals.
You can create a work environment where team members trust each other, and no one is punished for disagreeing with their boss. Such an environment will help every member feel a sense of belonging to the organization.
Embrace respectful communication
Honest, open, and respectful communication is important for effective organisational teamwork. Team members should feel that their opinion is heard and considered rather than ignored.
If something is not clear, the team should feel free to ask for clarification. They should also listen as co-workers share their views on the subject, even if it is a different view. Teamwork is about respect; no one should feel superior to the other.
Transparency is openness in communication with your team. Team members should have the necessary information and resources when they need them to help in decision-making.
Besides knowing what they should do, team members should know the reasons behind the team’s or organization’s goals. If members know why they are doing what they are doing, they gain a deeper understanding of the organisation’s bigger picture.
Remember to openly and honestly share with your team members any challenges or obstacles they may encounter in their day-to-day operations to equip themselves to overcome them. Lies can break trust and disintegrate your team, so keep it honest even if some failures are hard to admit.
Praise team members for their accomplishments
Everybody loves recognition and appreciation for their hard work and accomplishments. If you show recognition to team members for their contribution to effective teamwork, you will likely motivate and knit your group closer.
Are you a manager at your organization? You can create a culture of recognising your team members’ actions and encouraging them to aim higher. Learn to appreciate even small achievements and initiatives, encouraging your team to work harder.
Appreciate team members for their uniqueness
As a manager, you are not looking for identical team members, but it is essential to appreciate their unique, irreplaceable experiences. If members feel they are being adversely compared with others, they may feel unappreciated.
The goal of every team leader is to tap into members’ unique personalities and experiences to successfully tackle every project. A divergent team is an asset for any organization, allowing members to add to the feel wanted despite their varied backgrounds.
If your team experiences a measure of success, celebrate it. Besides sharing a quick ‘well done’, organise a team celebration where you can reflect on what has been done. Why not take your team out for dinner or lunch and allow them to bond?
Despite the small success, make it a habit not to miss these wins. If the team realises your appreciative spirit, they will be inspired to achieve even more. The team will feel unified around positive outcomes and look forward to more celebrations.
Build a strong sense of commitment
Effective teamwork is possible with committed team members; however, building that commitment requires serious work. As a manager, it is essential to spend quality time building good relationships. Ensure every member has a clearly defined responsibility and accountability.
When team members know their colleague’s work, they can provide needed support and improve performance. Understanding each member’s accountability engenders a deeper commitment to the team’s decisions and actions.
Encourage creativity and innovation
You can encourage effective teamwork by creating an environment where innovation and creativity are welcomed. Instead of stifling different approaches or solutions to approaches, welcome new ways from members, brainstorm, and come up with a new workable solution.
The business environment and workplace are always changing, and there is no single way of handling certain tasks, underscoring the need for promoting creativity and innovation. It is also good to allow your team members to find unique solutions to problems they encounter at work instead of feeding them your answers.
Regular meetings will help you pull the team together and allow them to report their progress on various projects. If the team is working remotely, you can use various communication platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet to bring the team together.
At the meeting, you can know any challenges the team faces, brainstorm solutions to problems, and highlight available opportunities they can pursue. However, holding several weekly meetings can be counterproductive since team members may feel overwhelmed.
If your team gets these ten tips right, they will undoubtedly succeed and benefit from their teamwork efforts. What affects most teams is their relationship with little things in the day-to-day running of the organisation. And they can come from the trenches by putting their differences aside, maximizing their uniqueness, and building trust to achieve greatness.
David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.