Strong teamwork is a vital capability for any business. Although today's teams are different from the teams of the past, teamwork is still pivotal for success. Today's teams face ongoing disruption, digitisation and dispersal, making it more critical than ever that employees collaborate effectively across geographical boundaries and fluid job hierarchies. Strong teamwork ensures businesses communicate effectively, are productive and innovative despite current obstacles.
Successful teamwork is also essential for job satisfaction, employee engagement, and well-being. Teamwork in the workplace improves employee retention when talent retention faces the highly competitive global job market and the 'loyalty challenge' posed by millennial workers. So it's no surprise that teamwork makes the dream work!
Ultimately, strong teamwork will benefit an organisation in numerous ways. Maintaining high-performing teams is essential to the success of your entire organisation. Let's explore the aspects of teamwork in the workplace and how to improve it in your business.
What is Teamwork?
The central themes of teamwork are the ability of individuals to collaborate and communicate effectively while working towards a common goal. Although it sounds simple, teamwork is multi-faceted and involves many aspects to enable group members to work together cohesively. Teams need to anticipate and meet the demands of each other, listen, communicate, motivate and inspire confidence and blend their strengths to complement the working style of one another, all while working toward a meaningful goal. With many different personalities in a group, it's impossible not to clash and halt productivity. Individuals in a cohesive team will strive to cooperate, using their unique skill sets and provide constructive feedback despite any personal conflict.
Why is Teamwork Important in the Workplace?
There are numerous reasons why teamwork is important in the workplace. Here are the top five reasons:
- Improved efficiency and productivity
- Cultivates creative thinking, innovation and new ideas
- Enhances problem-solving
- Builds working relationships
- Promotes learning opportunities
Improved Efficiency and Productivity
Individuals working in teams who implement teamwork strategies are more efficient and productive. These group members share the workload enabling them to complete tasks more quickly within a set time frame. When people work together to achieve business goals and objectives, they promote a faster work output and efficiently overcome challenges. It's true what they say, a problem shared is a problem halved. Sharing the workload improves team productivity, reduces pressure on individuals and increases the work pace.
Cultivates Creative Thinking, Innovation and New Ideas
In an environment where businesses need to innovate continually, businesses need teams that can think creatively and inspire new ideas and solutions. A team of people benefits from multiple personality types, perspectives, skillsets and experiences when approaching problem-solving. Businesses thrive when they have diverse groups that contribute fresh ideas and offer unique perspectives.
A team of skilled individuals contribute to solving complex and challenging problems. By working together, group members can help solve difficult problems by exchanging ideas and creative solutions. Through successful collaboration, teams can discover old and new solutions that work best.
Builds Working Relationships
Teamwork is a fantastic way to bring people together from departments and levels of experience. When employees collaborate and work together successfully, it creates trust, strong bonds and new friendships between group members.
Promotes Learning Opportunities
Working in a team of people from different backgrounds and levels of experience promotes an abundance of learning opportunities. These learning opportunities may happen naturally and unconsciously or through the conscious sharing of knowledge. Teamwork in the workplace allows individuals to build their skills, knowledge and confidence.
What are the Benefits of Teamwork
There are many benefits of teamwork in the workplace, including personal, emotional and business-related benefits. The top three benefits of teamwork include:
- Increases Happiness
- Eases Burnout
- Improves Morale
People working in supportive teams that prioritise feedback, respect and transparency are likely to report higher emotional well-being. Team building workshops and other team social events contribute to a positive working environment and overall happiness.
According to a recent study by Gallup, 23% of employees often or always feel burnt out in the workplace, and a further 44% reported sometimes feeling this way. Teamwork is an effective way to share the load and reduce burnout. Team members provide support to one another and understand the demand of the workload better than others. A team creates positive energy through the encouragement and inspiration of one another. In turn, this reduces stress and the feeling of burnout.
Individuals working in teams experience increased morale and motivation. Teamwork creates a sense of togetherness which can improve overall satisfaction. Group members feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete a task, overcome a problem or reach a goal that they would not have achieved if working alone. Working in teams creates a feeling of fulfilment and belonging, leading to improved employee self-esteem and morale.
How to Improve Teamwork
Successful teams are the pinnacle of any business. However, in the majority of cases, teams are fragmented and riddled with tension and workplace conflict. So, how do you improve teamwork? There are numerous teamwork strategies and tools to help improve teamwork.
One of the most important ways to improve teamwork is to clarify the shared purpose and goals of the team. Teamwork is likely to fail if people do not know what they are supposed to accomplish. Team members need to have clear goals and understand the expectations in terms of outcomes. Teams need to know what they are doing and why to ensure everyone is united toward a common goal.
Another great way to improve teamwork is through the use of team assessment tools. Team assessments help organisations better understand a team's strengths and weaknesses, allowing managers to distribute tasks accordingly. The team assessment describes each member's contribution to the group and areas in which they may require additional support. They also help managers understand how to communicate with and motivate team members, the best way to deliver feedback and mitigate conflict.
Why Teamwork Fails
There are several reasons why teamwork fails. It's important to recognise these reasons to prevent them from happening or deploy fixes if they already have. Investing in teamwork and building teams that work effectively and productively have plenty of benefits for businesses. Here are the top 8 reasons why teamwork fails.
- Lack of goals
- No clear purpose
- Lack of leadership
- Disruptive personalities
- No rewards or incentives
- Inability to deal with conflict
- Poor time management
- Lack of communication