Teamwork in the Workplace
The 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is set for 17th July in Washington DC. Many fans turn out to cheer for their favorite team while rarely considering the difficulties in building a team of extremely talented players. Winning an All-Star game requires the right combination of individual talent and teamwork. In many ways, it is similar to the average workplace.
It can be equally difficult for business managers to build effective teams. Business talent varies and comes from many directions. Managers are tasked with harnessing exceptional employee’s skills while ensuring that they check their egos for the collective benefit of the organization. Incorporation of teamwork and collaboration always gets the best out of a talented workforce.
Benefits of Teamwork in Business
In order to understand the advantages of collaboration in the workplace, it is essential to understand the key characteristics of a team. These include sharing accountability for goal achievement, functioning interdependently, stability and operating in a social context.
1. Teamwork Improves Performance
Research shows that organizations that support teamwork realize improvements in the overall workplace performance. This applies to both individual and organizational performance in areas including product/service quality, customer service, worker satisfaction, work life quality, productivity, competitiveness, and profitability.
2. Helps with Complex Challenges
Collaborative work is more effective especially when dealing with complex workplace challenges. These challenges often require the expertise, effort, and will of talented employees from various parts of the organization. In today’s dynamic business world, managers are realizing that teamwork across multiple configurations is the best way to get work done effectively.
3. Complementary Strength Blending
Teamwork is the best way through which employees can develop their various talents. For instance, an employee may be great at creative thinking and another at planning and organization. By relying on each other’s individual talents, these two employees can perform some tasks more effectively. Through observation of the process behind each other’s skills, they can learn ways of combining their gifts. This process helps build stronger teams as employees interact.
4. Sense of Ownership
Teamwork provides employees with common goals to aim for. This offers them a sense of pride in their contributions. Working towards common goals gives the employees a connection to the organization. The overall effect of this is loyalty, high morale, motivation and higher levels of job satisfaction. Such employees are more likely to stay with the organization. This is crucial since keeping talent is one of the hardest things to do in business.
There are numerous other benefits of workplace collaboration including teaching conflict resolution skills, fostering learning and creativity, building trust, encouraging health risk-taking and maximizing involvement.
How to Make Employees Team Players
1. Understand their Strengths
This may seem obvious, but the number of organizations that know little about employee strengths may surprise you. To effectively manage top employees, you have to keep comprehensive data on them. This data includes assigned areas, responsibilities, performance at current roles and transferability of skills. Using this and other data, managers can regularly improve the talent or deploy them where they are more impactful.
2. Avoid Disincentives for Teams
Some performance assessment strategies can undermine teamwork. One example is stack ranking where companies rate certain percentages of team members in classifications such as good, average or poor. Over time these incentive systems create a culture where team members seek to outdo each other instead of working together. As such, top employees will refrain from joining talented groups. Opt for a system whereby performance recognition is collectively rather than the individual.
3. Sharing Information
As a manager, you may assign team leaders or maybe a team leader yourself. As a team leader, successful collaboration is dependent on communication. Always communicate team expectations clearly. Many top employees fail to become team players since they do not comprehend what is required of them. Team leaders must share all information with the members. Employees find it difficult to trust leaders and support decisions when information is lacking.
Teamwork will be the determining factor on who wins next Tuesday’s MLB All-Star game. The same largely applies to the workforce today. Organizations need to smartly utilize and blend the unique gifts of employees into a team ethos.
If you need help creating and fostering a winning team, let’s set up a time to chat. We’d be happy to help you recruit top talent, or to train, develop and organize a strong culture within your workplace.